So, I, like many others HATE the trappings that come with a person saying "God bless you" or even, simply "Bless you." Do we thank them? Do we ignore them? Do we explain that we're atheists and get drawn into a debate? Or do we come up with something to say to folks that's non-religious, but a nice saying?

I have no ideas at all...that's why I'm tossing it out there.

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For future reference, you can plug in keywords into the search box and find if someone has already started a topic, such as about sneezing.
Thanks for the tip.
You're welcome.
It is on its way to just being a cultural response, though not quite there yet. The phrase 'goodbye' was originally a contraction of 'god be with ye' and that has gone entirely to the cultural side.
'god be with ye'... huh.
I had no idea.
It's amazing, the evolution of language.
When someone god blesses me I usually ask them which god? I have a little character flaw; I get a bounce in my step when reminding people there are so many gods it's hard to be blessed by the appropriate one if it's only ambiguously mentioned. -- No, of course I don't believe in any gods but you can imagine the stare and dialog that come next. =)

When someone sneezes around me I usually wish the flying spaghetti monster touch them with his noodlely appendage. It's a wordy reply but I'm a wordy woman.
"When someone god blesses me I usually ask them which god"

Good idea. I like to tell fundies I worship Thor,followed by; " Your god found himself nailed to a cross.MY god caries a bloody great hammer!"

Either that or I tell them I'm a Fuddian and am going to get my 12 gauge.(A little know fact is that Fuddians wuv to hunt fundies as well as wabbits).
I never acknowledge anyone sneezing. I think ppl should say excuse me after sneezing-its like burping or farting. Its sort of an uncontrollable bodily function that your forced to have happen in public situations. When you say excuse me for anything else, usually no one responds. Its just that you've acknowledged your deed and pardoned yourself.
Therefore, I say nothing when ppl sneeze or after I sneeze. When ppl bless me or w.e. I simply don't acknowledge that they've said anything at all. If someone ever notices and has the audacity to ask why I never reply to a sneeze of someone else or thank someone for blessing me I think I would respond by saying I just don't, I also don't throw salt over my shoulder. Its goofy.
Maybe just smile and sniff your snot at them.
Good answer! I agree with you. I still feel blessed as an Atheist when I look at my loving family and all the wonderful things in my life. I feel the word blessed is 100% interchangeable with the word Lucky or Fortunate. They're just adjectives used to describe someone who got their way in life, or has nice things, or is rich, etc.

This from Wikipedia:

Tibetan Buddhists believe a sneeze (like meditation, falling asleep, preparing to die) can provide a moment of "clear consciousness," when people are opened to greater understanding.

So let's hope that the crazies sneeze enough to one day see the light ;o)
It's a strange custom isn't it? But it's certainly not rude to ignore it. I didn't ask to be blessed, after all. I used to say, "Lucky you said that, I almost died!" but I rarely do that kind of stuff anymore. I usually ignore it now.

When I sneeze, I either say, "holy crap!" or "excuse me" depending on the company.



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