Sure as hell isn't always easy.

My predicament. I am a very professional person at work and one thing I am admit about is not bring in personal events, issues, irritations and/or problems with me. Work is work and I am paid to do my job not bitch about my life. However, recently I've had this woman, probably a volunteer mother, calling me for the specially Olympics. We donate a good sum of money every year. Seeing that I am charged of accounts payable and receivable it is my responsibility to handle these things. However, any large donations must be passed by the boss first for approval. Currently my boss is a bit MIA due to a massive increase in work. So I have to speak to this woman at least 3 - 4 times a week.

 

In ever damned conversation we've had she keeps says the following, "OH, God bless your heart", "Bless you", "You have a blessed, evening", and OOOO my favorite "With God it's always blessed" and so on.

 

I think my irritation comes from the fact that she makes me feel like I did before I came out openly as an atheist and its frustrating. When people would say these things to me and I couldn't say anything back out of fear of retribution. I understand the difference between the two, one was because I was kid and afraid while this is because I am at work and must remain professional. However, the feeling is still the same and every time she says it I want to throw my phone out the window then drive over it with a steam roller several hundred times.

 

 

Views: 302

Comment by Arcus on October 8, 2011 at 2:53pm

"I like to think of this as religious tourettes."

I love that statement, it perfectly describes it!

----

I find that people who are either devout or culturally religious tend to use a lot of religious lingo subconsciously and you shouldn't interpret too much into it. The problem is, of course, to keep your silence those times you are having bad days.

I work a lot towards the MENA region and have noticed a certain uptick in the amount of religious claptrap I have to keep up with. Most of my e-mail exchanges with gvmt employees in the various countries now has exchanged the fairly neutral 'Dear' or 'Hello' with 'Salam Alaykum' and now L/C's will be raised 'as soon as possible - Insh'Allah! - the banks get around to it'. I even had a coworker recently send me an e-mail that he expected no issues with a new SAP upgrade, (Insh'Allah!) and that he would pray for successful implementation. I requested that he rather work a few hours overtime instead of praying, to which he laughingly agreed would probably be a better solution for everyone involved. 

Comment by Robert Karp on October 8, 2011 at 3:13pm

I think as long as she doesn't try proselytize to you then I would grin and bear it. We're inundated with religion crap every day. I remember the other day at the pharmacy looking over at the standard book shelf stock full of religious titles, I almost asked the pharmacist for some anti-nausea medicine as well. I where my atheism on my sleeve and if someone asked me I always tell them. But harmless bless you's really don't bother me more than anything else.

Comment by Artor on October 8, 2011 at 5:30pm

Meh. When the god-botherers spout their platitudes, I know that they're just being polite in the way they know how, so I don't get upset, although I do feel sorry for the people who feel the need to advertise their delusions to the world. They're hoping that people will respond and reinforce their beliefs. By saying nothing, you allow them to edit in the appropriate response and go about their day happy.

Comment by Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) on October 8, 2011 at 7:21pm

I'm in the Bible Belt (Flowery Branch, GA - and yes, it is as rural and redneck as it sounds), and I get this stuff all day, every day. I am definitely an out-of-the-closet atheist, and the people that know me know this; however living down here you get things like "have a blessed day" ALL the time.

 

To be honest, I've come to just accept it and ignore it. I mean, they are trying to be nice - it's not the same as when people learn I'm an atheist and tell me they'll "pray for my soul", or "pray for god to enter my heart", or other condescending crap like that. THAT I speak up about as I find it offensive and demeaning. But the "have a blessed day" is the same as "have a nice day" down here, so I don't even think about it.

 

As I've said time and time again on here (and to my kids), you have to pick your battles. If this is something you feel strongly about, then tell her; otherwise be appreciative that she's meaning it in a nice way, and move on - you have bigger fights to fight, I would imagine...

