I work for a Christian nonprofit. (gasp!) I work for them because I believe in helping the less fortunate. I am surrounded by Christians all day at work. Most of them are intelligent, rational people, except when it comes to their beliefs. I 'came out' as a non Christian after about a year of working there. Some were shocked, some tried to convert me, I got a lot of invites to church. Even a few I'll pray for you responses. I took them for what they were, concern for my well being. Even if it was a bit twisted from my point of view.

Over the course of working there I have had the opportunity to 'hold court' a few times in the break-room discussing various themes of their religion. What turns out as no surprise to me, but a great surprise to them, I know much more about the Bible than most of the Christians who volunteer there. I have had people leave the room crying, even had a few people yell at me. (I find these people later and console them, letting them know I did not set out to upset them, but they had started the conversation, and maybe you shouldn't ask things you don't want to know, or can't accept. I tell them to remember, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know whats on the inside until you bite into it or unwrap it. I hate this metaphor, but most people immediately understand it.)

During the course of 'holding court', pointing out inconsistencies in their beliefs, I tell them if they don't believe what I tell them, to please ask their pastors. I get my information from the same sources their pastors learned from in theology school. College level Bible classes can be very enlightening for most people entering seminary. I have seen people cry openly in class when their beliefs are challenged by applying biblical criticism to their 'sacred' texts.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is... other than to tell you that I work for a Christian nonprofit. Is it for everyone? nope. But I love my job. I just do like the liberal Christians who work there, I ignore the crazy Evangelicals when possible, and correct them when they are wrong. (not that they ever see they are wrong.) I have even asked a few of the more crazy ones not to come back, because they are disruptive to the work we are doing. This has the effect of really chapping their butts. Here is a nonbeliever, telling them they are disruptive to their Christian organization. No malice, just the truth. I love the truth.

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Comment by Michael Howard on June 16, 2009 at 7:30pm
Hi Shanika. I'm very surprised by your comment regarding the daycare not indoctrinating the children...Not at all? I find that even in the public school my children attend there has been some, let's say over the line Christian brainwashing going on....AND I LIVE IN Southern California, not the south where one might expect that sort of thing. I even had to threaten a lawsuit against the T-ball team/league that I coached and my son played on last year because they required all teams to say a prayer/invocation prior to each game. I am shocked that at a church run daycare there is not at least some level of indoctrination going on.
Comment by Gargoyle65 on June 16, 2009 at 4:33pm
There are other atheists there as well! I can usually tell who they are because they have a rational look in their eyes. ;-) If I don't hear them mention church on a regular basis, I ask them if they attend. Usually the answer is no, and I get this sly little smile. They usually seek me out later, and 'spill the beans'. I like to think we are there to help balance the organization. Lend rational thought to their sometimes crazy ideas about how the organization should operate. Luckily, with my background, and go*gle, I can find just the right Bible verse to fit the situation. I know I have hit it right when the heads begin to nod. I really enjoy using their own words to help steer the organization into logical choices.
Comment by Ted E Bear on June 16, 2009 at 4:03pm
Wow! You must be very good at what you do. Have you ever found any other atheists there? Or is it too touchy of a subject to look?
Comment by Gargoyle65 on June 16, 2009 at 10:46am
Yup. came out of that closet first. Most people have trouble believing that I am gay, because I am straight acting, whatever that means. Fortunately, they have dealt with both 'issues' very well. I listened very carefully, and found that the president of our organization has a daughter who is also gay, I came out to her, and got her support first. As word got around several volunteers have confided in me that they have gay children, or grand children. I have always tried to be a positive role model. I have talked with many volunteers about gay issues, and have opened their eyes. So, I have their support on both fronts. My grandmother taught me a long time ago, that being sweet and nice will get you much further in life.
Comment by NH Baritone on June 15, 2009 at 9:56pm
Brave person! Have you also come out of the "other" closet? I grew up in Tennessee, and I have no interest in dealing with the theistic homophobia that pervades the other side of the Smokies.



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