Atheists in the Workplace

© The Unassuming Atheist

We all have different vocations that we are in to pay the bills. I just so happen work in the corporate environment. To take it a step further, I am in Human Resources. That being said, I am very familiar with laws and regulations that govern the topic of discrimination. The basic vibe is not discriminating based on race, sex, religious affiliation, age, disability, and so on. But what about LACK of religious affiliation?

 

In most work environments, there is a bit of an unwritten rule that you never bring up two subjects at work. Politics and religion. I might add sport team affiliation. Being a Baltimore Ravens fan in “Steelers Country” has led to my fair share of discrimination, but that’s another story.

 

In my experience, people seem to have no trouble at all leaving politics out of the workplace. That seems to be a collective taboo and conversation to be avoided at all costs. But what about religion? I have yet to work in a corporate setting without religion coming up. Here are some questions that my wife (also an Atheist) and I have received over the years. “What church do you go to?” “Where do you go to celebrate Easter?” “Are you Catholic?” “Do you volunteer at your church?” “Pray for me.” “Will you come visit our church?” “You should come to our revival this weekend!”

 

People can accept it if you do not have a specific political affiliation. I f you say “I’m an Independent,”they will generally accept that if they happen to be a Democrat or Republican. They may want to spark some debate on a political topic, but that is rare. But do you say “I’m an Atheist”at work? I know what you are thinking. “This guy is nuts!” “Why would you reveal such a personal thing at work?” The facts are that many deeply religious people have no problem bringing up religion at work. I have attended meetings that begin with “let’s bow our heads in prayer.” I have had bosses that quote scripture that provides a foundation to a business decision. That happened to me recently. After the scripture was quoted, he waited for a response. I didn’t know what to do. Is he waiting for me to say “amen?” I just nodded politely.
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Social Identity: Indignation Without Responsibility

© David Teachout

One’s social identity is basic to building a self-narrative, the means by which individuals project their stories for viewing by others. Consider social identity like a stain-glass window, it allows a person to see inside but only through the selected colors by the person who built it and often the window as a whole pictorially represents a story of some kind. The extent or fullness of that story is dependent upon a person’s felt need and broader social context. If there’s not much inquiry going on, internally or externally, there’s not much need to devote time and energy to fully articulate the details.

 

For Americans especially, social identity has become largely conflated with the notion of self, so much so that when discussing other people we view them primarily and initially by political affiliation, sexual identity, or career choice. Who we talk about is no longer an issue of finding out how the various aspects of a person’s life join into a complex whole, interacting in various social contexts. Instead we talk about “the democrats” or “the republicans,” “the gays,” “religious believers” or “nones,” and there’s an increasing call by fair-minded liberal activist groups to broaden out the terms for sexual and gender identity. This tendency to fine-tune our social identity has led to a bizarre social reality where a term that used to classify a group has become so particularized that it can almost be said to belong to a single person. For a people who loudly and vociferously hate labels, we are decidedly dedicated to making more and more of them.
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Bi Weekly Blasphemy 11: Dont be a D!#%

The return of the Bi-Weekly Blasphemy, after a New Years hiatus, is a call to action against forum trolls and to step up in the necessity for us to act as we wish others would, to lead by example in making a difference in this world.

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