......so far, two members. A co-worker who sits diagonally across from me, next to the born-again directly across from me, enthusiastically told me about a documentary online called The God Who Wasn't There. I listened to it and told him I could send him plenty of similar links, which he's been very happy to receive, and has already watched a bunch.
He came over to me the other day, while most people were gone for lunch (including the BA cube-neighbor) and talked to me for quite some time about atheism. I told him about how cube-neighbor equated "atheist" with "rapist and thief" during a recent conversation, and he said, "Oh I heard it, and I was FURIOUS! I wanted to say something, but didn't want to start an argument!" That was great to know!
I told him that she seemed thrown off about how I was offended, and he did notice how she seemed uncomfortable with my being an atheist and not a humanist- in past conversations, she would often ask me to clarify, "Are you an atheist, or a humanist?" as if giving me chances to pick the "right" answer.
He sounded interested in the book "A Manual for Creating Atheists," so I brought it in and he came over to collect it. To my horror, he stood there for a while holding the book, almost completely unconcerned that somebody would see it (this is WORK after all, and you know how easily offended the religious are!) But he did seem to conceal it a bit as some people passed us by.
As we talked about our families' intolerance, my cool chrisitan co-worker came by to say hello. It's funny, b/c he's always showing up at key moments like that. He's more of a cultural christian, goes along with it for the warm fuzzies, though he does believe, but is open-minded enough to discuss it. Great guy (for a republican!)
I had already told this co-worker that the other guy and I have been talking about atheism. The atheist guy showed him the book, and I told him, "We're having a meeting!" and he just rolled his eyes and groaned. LOL!! He started to defend his position, but I said, "Look, we're not talking about YOU, this is about our families!"
If only the book were called something else- I hate that religious people will (might) want to avoid any convesration with me if they see that book. Although, I could imagine how it could *facilitate* conversation as well. My atheist co-worker said he wouldn't bother hiding the title on the train, he wants people to say something! I'm not that bold.....
Came home a few minutes ago, and I see that my new book has arrived- "50 Simple Questions for Every Christian." Which means my MIL has also received hers.......if not, tomorrow. I anticipate my phone blowing up sometime soon, or some emails....I have to brace myself. On the plus side, if she reacts strongly, that could be a good sign. Those who don't react at all are generally those who aren't affected or threatened. Like homophobes: The men who are most adamantly, vocally opposed to gay men, are often those who are fighting those very impulses within themselves.
If she reacts by reciting the same old incantations and repeating bible verses, rather than having an actual conversation, then I'll chalk it up as an incurable mental illness.
Thanks! It's therapeutic to post the ongoing experiences, and hopefully gives other people ideas.
The atheist co-worker's family has been really working on him AND talking to each other about him. He says he hasn't spoken to his mom much as a result, and is afraid of not seeing his nieces/nephews more often.
I told him I have the same fears- my MIL could decide to disown us, or try to start a rift making us look like a threat to the kids' religious upbringing, though we never bring it up. The KIDS are the ones who bring stuff up! MIL is probably having to deal with the kids' noticing that we don't play along, that could also be her motivation. We only see them 1x/year so I can't imagine what kind of threat we really are.
Meanwhile, my FIL keeps a fossil on the coffee table in the living room, the center of all activity- apparently, it's part of a mastedon (?) that he purchased back when you could buy such things. Big chunk of leg bone about the size of a brick. Clearly HE is not worried about what the creationist-raised kids think!
My atheist co
Hmmm, something strange is going on, can't seem to post after three tries..... maybe I can copy/paste here:
My atheist co-worker came right over to my cube this morning, eager to talk some more about the book. We discussed our families, their reactions to our nonbelief, and continued the conversation in e-mail.
He got a kick out of the part of the book that has the chart "translating" statements of faith- for example, when people say "My faith gives me strength," the chart shows that to mean "Pretending to know things I don't know gives me strength," that sort of thing.
In email, I told him that I also like to define faith as "delusion" (the definitions are very similar, boiling down to belief without evidence) and simply "belief without evidence" (shorter versions of the author's definition.) We discussed it a little more in depth, how evidence would undermine faith (the two are incompatible, so why all the religious relics?)
I told him how creationists feel competition with science, so try to come up with shoddy scientific evidence......they dismiss the importance of science, while trying to legitimize their faith by coming up with scientific evidence......go figure!
Basically, if religion HAD actual evidence that would make it legit......then faith wouldn't be necessary.
Anyway. I might let him keep the book, since I wouldn't mind buying another copy to help out the author (only $10, plus my co-worker recently eloped so it could be a gift.)
Rather fond of my little club :-] Hope we grow its membership, that would be even more fun. Though so far it's cool as is.
i'm openly atheist at work, but i seem to be the only one (i know of). which is surprising since i work with so many young people. and i live in Philly, not the Bible Belt.
Matthew, that's odd. I would think that you'd have some company. Maybe people are comfortably atheist there- no need to discuss it b/c they take it for granted.
If my co-worker and I weren't under pressure from our families, we probably wouldn't feel a need to talk about it. I never really needed to discuss it until a few years ago.
i don't think so. i do meet plenty of atheists but i've never known one i work with. as i've said on this site lots of times before, people are curious if i'm jewish b/c of my last name. and since i don't like to lie i tell them the truth, whether i think it will effect my business or not. i have many orthodox jewish clients and they all know that i'm a non-believer and they don't seem to give a shit. so it hasn't ever been a problem for me.
glad you found an atheist work buddy. it must be fun to have someone to roll your eyes at when you see or hear stupid theistic nonsense that coworkers do or say.