a reply to: KyoZero
I am a Christian, but my best pal flirted with paganism for a few years, before winding up in a fairly atheistic position. Anyway, during that period
of her life which contained her foray into all things pagan, at Christmas we would meet up, I would say Happy Christmas, she would say Happy Yule, and
we would exchange gifts, all smiles. Now, we thought nothing of this, because we had been best buds for a while already, and even when we mocked one
another's stereotypes, we did so tongue in cheek and always came out laughing. But we exchanged gifts in a bar once, and the two seasonal greetings
juxtaposed caused several people to turn in their seats, away from their beers and friends, toward our table, with heads tilted to one side, faces
screwed up in confusion.
Perhaps growing up in Britain, with its long history comprised of many different strata of belief systems, held in differing majority over time, and
my own awareness of that history, has lead me to see faith differently than some folk, but I have never once felt threatened in my faith by the
cultures and ritual phrases of other faiths, and I would hope that those who know me would feel the same way, no matter what their beliefs are. We all
spin together on this hurtling ball of rock and water, under the same sun, the same moon, and the same stars. We all have star stuff in our bodies,
and therefore, no matter the faith held by an individual, we have to learn to get along together.
If we can respect one another's free will choices enough that we are not threatened by the choices others make, in terms of faith, or language used
in passing, then we have a better chance of getting past this period in our history as a species with all our limbs where they belong, and I am all
I have heard atheists, pagans, agnostics, and who knows how many other people, from however many faiths, say bless you when hearing someone sneeze,
and EVERY bugger I have ever met says goodbye when we part company. In essence, however the phrases discussed in this thread came about, they are
common parlance to people from all over the religious spectrum, and I think that the banning of any phrase or word from a class room, a place of
teaching, is a bloody disgrace, and a travesty.
KyoZero, you have the right idea on all of this I think. You have your faith, you are happy in it, and unworried by the aspects of casual common
communication which might give rise to conflict in some folk. I find it refreshing to hear that common sense prevails elsewhere too! Good for you!