Josh j Smith

God Bless You
February 19, 2007, 10:48 pm
Filed under: theology

Sneezing – A sternutation, sternutatory reflex or, more commonly known, sneeze is a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the nose and mouth. This air can reach speeds of 70 m/s (250 km/h or 155 MPH). Sneezes spread disease by producing infectious droplets that are 0.5 to 5 µm in diameter. About 40,000 such droplets can be produced by a single sneeze.[1]

This has been one of my soap boxes for some time now. Everyone that i talk to about it shows no interest or just thinks i am psycho.

We have developed a superstition with saying “God bless you!” or “Bless you!” after someone sneezes. Some would say it is manners to say it, but I say it is superstition. This is why…

– In the middle of class while the teacher is still conducting class – someone sneezes and then not one, but several people feel the need to have to say “Bless you” to the person who sneezes.

– Again in a classroom setting – One person is reading and while reading another person sneezes. The person reading stops the flow of his reading to say “Bless You!” to the person who sneezed.

It is a superstition for the blesser and not the sneezer. For some reason the blesser thinks that people’s perspective of them will be altered for the worse if they do not bless the sneezer. From what we have discovered from Wikipedia the sneezer should be the one saying bless you because they have just contaminated the surrounding air with thousands of spit particles that could contain threatening diseases.

So let us flip culture around and have the sneezer be the blesser and the blesser be the recipient of an authentic blessing that could potentially save them of getting sick. Let us put aside our worries of people thinking that we are rude for not blessing a sneezer, and be blessers for the sake of wanting shalom on earth as it is in heaven. Let us not be driven by the impulses of cultural mannerisms that deceivingly allow us to believe we are good.



2 Comments so far
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I’m pretty sure it started out as a superstition back in the 1700’s or perhaps earlier. I thought i read that they thought when you sneezed, you left your body open to evil spirits, so people would have to bless you to get rid of the evil spirits.

Comment by Matthew

Yeah, that’s what I heard also, it was thought that if you sneezed, you would surely die if someone didn’t bless you…

But that’s so true, the sneezer is the decease spreader, why shouldn’t they bless us healthy folks… 🙂

Good observation Josh!

Comment by Shannon

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