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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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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.


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


You gave the perfect response under the circumstances.

zesty Level 7 June 16, 2019

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.


An elderly lady seeking human contact....what exactly would be served by upsetting her?


Don't sweat it. You listened to a nice old lady and gave her reason to keep smiling and feel at peace.

I'm all for going Hitch on a theist's ass when they knock on my door, or on the internet.

No reason to fight all the time.

Corden Level 5 June 17, 2019

I believe our responses should be calibrated to a given situation. When someone is really being over the top annoying, then I respond in kind back to them. But a little ole lady in the circumstance you described, does not warrant a full frontal attack response.I would have kept conversation to a minimum given her perspective, so I think the "yep" is fine. I would have left it at that. The over the top religious are a pain in the ass. So are the over the top atheists. Actually anyone who is over the top in whatever it is that interests them is a pain in the ass.

Definition of a Fanatic: Someone who won't change his/her mind and won't change the subject.


I think you handled it exactly right. No need to pick a fight with a little old lady in the park

GwenC Level 7 June 17, 2019

In that circumstance I would have probably done much as you did - murmur something non-religious but non-confrontational.


No point picking a fight with an old lady, you did fine


My son's mom and I don't agree on much, but we often just say Akunamatata, at the end of a dispute.

Yeah, I am always up for a scrap with a godbot. When presented with an opportunity, I love to throw a subtle logic bomb their direction.

Despite, some fights worth fighting, take time to enjoy life.

You did the right thing. Nature painted a picture for you to enjoy. She thanked a sky fairy. So what? Akunamatata.

I like that

sky fairy, lol!

My bad. Akunamatata.


I would have said, "Yes, praise Satan for such a beautiful day! Perfect weather for a campfire orgy with my coven later tonight."

KIDDING, I would have just said yep too LOL. Gotta pick your battles.



Same thing. No point in creating disturbance where you don’t need to. She was pleasant enough to make conversation. She wasn’t proselytising or canvassing just being a friendly human being.

By setting up a debate which she may have no concept off will just set off stress factors in yourself for no reason. Just acknowledge the beautiful day regardless of whose construct it is.


I would have said something bringing back to my unpredictable hippie days. Something crazy and off the wall. How about a poem:
God is wonderful, Yahweh too,
But that darn Allah belongs in a zoo.

Give her something to think about..


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


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.


I find I am unable to give words that sound like agreement in these kinds of situations...but I don't wish to be unkind to someone who is expressing nice thoughts (from their point of view).... so I usually say something along the lines of "I hope you enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day".

I also can't bring myself to do that. I wouldn't be able to say, "Thank God" or "Praise God".


It's a problem for me too, and people like that bring it. There's so much wrong with it it's mind numbing and it makes me want to scream. One of these days I just might go off on someone and it'll be some sweet little old lady... Actually I might have said "Whatever" or "Yes, it is a very nice day". Her second comment upon exit was a clever "I won this one" to which I would have said "Now wait just a minute!" (Just kidding). Everyone here is being so evolved and above it all; how honorable and decent and lazy and better than someone who might smile and say "I'm not religious but that shouldn't matter, right? It's still a beautiful day." Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you have to go to war with them, or be confrontational or start a debate on the street, even though they instigated it. Just have some integrity and be true to yourself. The alternative is not to, and bend to all these little tricks to show your colors: are you one of them? It's a little arrogant that it doesn't matter to them. They either assume you're a believer but if you're not, fuck you, you should have been. At this point in human evolution they could at least try to be more open to the possibility that not everyone is just like them and ASK first if you're a believer. If you are it won't insult you. Is it too much of an imposition to expect them to be at minimum at least as polite as they expect us to be? That's not too much to ask, to meet me half way. They're still free to say "Well, Jesus still loves you anyway and God made the sun and the moon and blah, blah, blah." Whatever. And there you have the real reason they opened their pie-hole in the first place. They're just using a nice day as a pretext to barf their belief on you. (I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek here. Learn to laugh okay?)

So look, I don't go looking for these type of questions but if you're going to put them on here and I stumble across them, I'm going to be honest and open and give an answer that isn't just p.c., which to me is usually b.s. I'm probably just as annoyed that I do keep running across these here, where I come to be away from pod people and not have to keep explaining that I'm atheist and it's okay.

Your honesty and openness is appreciated by me.

I have to admit when people start "Blessing me" or "Wish you a Blessed Day" nonsense - that's precisely how I feel. lol

@RavenCT Oh, I HATE that line "Have a blessed day." It sounds so condescending and insincere. Some day I may be in just the mood to stop somebody in the process of spewing that drivel and bark, "What does that even MEAN? EXPLAIN IT!" And then pick them apart verbally when they try. It takes a lot of self control not to do it so far.

@Deb57 I am losing it. Since I first commented on this post I ran across someone who started driveling, and I interjected that I'm not "that way" and relayed the joke about the priest who, at a funeral said "We're gathered here today, because your prayers didn't work." She didn't laugh. That is another tell about these people... they won't have a sense of humor. I honestly just tried to keep the conversation light with a little humor, but she's the one who went all dark. Ruined her day. ... and now that I think about it, good.


What would you gain by being confrontational? As it was, you had what appeared to be a pleasant interchange with this fellow human being. I see nothing wrong with your responses.

Having said this, I also understand the feeling you experienced. The one that would annoy me was when someone - especially from a business - would say, "Have a blessed day!" In thinking up come backs (similar to what you commented about) I thought it might be fun to respond with something like, "May yours continue to evolve." I have yet to say it to anyone, but I have often thought it when that annoying phrase is uttered.


Meanwhile, In Dallas today, we had a tornado warning.

J75243 Level 6 June 16, 2019

I suppose we can "Thank God" for the tornados too? But not the warning systen; that is man made from scientific research.


How 'bout: "Thank him? Thank me. I had to sacrifice three of my best goats to get this weather!"

MrLink Level 8 June 16, 2019

As the spouse of a pastor who did her thing in mostly conservative rural Montana I have been constantly confronted with this dilema. For the most part I did exactly as you did. I figured that I was no more likely to change their mind than they were to change mine.

I'm not sure I was right! Thank God etc. sounds kindly and innocuous but really it is intended to be in your face and intimidating. Too often the hidden message is something like, "I'm a believer and you should be too if you know what is good for you. Maybe the best response is the one my father often gave, "Thank God I'm an Athiest."

karl Level 5 June 16, 2019

...and with many people it is just their vernacular.


It was a good response. She was saying it with good intentions; she wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or acting like a jerk. That simple “yep” was appropriate.

CS60 Level 7 June 16, 2019

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.


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.

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