Sometimes I notice that I am the only person who has certain conversations because I am the only person who thinks like I do. I assume everyone has this experience. Here’s a conversation that only seems to happen to me:
Person: Bless you.
Me: Why did you say that?
Person: It’s what you say when someone sneezes.
Me: No, it’s not. I never say that.
Person: *sigh* I mean, it’s what normal people say when someone sneezes.
Me: Why would someone say that?
Person: I thought you were a historian? Don’t you know that people once believed that you would lose your soul or something if someone didn’t say ‘bless you’ after a sneeze?
Me: Yes, I’ve heard that. So, do you think I was in danger of losing my soul?
Person: No, that’s stupid.
Me: So…why did you say it, at all? Do you just say things without thinking about they mean? Are all of your sentences just random synapsis firing with knee-jerk reactions to external stimuli?
Person: Never mind!
They call me weird, but they are the ones quoting antiquated religious rituals that they don’t even believe in. I find THAT weird. Then they say something clever, like, “Fine then, I won’t say ‘bless you’ when you sneeze anymore, you jerk!” Which is funny, because I really didn’t care if they did in the first place. (I would rather see them freed from the shackles of medieval superstition, but I fear I set my sights too high.)
“Bless you! Oh, and don’t forget to rub garlic on your neck in case of vampires.”
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)