Why Jehovah witnesses don't say, "Bless you" ?

by Issa 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • Issa

    Bless you, that was a big sneeze you let out Sister.

    Sister- Ah, what does "bless you" mean?

    Oh, it's pagan. Because people bless the soul of the person so they don't escape from their physical bodies.

    Sister- Right, it is difficult to change the little things, but we can please Jehovah by staying away from those things.


    This is a scenario that happened when I accidentally (naturally) said "bless you" to the JW sister. When she asked what it meant, I just simply replied, "it's pagan." It is pagan because the soul escapes the body (?) It's ridiculous that the organization comes up with pathetic excuses for the simplest things, like even saying "bless you". It is just being polite, and nowadays, I doubt people view bless you as in the old times.

    Can anyone explain why the JWs don't say bless you, besides being "pagan"?

  • darkspilver

    Issa: Can anyone explain why the JWs don't say bless you, besides being "pagan"?

    In the OP scenario: superstition

    In other circumstances JWs believe it is OK, and NOT pagan, to say "(God), bless you."

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    Sister- Right, it is difficult to change the little things, but we can please Jehovah by staying away from those things.

    You: Well what about the "little" matter of mispronouncing his name tor all these decades?

    Anyway, the words Bless, Blessed and Blessing are often used by the religious and they usually have something to do with God so therefore, JW's are automatically the authorities on the matter. If it wasn't their own idea to say "bless you " to someone who sneezes, then doing so is displeasing to God, unless the Governing Body has new light on this and other equally important matters.

  • Splash
    Sister- Ah, what does "bless you" mean?

    You- It doesn't mean anything anymore, it's polite social etiquette

    Sister- Ah, but it has pagan origins!

    You- What's that ring on your index finger?

    Sister- But no-one associates that ring with paganism today

    You- A bit like saying "Bless you" you mean. I've heard you say "Goodbye". Did you know that means "God be with you", another form of blessing?

    Sister- I'm just trying to help you.

    You- Bless you. Goodbye.

  • dbq407

    I think it is partly to try to set themselves off as being different than people who are non witnesses. Any little thing they can use to say "hey we are different than every other religion".

  • EverApostate

    Bless you is Pagan according to JWs.

    "Jehovah blessed me with a Bible study" is what all I heard regarding "Blessings" in the cult.

  • OneEyedJoe

    The doctrine, as I understand it, is that saying bless you in response to a sneeze is a pagan or false-christian practice.

    The real reason for that rule, and many others like it, is to enforce behavioral control on JWs and to reinforce their alienation from the rest of society. When a JW is around a non-JW and the non-JW sneezes, the JW will be aware that it is considered courtesy to say "bless you" and they will feel social pressure to do so - but they will refrain because of the cult. This serves to reinforce the importance of the cult (through cognitive dissonance - the behavior of not saying bless you serves to reinforce the cultist's notion that the cult is more important than their relationships with non-cultists.) It also alienates them from society because when a JW is in a group of non-JWs and one sneezes and they hear the rest say "bless you" it becomes imminently obvious that they are not like these other people. It's one of innumerable small cues that tells the JW that these people are "other" and helps to make things like the complete destruction of non-JWs more palatable by reinforcing the in-group/out-group dichotomy.

    I remember many times JWs giving comments at meetings about how they would meet other JWs while traveling or on the street and they could immediately tell that they were another JW without knowing how - it was often said because they were somehow more pure or something, but more likely it's because of the many very small cues like this. Much of cult control is about creating a community that's acceptable and then shutting the rest out. Some cults do this with walled, secluded compounds, JWs do it with little bits of behavior that act as virtual walls to keep normal people at a distance.

  • mrssauk

    Definitely a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the “world”, and to make it obvious that you’re no part of it. It also makes for a great way to give a witness to someone. The witness is probably going to be sooooo happy when a non-beliver asks them about it. It could lead to a bible study... or whatever 😏

  • LongHairGal


    I think Witnesses differ just for the sake of being different.

    Anything or any term that is used by other groups the Witnesses will not use and will substitute another word for it saying something about it being "pagan". On the surface to the uneducated people in their religion who don't realize how many things have a pagan origin, etc. this may seem feasible. But, as SPLASH above says, they are not consistent. It is a very stupid religion.

  • darkspilver

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