So I am 21 years old and for the first time in my life I have a job! Hooray!
So I started working 2 weeks ago and well, the place is full of religious stuff everywhere.
I work for a nationwide insurance company and they have crosses everywhere, biblical quotes on the walls, and even their card holders is some bible verse.
They have the radio set to the christian radio station and it gets a bit annoying.
How can I deal with this? Well I guess I can't do anything about it...
Well I guess my concern is what do I do if they ever ask me something about religion and I tell them I'm an Atheist? I'm scared I'll get fired for that.
What if I take my "Feminist Atheist" coffee mug to work?!
Have you guys ever dealt with something like this?

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Or you could do a sort of "thank you humbly for the great honor you have bestowed on me" bow.

Make it clear that their insult is your praise.

I work for a national laboratory mostly funded by the feds. There is a standing policy of that we are not supposed to talk about politics and I think also religion. I have worked in the same place for 28 years. I still don't know the religions of nearly everyone, except the really obvious one's that for example have a wooden jewish symbol in in his office and talks once in a while about his parents that live in the Jewish state. It's just not discussed. And for the most part, people who want to listen to a radio/music, do so with earphones. So it's a little more civil in my place. Your work place would also drive me nuts, but I personally hate noise and often when I hear something I don't want to hear I wear my noise protection earmuffs, which I coin as my sanity protectors.

you didn't notice those symbols when  you went in for a interview? I'm sure they're just expressing themselves. You should express yourself too with atheist related pictures or verses if you will

Gosh very tricky and difficult , since it puts bread and butter on the table. I would ignore or switch off from seeing the religious clutter, like I do when advertising is thrown in my face. All it is , is advertising for their religion in a way. Then how to deal with the radio, having an ipod should help, and if anyone asks why you listen to your ipod, just say I like to have meditation/nature sounds playing since it helps me complete my work more efficiently (where you play what you want, what has it got to do with them in the first place) since if telling the truth would only arouse a dispute. Taking your mug , well its your mug regardless what you have on it should not be a bother because you have every right to express yourself, especially with all the christian clutter about. Nope but I had been brought up with religious parents, and had experienced religious people on a bus or in town... and when I do I tend to be more explicit with my sensual art if I am carrying it on me, if they start preaching, I start talking about it it, and describing the picture more and more when they start.

There's no jobs in Europe and moving to Canada, well you can't, you're a US citizen.

I don't know why you should be the one running, actually. Religious people will, eventually. But for now, it's too early to tell them who you are. 

Trust me you will be isolated, ostracized. Religious people don't trust anybody who doesn't believe.

Secure the job first, then very slowly tell them you are not interested in religion, but to push your atheism on them will backfire.  I'm not gay, but I have experienced that being an atheist on the job is worse than being any other kind of minority, including gay.

Gay males are not perceived as a threat by women. Atheists are a threat to everybody who believes, including gay believers.

I'm from France originally and I thought I could do here what I was able to do there. No way.

I've been discriminated against because of my atheism here. You don't have to hide who you are, but don't be a militant about it. This population is not ready and once you lose your job what are you going to be able to do to promote this cause?   To be able to bring something to your world, as an atheist, you need to be stable and somewhat strong. That means keeping your job. Be smart about your atheism.

Take care


My first thought reading this was "How in the hell did she not notice when applying!?". Then I remembered that I had actually been the only straight guy working in a coffee shop, w/rainbow banners, "les/bi/gay" literature, and a fairly flamboyant clientele for days before I realized "I work at a gay coffee shop"...

 In a "right to work" state (right to hire, right to fire) employment may be terminated out of prejudice but they need only say that it was "insubordination" or even that you are not cut out for the job.

 Do you want to continue working there? If so I'd say be a good person and do a good job. If you don't then find something less ...fucking creepy.

There are tons of jobs in nothern Europe and any young American can grab a two year work visa in Canada. Going somewhere were you feel more comfortable and welcome...where you relate to other people is not running away. It can be very courageous and liberating.

You mean letting the place where you where born be defined and controlled by assholes and running away can be very courageous and liberating?  Really? Instead of telling those jerks, sorry jerks this is my home you take your superstition to hell, this is my country, you can be liberating my "running".  So think if everybody who's gay, for abortion, for Medicare and Social Security thought like you do and leave the country? Please!  What about putting a little fight here.

Two years in Canada, I didn't know that, but then what?  As for Northern Europe, if you're thinking of Scandinavia, you just don't migrate there just because you want. 

I find your position very weird, frankly. Something's wrong here and you tell people to leave.

I think the point he's making is that sometimes people can stick around somewhere they're not happy (and have no realistic prospect of improving) out of fear of moving away. Travelling, broadening your horizons, becoming more of a citizen of the world, that's not running away. And it can be a courageous thing to do, on a personal level. Not everything has to be about an ideological struggle, you know :)

Pretty damn sure that if they fired you for being an athiest, you would be able to drag them into court and win.

Proving that that's why they did it would be tough part.  They will come up with some other rationale. 

If they are staggeringly stupid enough to leave a paper trail, on the other hand....

It's interesting, because for whatever reason a number of insurance companies, particularly those that have core businesses in life or health coverage, have religious backgrounds.   That's not a horrible thing as a corporate ethic; having some sense of duty to God and service to humanity sure beats the AIG model of grabbing money as fast as you can for shareholders at the expense of the nation.

I can see where it would be a bit oppressive being that overt in an office, though.  Even as a Christian, I find that sort of thing both shallow and over-the-top. 

My view, though, is that as a new, young worker you're not going to change the office culture, so I would treat it as just one of those things.  Like the co-worker who always has to spend 20 minutes talking about his kids or the weekly stupid Dilbert-style staff meeting.  Let it roll off you, learn the business, gain experience, and then in a year or two seek a transfer to a different office that's less overt or take your experience to a different company.  Or not.  If you like the place otherwise, who cares what's hanging on the walls?


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