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What would you have said?

I usually hang out in the park for a while midway through about a 5 mile walk for exercise. So yesterday I was in the park and an elderly woman walks towards me on the path as I'm sitting on a bench. She says something to the effect of, "It's a wonderful day today isn't it?". So I say yes it is, and then she continues with, "Thank God for that!" or "Praise God for that!".

So in a split second I'm processing every possible response to that and just muster up a "Yep". Then I talk about how my allergies weren't allowing me to fully enjoy the nice day and a little small talk ensues. Then she walks off and once again says, "Thank God for the beautiful day!". Again, I just said "Yep". I guess I compromised with staying true to myself and not saying something like "Thank God!", but also not being confrontational with just saying "Yep".

What would you have said in that situation?

Piece2YourPuzzle 8 June 16

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5

In situations like that I try not to be confrontational either. I just agree with a yup like you and move on. It's not worth the hustle. The exception being when they say that and then try to give you a pamphlet or something of that sort if I have time I go into the whole I'm an atheist thing and what not but most likely I just say no thank you and move on

3

What I always say... "Nature IS awesome, no gods required."

good one!

7

Well, "Die you gravy sucking pig" is probably too severe, I guess"yup" is good enough.

5

I accept it and move on. Even when told to have a blessed day. We may not share beliefs, but I love and respect them nonetheless, and if they wish me that, I will always accept it.

10

Why argue with an old lady out enjoying the day? IMO, you did the right thing. No point in getting bitter and fighting everyone who uses a figure of speech to express happiness or contentment. Live and let live.

4

Good question. "I'm sorry," the x-ray technician replied when I said "I'm an atheist."

Hoped this would shut him up. Then I asked him to stop talking about his God.

He acted like being an atheist is a terminal disease.

Damned if you do; damned if you don't. Either way, you get a lecture.

Someone asked my where I'm loitering nowadays to post in public fora. I gave him the agnostic.com link. I got back:

"Oooooooooooh my"

And then crickets. I've known this guy for years. What part of "I'm an atheist." he didn't believe, I do not know. smh

I had a phlebotomist go on and on about how gays were destroying the planet. Since he was a man with a needle in my arm I just kept quiet, but after he left I went to the nurses station and explained why I never wanted him in my room again. To be honest, I really hope he got fired or at least had a reprimand placed in his files.

@kiramea

Thank you for your reply. I will report the x-ray technician.

Both times I had x-rays, he raved about how God guides his life.

@kiramea

I called and reported that x-ray technician. His manger will call me back.

I said I don't want him to give me x-rays; and have an x-ray appointment next week.

"He ranted and raved about how God saved him and influences his decisions," I said. "I told him I'm an atheist to politely shut him up. It didn't work. He acted like my being an atheist is a terminal disease."

The person who answered the phone in Incident Management apologized. She said they will make sure he doesn't give me x-rays anymore.

2

If I'm not careful, I'll add 'Thank God' myself.

Old habits die hard.

1

I do the same thing a lot, sometimes it's just not worth it to me to start that conversation. Most times it's a losing battle. If they are intuitive enough, they can tell by the tone in my voice that I don't agree.

xtian Level 3 June 16, 2019
2

You could ruin your day and beat your head against the wall and say something, or you could ignore her unless you won't able to sleep at night if you don't. You could say, "there is no god, " you could say "fuck god," but you're only doing it to make your self feel better about not responding. Regardless of what you say, her opinion won't change. Or, if you wanted to really make a statement, you could have said, "yeah god gave me these allergies." 🙂

lerlo Level 8 June 16, 2019

I like to picture scenarios in my head, and saying "Fuck God!" reminds me of a comedy movie setting kind of like in the movie "Big Daddy" in the park telling a emo type dude that he's mad at his dad lol

2

I would've said, "who dat? " then walked away...

6

I would agree it’s a lovely day but I won’t be thanking a mythical sky fairy since I am an atheist. If that is enough to piss someone off then too bad.

I won’t be in collusion with her delusion. I don’t know why I need to be sensitive to her beliefs when she isn’t to mine. If atheists don’t stand up for their beliefs and let people know who they are, then the fakes win.