Comment by Spencer on October 8, 2011 at 9:18pm

^ I suppose that's a good point. I think consistent, condescending blessings should be confronted, but the occasional "bless you" sort of statement doesn't bother me since it tends to be automatic. I do, however, feel somewhat irritated when the entire room choruses "bless you" every time someone so much as breathes. As if the creator of the whole universe has the time to be blessing atheists such as myself. Does one even have the authority to ask him/her/it for such a favor?

 

For humorous reasons, I recently wrote a small program which displays a random Norse/Roman god and its associated qualities when I press 'meta+B', so I can vary my "blessings". I tend to carry my laptop around all the time, so I get quite a few opportunities to confuse people with it. I also have the blessing "May Yahweh's bear army neglect to eviscerate your children" in that list, from 2 Kings 2:23-24.

Comment by Eric Chase on October 9, 2011 at 12:10am

@ Trish..

Patience and tolerance are hard virtues to practise when you are a free thinker, we have after all come a long way since the inquisitions. Religious dogmatism is going to take a long time to eradicate from all cultures, if ever, unfortunately! It will however be nice for some future generation to read it all as history like we now read about mediaeval times...  

For most of those that are religious it's a genetic thing but then there are the converted which driven by a strange combination of love and fear are ever more evangelical. We in our differing cultures have a lot to thank religious thought for and even more not to! But you get that!

You wouldn't have dared to voice an atheistic opinion and have someone take notice only a few short years ago. Imagine if you had expressed your thinking to your boss forty or fifty years ago, let alone in the times of Joan of Arc, you probably would have been burnt at the stake.

Take solitude in knowing there is an ever growing number of free thinking people that are not bound by the chains of fear and guilt imposed on the masses through emotional blackmail by those who chose to rule through 'emotional thought management' millennia ago... to establish what is now so ingrained that it is brazenly mainstream  

Have a bit of fun Like I do by engaging the dogmatic in conversation, it's great when they get to the point of realizing that you're not one of them and then the real fun starts when they try and convert you and they come up against logical arguments that they have no recourse to other than to make statements of faith and belief... It's great to end the conversation with them saying they will pray for you... At which point you could politely advise 'Please do and ensure you pray to my god too, the one that doesn't exist who sits right beside yours!

The reality is that prayer is a form of meditation and all moments of stillness in this fast paced world we've created are valuable, even when they are misguided!   

Comment by Eric Chase on October 9, 2011 at 3:08am

ENGLISH LESSON 101 

No English dictionary has been able to explain the difference between the two words COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that's easy to understand.
Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE & FINISHED. 
I beg to differ because there is: 

When you marry the right woman, you are "COMPLETE"! 

And when you marry the wrong one, you are "FINISHED"! 

And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are ... "COMPLETELY FINISHED" !!! 

AMEN...!!! 

 

Go scour the living room floor for cats then.... 

 

Comment by Lewal on October 9, 2011 at 10:09am

Realistically I'd tell them that they're barbaric, but adorable, and that going to work for you is like watching monkeys at the zoo. But if you absolutely MUST be professional, I always remember something my team leader once said to a chaplain in Afghanistan: "I'm sorry, this is a professional setting. We are not in the profession of praying."

Comment by Donald S. Chase on October 9, 2011 at 10:11am

I read something recently that is a lot of help to me. A man informed an aquaintance that he was an atheist. The person replied "Well, I'll pray for you". His reply.............."And I'll think for the both of us".

Comment by Danny Sanchez on October 28, 2011 at 7:46pm

I had a boss that was a fundamentalist christian and was known to speak in that language; however, I let him know right away when he said something to me in that jargon, that I am an atheist. He never talked that way to me again and from what my co-workers told me he regularly spoke to them that way. Perhaps you should give this woman a chance to show some respect and politely let her know that you are an atheist and are uncomfortable with that type of language. I don't think you could get in trouble for letting someone know they make you feel uncomfortable. If anything outing yourself could protect you because if this woman causes a stink and gets you fired that would put you in a position to sue. It might even be better then to let this irritation fester on to the point of explosion.

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