America the Beautiful

Cecilia - Houston, Texas
Entered on March 1, 2009

When people walk up to me, I acknowledge them as who they are. I speak and respond accordingly. When people make a mistake, I politely correct them. When they take an unexpected fall, I help them up. Whether people give me respect or not, I initially assert them with the Southern Hospitality I have been taught. I consider myself a moral and ethical person. I do not discriminate against anyone. However, I constantly am ridiculed by not saying or responding to the comment made after a sneeze. This I believe is not fair.

I fail to understand how we as Americans could allow such behavior. Why would I say or acknowledge “God Bless You” after a sneeze. What if the person who sneezes does not believe in God? I believe that as an American society we should take the complete saying of “God Bless You” away as it relates to other people.

I do believe however, the saying of “God Bless You” is perfectly fine when you are saying it to those individuals who believe in God as being the ultimate savior. What if a devout Christian told an Atheist who sneezed, “God Bless You”, how then would it be perceived, maybe as way to convert. On the other hand, what if it was vise versa and an Atheist told a Christian “God Bless You”, after a sneeze. The Atheist may be considered as saying it as a rude or abrasive remark. The different perspectives have to be taken into consideration.

One of the most important things people fail to realize is the origins of “God Bless You”. Even though there are many different etymology of the saying, it is believed that “God Bless You” came to be after a person sneezes he flushes out evil spirits. Alternatively, it is believed when you sneeze your heart suddenly stops. If we choose to believe any of these explanations, when a person responds to a sneeze you are in fact saying that a demonic presence have taken oven them and you are in a sense protecting them from what evil lurks within. Or maybe you are giving a benediction or congratulatory remark in helping them rejoice in the restart of life that is, if you believe that the saying comes into play after your heart stops from a sneeze.

Whatever the meaning is, this does not dispute the fact that “God Bless You” should be examined and eliminated from American society as a norm. We, America, is a mosaic of cultures and if we choose to continue using the saying we are embarking on a melting pot that does not embrace different religions in fact condemning it. I believe “God Bless You” is a perfect saying for those who follow Christianity after all we are protected by freedom of religion. However, I believe it is not right to ridicule me for not saying or responding to it. Am I not entitled to my freedom of speech or lack there of it.