Refresher Course In Work Place Prosyletizing

Over the course of the past two weeks, I have undergone training courses at my new employer's office. Typically, you get to meet everyone you will be working with, and I had a couple days of shadow training. Essentially, I was riding along side my trainer, watching how she did her job, and unfortunately, received more than an earful about the importance of God in her life, how awesome her brother is (a good God fearing man), how she dislikes President Obama, and thinks it is horrible how the "Indians" are buying out local businesses where she lives. "I hate it when that happens." Because surely these "foreigners" aren't real Americans and are hurting our business. All this while running stop signs, spinning tires and kicking up ice, and hurrying to finish our day's work so she could go to her husband's rodeo event later that night. She was going to be singing karaoke later and was really looking forward to entertaining the crowd.

Ahhh. Such a devout Christian isn't she? Complete with a side of Fox News inspired prejudice. May her precious Gawd forbid anyone that is legitimately a member of these United States have the opportunity to buy out a business that is struggling and bring more revenue in to the local city. It's just terrible, huh?

Well, fast forward to mid morning today. I have had several other employees digging around to figure out if I am related to other people they know with a similar last name as my own. Today, a woman went so far as to ask who my partner's parents are. So I rattled off the maiden name of mom, and dad's first name. She laughed, saying they had an uncle with that name and maybe they were related. I asked her if he was a nice guy. She said,"Of course." I said, with the utmost serious voice, that it couldn't be my partner's father then. His dad was a very, very, bad man. I related about his abusive behavior towards women, alcoholism, and the thirteen children we knew for sure he had spawned. Needless to say, I'm sure the word will get round and I will no longer have this same conversation over and over now that it is out there.

Well, my orgasmic-for-Jesus coworker I was shadowing with decided to pipe in.

"You can be sure where that fella ended up then, when he died. Unless he pulled a last minute cry for salvation, of course, but even then...."

**Sigh** You know how old this shitty ass line of thinking gets? And folks of her mind set really do not think a second thought about what was said or even the ridiculous contradiction within the sentence. Still, this is a road we've all experienced on here so I am not going to break down the erroneous line of logic she was utilizing.

I looked at her for a moment, she is still focusing back and forth on her work and her little statement, obviously engaging me towards a religious discussion, and I went ahead and lightly bit in.

"I can't judge his relationship with Jesus, and neither can you."

"No, no. If they ain't walking the walk...."

"No, a relationship with Jesus is personal. You aren't in any position to judge. Dahmer received his salvation, and frankly, I don't think I would want to share an eternity with him."

"People can't just talk the talk, they have to walk the walk. Don over there (she points to the other side of our work area), I helped him get right with God again, and Peggy over there, she's been struggling, but she isn't giving up. They are walking the talk."

"You know, I don't need salvation to walk the walk. I don't need to talk about my walk either. And frankly, we're just glad he isn't walking the earth anymore."

Couldn't here a pin drop. She quite literally spun around and just stared at me for a second, having to digest the implication in the statement. And the woman inquiring about my family tree earlier? She is hanging tight by the edge of our area, listening in with avid glee. I could tell I am not the only one who is sick of this woman's religious righteousness that is constantly on display for less than righteous reasons.

"You don't .. need.. salvation?"

Okay, here is where Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 comes into play. This is where I put my own boundary out there once and for all, and she needs to decide if she wants to cease and desist. Keep in mind, I didn't need to engage her as far as I already had, but I am well within my right here, and so is she, as far as general discussion of her beliefs. This helps me get a good feel of her intentions when bringing up religion, so in the future, I know what to expect. It's when she starts proselytizing you want to lay the hammer down.

So, in response I make it very succinct and clear that,"No, I don't need salvation. I don't believe in that. Or anything else for that matter. I have no use for it, and no desire to discuss it further."

This is the critical point. I've set my boundary, politely but firmly. If she takes insult, it is in her own mind, and I wait to see if she uses her better judgement. If she continues on, I'll report her to my boss. Again, I haven't made a direct insult whatsoever against her beliefs. I pushed enough earlier to understand that conversations on the topic with her are not a good idea, and that I would be a prime target for intentional proselytizing if I don't put my views out there now.

