I was led here from a forum where I said I thought discussing this in a group would be better and this seems to be the most appropriate group.
I use: "Counting my blessings" and "grace" and possibly other words that come our of religious language. It would be nice to have a list of non-religious alternatives that would be understood by the general public. Maybe that's not necessary. I couldn't find anything like that online. What do you think?
Or say nothing. Why do you even have to say something when someone else is blowing snot everywhere? The polite thing would probably be to excuse ourselves when we sneeze. ;)
I think of terms like "god send" and "oh my god" could really refer to any god, not necessarily the Christian one. If pressed I'd probably say Ra or Thor was the god I was referring to; when they're all fictional it doesn't really matter. I guess I think of religious/spiritual colloquialisms (ie. "God damn it!") as being on par with literary colloquialisms (ie. "What doesn't kill me will make me stronger").
i do believe i only use oh my god or omg. if someone sneezes i look the other way to let them clean it up. i also may use damn. but i think thats about it. ive never said bless you, my grossmutter said gesundheight, but i never did. when im in a game where bad language is not cool, i use shoot, heck, or some such word.
The ones that bothered me the worst when I lived in Nebraska were "That's a Christian thing to do" which clearly implies that those of us who aren't Christian don't do good things, and "He jewed me down" which clearly says that Jews habitually cheat in business, which of course is just a discriminatory stereotype.
But I do try to avoid religiously based terms when I speak -- you can make up phrases as you wish -- who cares if no one else uses them, although you WILL get funny looks! It's like a former student of mine, when he wanted to swear, would say "bleistiffspitzer", which because of the "sh" sounds seems pretty strong, but only means "pencil sharpener" in German. I change mine all the time, but my latest is "Oh, my flank steak!" I kind of enjoy the silliness! :-)