I'm new here and there is a lot of possible reading.  My interest was captured by a topic looking for responses to the famous, "what if you're wrong" question and I have posted there.

 

I am interested to know how people respond to the smug last word that many theists seem to get when they end a discussion/debate with either, "God bless you", "I'll pray for you" or a combination of the two.  I have been working on my response and, depending on how irritated I am as the discussion closes, I generally say either: -

 

"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness and prosperity"

or (if provoked)

"I cannot give you anyone elses blessing but I wish you health, happiness, prosperity and freedom from delusion"  (The ones that don't become apoplectic generally just blink in speechless amazement ;)

 

What does everyone else say?

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What is adieu? And why should we have no further of it?

It does seem like a vestigial custom, but I like it, nonetheless. I may start doing this, myself.
What is your coupon book?

I think the coupons are a great idea. I'm sure it meant a lot to the widow. The "shoulder to cry on" is brilliant.

candles represent the element fire and is very common in pagan traditions. maybe this has something to do with it.
I think that this is a lovely thing to do. I think that one of the functions that religion has performed well and an area in which we Atheists have some catching up to do is in providing ritual. Don't get me wrong, ritual does not have to have any supernatural components but simply offers people a focus for contemplation and a means of emotionally grounding themselves.

In our house a daily ritual is to sit as a family and eat together. Of course we say no prayers but we aknowledge that we are fortunate to have good food to eat and are in good company. We also like to mark the seasons and a way of connecting with the turning of the years. We also use candles as a focus for some things but not exactly as you describe Jean Marie. I really like it and may do something similar. I also love your coupon book idea, it was a beautiful thing to do.
This is nice. I like ritual. Just because something has meaning to you doesn't mean it has to be linked to fantastical thought.

I'm also a "thank you and move on" kinda gal. I'm actually pretty accepting, I like to think. Well, mostly. :o)
Jean Marie, what a beautiful thing to do! I may talk to Devoted Husband and try it out in our home as well. That is a great way to focus on the person for whom the candle is being lit. Thanks for sharing this!
if a person tells me "God bless you" and if i like that person, i just smile and say thanks. but if i don't i say "what God?"
For "i'll pray for you" if i like the person, i say thanks and may your prayers be answered. but if the person irritates me i'd say "don't bother praying, no one will hear you."
haha
"if i like that person" this smacks of superiority! i bet your less than 20. if your not you act like it. Ibet you go around and tell everybody at every chance that "i am an athiest how cool is that!"
yes, you are right. i to choose who i like and dislike. but if the people who were blessing her knew her they would not do it. so that leads me to believe these people are strangers and she is basing her likes,dislikes on first impressions and we all know thats wrong. tolerance. yes you are also right about the age thing. my bad, i didnt sleep last night. but i do base my judgement on my own experiance. when i was young i was high on my new found ideals. my zeal could not and would not be contained. i believe most will say the same no matter what there trip. i understand her to that end but coexistance is about sucking it up sometimes and just smiling. thanks for keeping me honest, i get cranky when i am tired (ask my wife!). i think you and i could have good conversations.
yes i am Catholic. i am not here to convert or to pass judgement! i believe that one cannot truely love thine brother or sister without understanding first. you all are my brothers and sisters! let us coexist in lively, intelligent convesation that we may come to understand each other.

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