You make a good point. Sure religious proselytizing is often made with good intentions, but it steps on my toes and threatens my spot in the community.

7

Perfect passive/aggressive response...

Aren't allergies evidence against "intelligent design"?

camne Level 7 June 16, 2019

No amount of evidence will shake people who believe such things.

4

She had no way of knowing your beliefs unless you wear a sign that says you’re an atheist. It’s not like she was trying to proselytize you either. Your response was appropriate given the interaction I think. You won’t change her beliefs and you won’t change hers. Just let it be

The problem is that she assumed he believes just as she does.

@bingst well that’s true but I find that most people do especially living in Texas like I do. I just feel I would rather pick and choose my battles and that wouldn’t be mine but If that’s someone else then have at it... lol

2

How is "Yep" confrontational?

It's not.

but also NOT being confrontational with just saying "Yep".

@Piece2YourPuzzle OK. I guess I read that too fast the first time. lol

6

Your answer was fine. No reason to go any deeper than that with a stranger.

1

Same way you did

bobwjr Level 9 June 16, 2019
3

Probably the same way. She's elderly, not up for debating, she's locked into her fairy tale world and too old to change.

4

literally the same thing happened to me on Friday. got into an elevator and this elderly lady said. it is a beautiful day. i said yes it is. with all smiles. then comes "praise the lord for this beautiful day" and by this time the elevator has reached the 3rd floor where i would get off. i replied good day to you too and go on with my day.

Ewket Level 4 June 16, 2019
8

I'm not going to rain on some random stranger's parade. If they wanna praise god or zeus or ishtar, then I'm going to wish them well.

4

good for you sharing a moment of joy & a few pleasantries with a fellow human being... there's no need to be confrontational or to create negative energy.

3

I feel so sorry for you guys. I would literally freak if anyone said that to me. Even as a mental health professional, I would imagine they were unwell. It would be sooo weird in UK. It is far more likely that people start ranting about football or Brexit or brown people...to which I would not care about protecting their feelings!

Amisja Level 8 June 16, 2019

In my neck of the woods if a person says, "nice day" it is almost always follow it with a "thank god and/or Jesus etc. . . " When they interject their god delusion I come to the come conclusion that they are mentally unwell. I will respond to such assertions depending on who they are. If they are a preacher, I'll happily engage with them asking them, as they claim to be honest and speaking truth, to provide testable evidence that their god even exists. I have brought one preacher to tears when he realized he was doing more harm (dishonestly promoting faith (belief without evidence) as truth (things that can be demonstrated with facts)) then good. As for old women - - - unless they come to my door to preach, I will usually respond with a variant of "You are free to believe that" or "whatever makes you happy is good." If the question my answer I will respond "you really don't want me to answer that question" If they press. . ."I believe our world view should be based on reality not baseless faith based assertions that often contradict reality." etc.

It's weird to see people say something like "Thank God" and it's "normal", right? But if someone talked in the same way about Casper The Ghost or Godzilla or King Kong, people would give a look of disbelief or confusion as to think that person is off their rocker.

4

"Whatever" or "if you say so."

bingst Level 8 June 16, 2019
4

I would say, which god is it you are talking about?

2

Let me offer up a different perspective. This god of theirs is a personification of the universe in total. It was/is the answer to the question "what caused that?". Now, of course, we get to subtract from that "black box" the processes that we understand - which still leaves a huge array of things beyond our present comprehension. That's their god and it's certainly a viable object for their praise. They may not know how to explain or describe what it is, but they're thankful for it. That's a good thing. For each of us that black box may be a little different. But we all have one. Some just have different terms for it.

5

To be honest, that kind of thing doesn't really bother me.
I know, even though I disagree with what they say, they have the best intentions.
Some even just say that kind of thing out of habit, even I do sometimes.

So, I'll rather just say "yep", or "thanks" if the words were towards me.
There have been times where I got all confrontational. but in the end I look back and think I was being an ass to someone that was just wishing good will toward me.

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