Should I stop bashing religion on facebook if asked by my karate instructor?

I am the lead student and assistant instructor at the local YMCA ( a community funded charitable health and wellness center). Recently I was asked by my instructor to take down a post I put up that made fun of Allah. He was concerned people might see it and there be a compliant or that it might give off the impression we are bigots. He said he saw the humor, the post was about a woman who found Allah in her potato but he still thought posting it was a bad idea and so asked me to remove it.

I removed it out of respect for him (we are really traditional) but still don't think I should have had to. He probably wouldn't have asked if we weren't at a community center but then again it's only facebook.

I am not sure what to do. Even if I keep my atheism off of facebook what is next... no blogs? or belonging to atheist websites? Where do I draw the line? I think I have a right to be who I am but political correctness and cultural sensitivity is really important for the karate school where we are and have no choice but be at the moment.

I would love some feedback on this cause I genuinely am not sure what to do next or how I should handle this in the future


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Actually that's a great suggestion, and it even works with Islam.  You could say how you appreciate how the religion encourages people to be less materialistic.  Sure, religions encourage it for the wrong reasons, mainly for taking your money.  Still, the core lesson is valuable none the less.  It really doesn't matter if one believes in an after life or not, because either way all material possessions and wealth are left behind in the end.  Helping others and being a good person in the community is a value that is often promoted by religion, and one that we can all share.

Well first off, I think your post was fine and if anyone gets offended by it then they have anger issues.
But in any case, I think that if you make a clear distinction between humor and bashing from your perspective then it should be ok to post things such as that. Let people know that you do not mean any offense. It is true that people make still be offended by such a post, but what can anyone do about that? Only they can choose how they react.


In order to "draw a line" between offensive material and your opinion is rather difficult. The best response I can give to this is considering the possible harm one may get from such posts. Asking yourself if a post has the potential to offend someone is actually what I do quite often (though that tends to leave me not posting anything at all...) Of course, everyone is different, and because of that you will find people who will break desks and punch babies over small simple stuff. Of course at that point, it is not entirely your fault, and those people will need counseling.  I think if you have good intentions at heart, then there isn't much to worry about.

In terms of the separation between the work place and your personal life, I do think there are some connections and that it is not completely 2 different things. Looking at the Andrew Shirvell case, we can see the issue with his personal life and his career. He was obviously taking things much farther but anyone who sticks out will be regarded as a representation for what ever group, organization, etc that they belong to. That's just the society we live in.

I have decided to keep them up. My Facebook is personal and privacy settings are quite strict so I will be myself. Thanks for the feedback everyone, that was quite a tricky ethical dilemma.

I see this from both sides.  As a member/participant in a martial arts club and as an instructor.


Personal is personal, but if something  reflects poorly on the club then I would speak against it.  If Bryan (or any student) were going around bullying or intimidating people using his martial arts skills then a slapdown (metaphorical)  is in order...that reflects badly on the club and martial arts in general.  If Bryan is speaking/writing about what he feels and doesn't tie the two together in any threatening or itimidating way then it's none of my business.


Facebook, of course, ties all these things together in a mash of information.  It seems Bryan's sensei might be a little too sensetive to how others might react.  What if Bryan is a pseudonym for Stephen King?  Are we going to limit what kind of book he can write?  No.  If it reflects badly on his club or art form then yes.



Remove your karate school - stuff from your facebook.

Really, its what I would do. Its YOUR profile, not YMCA's profile - isn't it? Your thoughts and ideas don't represent your group's. So your group has no business telling you that YOUR facebook profile shouldn't have this or that.

As a side note, I don't think religion bashing is a good idea either. More precisely, it is never effective when done by making fun of a deity/scripture. Logically pointing out fallacies and harms of a religion is (slightly) more effective in my experience.


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