I recently started a new job and eveyone seems very religous. While discussing with a co-worker that i recently quit smoking she said "i bet your family and god are smiling down on you for that". i just smiled and continued my lunch. Should i have said different?

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You should not be made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace--for any reason. That being said, I think the others are right. You must pick your battles in this situation because, believe me, there are more and larger ones to come. It is almost an everyday onslaught of ridiculous references one must endure when one has attained the 'highest intellectual condition' Dr. Meaden speaks of in his reply. What I usually do is just what you did and think about how sorry I feel for the misguided, manipulated and intellectually challenged person who just insulted me. Hang in there!
IMHO, with a situation like that, whatever makes YOU feel the most comfortable is the correct decision.
This is true. Besides whatever your religious belief or lack of belief, it is no one's business. Congratulations on quitting smoking!
I concur, and yes congratulations on quitting the habit...I can't believe I forgot to say that earlier!
Do whatever you are comfortable with, you are under no obligation to start religious discussions at work. If you are just looking for advice though, I'd suggest answering back "My family is glad, yes" and just purposefully leave out the god comment.
I would have just ignored the god comment and said something about my family's opinions.
If you ever feel that your back is to the wall and you have to say something against worship I would try to make the point that nothing good would want to be worshiped in the first place. This is in fact very true so making the point would tend to take the wind out of the sails of those criticizing you for being an Atheist.

Unfortunately I think almost all of us have to some extent experienced the bias that you have described. This is why I think it important that we try to become more organized as a minority to promote our positions and, in so doing, to present ourselves as benevolent. If we are widely seen as amoral or immoral history will repeat itself to the effect that we will be villainized by societies all over the world no matter how well founded we are in our scientific views. If we do not stand for good (secular humanism) then no matter how bad the church might be it will always be able to call itself a sinner that wants to become better and win power over us by comparison.

This not to mention that having the benevolent reputation would eliminate much of the bias.
Hey Mark I am in the bible belt as well and I know exactly what you face. I was actually asked if I "worship satan"
In situations like that I'm always tempted to say something like 'yeah, poseidon has been good to me lately' (or 'allah' if i'm feeling mischievous). All gods are equally implausible, might as well have some fun with that, since funnily enough theists find it more difficult to argue against a different belief than a lack of belief. If you're an atheist you're damned, but if you're an 'ancient Greek', Zeus has got your back; ok, so you're not going to heaven, but the Elysian Fields sound better anyway...
You should definitely not tell them. I am very open about my disbelief and I am unemployed. Lost my job when one of my coworkers squealed.
My gosh do you have recourse? I don't think that is legal but I know they probably have another excuse.
Sadly, no matter how polite we are about what we believe we will still probably be labeled "rude" or some other ridiculous thing.




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