Religious Phrases – Should We Be Offended?

Jul 04, 2011 Comments Off by

There are an assortment of religious phrases in common parlance in the English language, normally referencing god, and normally sprouting from Christianity, such as “oh my god”, “god bless you”, “dear lord” and the like.

One of the most annoying side-effects of atheists using these phrases, is that strong but stupid anti-atheists tend to pick up on it. Some even go as far as exclaiming that use of such phrases betrays a deep underlying belief in god. Of course such suggestions are foolish. We just get used to certain phrases in language, regardless of secondary meanings.

But what about when such phrases are used in direct reference to us? If somebody says “god bless you” to an atheist, should such atheist take offence? Some might view taking offence from mere words as immature, and really it is. It’s the sort of thing one might expect from the other side. On the other hand, taking offence harms nobody and ultimately makes no difference, so why can’t you take offence at whatever you want?

Unfortunately written words do not convey the thick layer of patronising tones that often accompany the above phrase. Sometimes religious phrases are used in a condescending manner towards atheists. Should we take offence then? Well we’re not really in any more of a position to take offence than before. But we are, as always, allowed to criticise their position, and this is what I think should be done. If somebody has the arrogance to look down upon an atheist, then such atheist is quite free to respond with intelligent words.


About the author

I am the founder of Atheism Network.
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