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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