Hi all. I've been a lurker here for a few months ever since finding a link to TA on the web. I am in Texas, deep in the bible belt. I was raised in an evangelical family. Unlike many of you, I didn't start doubting religion when I was a young teenager. Instead, I was very devout up until I was nearly 35 years old. But then my husband and I moved, and at nearly the same time had a baby who had some development issues (thankfully now mostly resolved). The combination of the two led to us skipping church for several months. Then, at the same time, a dear friend of mine gave me the book "The God Delusion" - suddenly it all made sense. Or rather, religion made no sense, and within a few months my faith was gone. It amazes me that something that was so important in my life now repulses me. And it does repulse me. I can't have anything to do with it. I find myself thinking I want to celebrate the solstice, not Christmas, that the most important thing in choosing a name for my children is that it isn't in the bible, and so on.
Anyway, that is a brief background about me. What prompted me to post today is my coworker. Happily, I work in an environment with many people of different cultures. However, there is one native evangelical Texan who assumes that if I am also racially/culturally similar to him, I must also be a Baptist. Or perhaps I'm an evangelical. Or something. He keeps insisting that I tell him where I went for easter Sunday church, do I have my child baptized, which church-based daycare I am using, and so on. I keep telling him that I don't want to discuss religion or politics at work, but he won't stop bringing them up. I know if I said how I really feel, then he'd want to debate it. Then if I didn't want to debate it, he'd go discuss it with everyone else. I really don't want my personal beliefs to be brought up at work. They will only be a distraction best case, and worst case could seriously damage my career. Ugh.
I'm glad to know that this site exists, and I am not alone.
Welcome Anne! I'm glad you traded your lurker badge and joined us! :)
Hey welcome. Make sure to check out darkmatter2525's videos on youtube They are funny and will give you good points to bring up with people that you get stuck having to debate with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uZCC_bdhoo This one is on the flood being rather silly.
Welcome to Think Atheist. Your co-worker is a nosy butthead. Good luck.
Never alone, welcome
I will fourth (too late to second) the welcome, second the recommendation about Darkmatter2525 (here's the link to the channel: YouTube - DarkMatter2525's Channel ), and refuse to second the bit about a nosy butthead because Mabel is being more polite with that description than is warranted.
Someone else in Lubbock Texas was having similar problems here a couple of weeks ago, and got a fair amount of advice: http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/religion-in-the-workplace
I don't know how much of that will be germane but maybe something there will help
Thanks for the links. Yesterday I very forcefully told my coworker that I felt his questions were inappropriate. Today has been somewhat quieter - only 1 or 2 inappropriate comments. I guess that is progress.
Unlike you, I welcome confrontation with people who believe in the preposterous notions of their religions - whichever ones they are. I never initiate these debates, however, because if they prefer keeping their religious beliefs to themselves, like most Catholics, then it’s none of my business what they are. But I always hope that somebody, like Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, will knock on my door, because then all bets are off and I will have lot of fun tearing apart their totally unsupportable fantasies.
Welcome! Look forward to seeing you around. :) I'm thinking you might wanna friend Paul Eliot, another new member who seems to have a lot in common with you?
Tell your boss about the coworker. That kind of talk doesn't belong in the workplace. And welcome TA. No one will nag you here. Except of course the occasional troll that wanders in.
Thanks for sharing your story. It's surprising to hear that your friend just gave you 'The God Delusion' to read, but I'm glad they did. As for the work situation... He's definitely nosy and should respect your wishes not to discus such matters. With some questions, something vague and generic might get him off your back. But I agree that telling him the truth will probably cause a lot more trouble for you.
This all sounds very familar. My first professional job was with a city. The supervisor was very relgious, and I at the time was significantly more outspoken than I am now. It took nearly a year before the sparing began, I survived for 39 months.
The little town I was in was/is very conservative. I was able to look up some the local Humanists, but none would talk with me. There was apparently an active suppression program, that I did not know of, till just a few months before I left.
Since then, I have attempted to maintain my independence, but it has not been easy.
My last experience in the same area was in 2001, after 9/11. There was a fund raiser for the local shelter and we took part in the party and music. While sitting under the right-wind of the Spruce Goose we were treated to patriotic songs, religious speekers, prayer etc, promoting military action against Iraq and blessing our troops. It reminded me of something ugly. We got up and walked out revolted. Sadly it did not end there.
Please be careful. Crazy has a beginning, but does not always end in time.
Welcome Ann. I enjoyed your description of your journey. I can relate to your situation and believe you are handling it very intelligently. Stick to your guns, always answer him with a smile and you will prevail.