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Nurse Ingrid

1. I feel that the convention of saying “bless you” when someone sneezes is just silly and embarrassing, yet I feel like I have to say something or people will think I’m rude! I always hope no one will say it to me though.

2. HOWEVER, I must confess that I , and several other “nonbelievers” in my family, have appropriated my Southern fundamentalist grandparents’ endearment, “bless your heart,” as an all-purpose expression of affection or sympathy. We just leave open the question of who is doing the “blessing.”

3.I love colorful swearing, the more long-winded the better. My personal favorite comes from a comic book called “Sam and Max” and it goes “Holy jumpin’ mother o’god in a sidecar with chocolate jimmies and a lobster bib!” I don’t actually use it much, but it never fails to crack me up. I also love Apu’s interjection,”Shiva H. Vishnu!” from the Simpsons, and the Monty Python routine with the Russian communists saying “Oh my lack of god!”

4. I LOVE old gospel tunes, especially the Carter Family. (Who remembers the Onion piece, “Gospel Choir Makes Area Man Wish He Believed in All That God Bullshit”?) I was the one who insisted that we play “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” at my grandfather’s funeral, much to the amusement of the other fundie relatives who thought it was dorky, quaint and old-fashioned! (Little do they know that traditional music is now cool among urban hipsters, while THEY insist on listening to truly awful, modern gospel dreck. Think Celine Dion doing the soundtrack to a Disney movie, only more treacly…)
I also love “Anchored in Love,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Little Log Cabin by the Sea,” and many others. I try to tell myself that religion was somewhat different when those songs were written, that it’s all about context, but the truth is those songs do express something all humans long for: unconditional love and peace. All I can say is, too bad they’re barking up the wrong tree…

Thank you for the opportunity to get all this off my chest.


Ooh, I'm an Agnostic but I want in on this for my own personal spirituality.

Heh, it's actually a bit embarassing...

Bless me, Physical Universe (and Revolutionary Soldier Greta), for I have sinned.

Well, here's the main one.

1.) When in time of crisis or dire need, I sometimes find myself saying a prayer that something will work out or that "God" would help me out, even though I know my spirituality is something I do because it feels good to me and is completely irrelevant to whether or not something's out there. Anyway, I guess that behavior is born of desperation.

2.) I do say "Bless you" but I don't consider it to be a sin but rather a phrase that people say.

3.) I do love religious music, from classical (Handel's Messiah, anyone?) to gospel to the contemporary Catholic songs we sang growing up in church, but once again, that works in with the "spirituality = doing things that work with me to make me feel good" and not with the whole "songs to God" thing.

4.) I have fantasies about going to confession, confessing my sins, and my penance is to have sex with the Priest. That's religious. Does it count? (I wouldn't want to do it with a real priest, though, but rather someone playing one.)

So... what's my penance? I've been wrong and I wanna suffer for my sins. ;-)

(BTW, FWIW, I don't think yelling "oh god" or "jesus christ" during sex has anything to do with religion or spirituality. I think it's just a general interjection.)

C. L. Hanson

Re: "And when I'm visiting other atheist blogs, I go out of my way to bring up sex, whenever it's even remotely relevant."

Well, come visit my blog sometime!

I had some amusing posts about sex going in the early days, but then I segued into some politics of porn stuff, and I haven't managed to get back to light, fun sex-talk. (see: )

There's my silly atheist confession for you: I'd talk about sex more, but now that I don't have "sin" hindering me, it's some sort of crazy writer's block instead... ;^)


Actually, finding good ejaculations has been a life-long problem of mine. A very long time ago (early elementary school), it seemed wrong to say "oh my god" when there was no such.

So I started looking for alternatives. And kind of came up empty. There are the more "biological" phrases, like George Carlin's famous seven words, but they're generally seen as "stronger" and not suited for polite company. I will say "shit!" at work when suitably provoked, but "damn" is considered more appropriate for everyday frustration.

Then there are words that explicitly avoid religion - but they're generally used by, and tend to identify you as one of, the extra-religious who want to avoid blasphemy! And they are generally derived forms, anyway. "Darn" and "drat" are variants on "damn", just like "fudge" is on "fuck." I don't want to sound like Wally Cleaver.

After much agonizing, I decided that the phrases are part of the language and they are commonly understood that way, so I may as well not worry. Still, if I could come up with some good alternatives that satisfied the primary goal of communication, I'd make the effort to change.


bless me universe for I have sinned.

1. I like going to church. Funny when I was Christian I used to dread it and I thought it was so boring. I've become more spiritual now that I'm an agnostic. Now I actually look forward to it. I don't pray to any god(dess) or god(esses)s but I like the spiritual feeling from the music and rituals.

2. I once masturbated in my dorm's Commons Room to porn while a men's Bible study was taking place, in the same room...on the same couch.

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