She just says "hmmmnn" and goes back to working her area. Of course, EVERY time she walked out of our area, she would start singing that infamous hymn by Bartlett called "Victory in Jesus". You know the one:

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,
And I heard about the streets of gold beyond the crystal sea.
About the angels singing and the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory.

I knew exactly which one it was by only the melody, without even the verses involved. It was funny though, as she would walk away, she'd sing it proudly, and when she would get back, she would avoid eye contact while singing it and bring it down to an under the breath kind of thing. What a pussified cunt, right?

I found it hilarious. Part of me had thought to join in with her in singing it, let her think we were having a break through moment, and then I would remark how often I had to sing that in church as a child and it was one of those songs you absentmindedly just seem to know the lyrics to for the rest of your life afterwards. Or maybe act like it was a break through, and say I might look into religion again, only this time Islam since it seemed more conservative than Christianity, and I am a TRUE conservative at heart compared to my Baptist counterpart.

I'm bad, I know. Instead of doing any of the above, I opted to just start peppering her questions about procedure and help unpaint the corner she put herself into by bringing up a barrier involving lyrics about a mansion in Heaven and streets of gold. Maybe she thought she was protecting herself from my obvious atheism? Whatever it was, it scared her, and it took me coaxing her out of her paranoia to resume with our day in a way where I would glean enough information to be able to work without her there.

Needless to say, it was nice to have a refresher course in exercising religious freedoms today, in a government office no less! And it would seem, she knew enough to keep her mouth shut once I drew a line in the mail room dust.

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Comment by Michael Penn on February 10, 2014 at 7:39am

Oh, yes! That wonderful religious freedom in the workplace. Before the big factory canned me I openly talked atheism there, but many told me how stupid I was. (They may have been right.) One Assemblage of Cod man, full of starvation  salvation by the Holy Goat, was almost upset to tears because I "was talking to the team leader." The moral of this story is that even when you get a christian upset you cannot make him be honest.

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on February 10, 2014 at 5:53am

I hear you Dougibert, especially on the stranger hate. I know she started that as soon as it hit the floor with her silence and hesitant hymn singing. I think she genuinely felt fear. Maybe seeing if the hymn would make me magically quit or run away in fear? LOL Regardless, after a few minutes of her walking around like that, I got her out of that mode. She seemed fine by the time we headed out. Definitely won't have her yelling Gawd at me anymore though lol. Everyone else that overheard were perfectly normal. She freaked a bit. Good thing she isn't any newer than I am. She has maybe six months on me if that.

Comment by Dougibert Bert on February 10, 2014 at 12:41am

Good for you!   As Sentient Biped stated, be careful.  Living in the Bible Belt has taught me that, (1) most Christians do believe they are a minority and will band together for "strength;" and (2) if your are any religion but Christian, or "a-godless-atheist," you become a target of "stranger hate."  Been there, done it.

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on February 9, 2014 at 12:02pm

All your points are very important for many to remember when being an atheist in the work place. I, personally, only access my personal sites on my time from my home or a local restaurant I'm having  lunch at. I'm more about business when at work than pleasure. ;) 

As far as the backstabbing, yeah, it can be extremely brutal. This job is brutal already anyway, but our supervisor already doesn't allow Christmas trees to be erected in the business or employees saying anything but Happy Holidays. "No personal agendas" I have heard her say several times. I should be good for the most part, and I do tend to deal with the backstabbers before they have a chance to go there.

Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on February 9, 2014 at 10:32am
My goal isn't to ingratiate myself, but definitely get an idea of what level of woo is in the office. I always find one person who shares my view or is relaxed enough to discuss our differences amicably. When I run across one like this woman, who uses her beliefs as a gold star on her lapel? I put the boundary down quick. I do not need that kind of drama and cover my butt quick.
Comment by Rich Goss on February 9, 2014 at 10:27am

Here's what you do to ingratiate yourself with your trainer: 

Make believe you're a NASCAR freak.  Make up some nonsense like she does:  Hey, did you see All American Buddy Roberts drive that 409 Supercharge at the Indy? 



Comment by Randall Smith on February 9, 2014 at 8:17am

Religion and politics--two subjects I usually refuse to discuss or argue about. My brain erupts. Lots of luck in your future relationship with this zealot.



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