afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
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04-01-2015, 10:17 PM
afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
I work in a rural town in the Bible Belt, and I feel like I'm the only person in my office who's not a Christian. My co-workers get freaked out even by the notion of anyone not attending church regularly. They pray before work luncheons, which makes me really uncomfortable, enough so that I've started showing up late to every group meal, and my boss continually asks me to go to his church, even after I repeatedly told him I wasn't interested.

I don't feel like I have much in common with my co-workers, so I don't talk to them much about my personal life or my hobbies. Most of my friends outside work are people I met through local lgbt and freethought meetups. When I do try to start a conversation at work about some of the less "controversial" things that interest me, like science or video games, it's always one-sided, and I can never keep it going for more than five minutes.

Since religion is such a big part of my co-workers' lives, and it gets brought up so much at work, I would love to be out about my non-belief (maybe not so much my sexuality, because honestly, being asexual makes it really easy for me to stay in the closet. lol), so I could provide a different (much more realistic) viewpoint for them about what atheism actually is. However, I don't feel like I could really pull off being the only atheist in the office. I'm not sure I'm likeable or outgoing enough to really represent atheism to my co-workers in a positive way. They'd probably just use it as one more reason to feel sorry for me, and I'd go from being "that quiet nerdy guy" to "that quiet ATHEIST guy. Please pray for him!" Dodgy

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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04-01-2015, 10:28 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
Aww Hug

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying you're not comfortable talking about religion, then just walk away.

You don't have to tell them you don't believe...but to many people religion is private so, really I'd go with that.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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04-01-2015, 10:40 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
Ugh. I can't even imagine what you are going through. First of all I feel it is kind of a hostile environment. Fit in, do what we do, maybe we will accept you. WTF? I am sorry man, that sucks. I wish I had something better to say, but the first thing that came to mind is that it's time to find a new job. I don't know if that's an option, or if it would just be the same somewhere else. I have the luxury of living in a more liberal place and have never lived in a highly religious area. I am thankful for that. Since I have no experience with that problem, I can't give any suggestions. I just want to show you support. I had one job where I felt uncomfortable and not part of the group, I got depressed. One was a fantastic job with great pay, benefits, and more. I left the job in 6 months.

Hugs to you.Heart
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04-01-2015, 11:00 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
honestly, I would look for another job.

if they are still pushing church on you after you have already told them no, then it won't go over well.

get your resume out to some recruiters, see what comes along.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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04-01-2015, 11:18 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
I think it's disgusting what you have to put up with, and it's tantamount to bullying. In a fair world you should be entitled to complain, but I don't know if that would get you anywhere.

Maybe start bringing in FSM statues and praying to that.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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04-01-2015, 11:20 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
That’s a tough situation, go with B&A’s suggestion and start looking elsewhere if practical.

In the meantime if you are asked again be polite and say what I always do, “I’m sorry but I only discuss religion with my closest friends”, lets them know they aren’t in the “in group” and puts a little distance between you both.

Glad you found our corner of the world.

Welcome.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-01-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
Man, I'd hate to live in the bible belt..I would move or at least a new job. But I don't think you need to come out and say "I'm an atheist" you could just tell them that you're not religious and have no interest in their conversations about it if you want to keep your job. If they can't respect that, then they are your typical religious douchebags. I just hate how people flip out on the word atheist, like it means something bad.

If they fired you for being an atheist, isn't that a form of discrimination?

But hey, more power to you if you can work in an environment like that. It would drive me crazy. Seriously, praying at lunch?! Are you getting me. Wow. I hate the word praying, its a useless word. You can't pray for something and expect something to happen from nothing.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
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05-01-2015, 10:05 AM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
(04-01-2015 10:17 PM)cactus Wrote:  I work in a rural town in the Bible Belt, and I feel like I'm the only person in my office who's not a Christian. My co-workers get freaked out even by the notion of anyone not attending church regularly. They pray before work luncheons, which makes me really uncomfortable, enough so that I've started showing up late to every group meal, and my boss continually asks me to go to his church, even after I repeatedly told him I wasn't interested.

I don't feel like I have much in common with my co-workers, so I don't talk to them much about my personal life or my hobbies. Most of my friends outside work are people I met through local lgbt and freethought meetups. When I do try to start a conversation at work about some of the less "controversial" things that interest me, like science or video games, it's always one-sided, and I can never keep it going for more than five minutes.

Since religion is such a big part of my co-workers' lives, and it gets brought up so much at work, I would love to be out about my non-belief (maybe not so much my sexuality, because honestly, being asexual makes it really easy for me to stay in the closet. lol), so I could provide a different (much more realistic) viewpoint for them about what atheism actually is. However, I don't feel like I could really pull off being the only atheist in the office. I'm not sure I'm likeable or outgoing enough to really represent atheism to my co-workers in a positive way. They'd probably just use it as one more reason to feel sorry for me, and I'd go from being "that quiet nerdy guy" to "that quiet ATHEIST guy. Please pray for him!" Dodgy

No one needs to know your position. It's none of their business. Just smile (smirk actually) and walk away.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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05-01-2015, 05:00 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
Yeah, I'm planning on leaving, SOON. I've stayed here more than enough already, like a year and a half, and it sucks more and more every day.
Atlanta would be nice. It's kind of the only "real" city in the southeast, and everyone I've met there seems nice. (I haven't ventured into the scary "hide your wallet" parts of the city yet, though. lol)

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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05-01-2015, 05:24 PM
RE: afraid of becoming "that one atheist guy" at work
Try to get a Government job. Such nonsense is not allowed and proseltyzing can get their fundie ass fired.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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