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Dealing with religious people at work

How do you all deal with religious people who seem to always have conversations at work about church and religious matters? I'm literally the odd one out because I never join in. I usually have headphones at work and try to put something on to avoid having to hear them because I really don't want to. One has had some serious higs happen to her and I find it odd that her faith is still strong. I'm mean, if God were present why would he have put you through all of those things. Just seeking some advice. I'm not "out" at work.

By bunylove73
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21 comments

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10

I tend to 'nod and agree' in those situations; obviously religion is deeply important to many people, but just as I hate being prosyletized to without consent, it'd be entirely hypocritical for me to do the same. I'm not out on a 'mission' to convert people, but if someone asks for my perspective I'll gladly share.

Spoken like a man of wisdom.

If only consent were necessary . . . what a good point.

6

I ignore them. I had a religious co-worker respond "Praise be to God" upon finding out I got a promotion. Annoying, but I just ignore it.

Orbit Level 7 Dec 2, 2018
6

I really don't think the subject of religion is appropriate at work especially proselytizing so it's ok to avoid and stay out of the conversations. I would just tell them I'm "not religious" or "not that religious." You don't have to get specific. If they press just say that I don't talk about religion at work etc...

4

I work from home.

4

I live in Georgia ( rolls eyes). It's coming along here. I have to ignore it, unless I feel like arguing with everyone. I live in a town that let's Walmart door greeters and McDonald's cashier's say " God bless you" or " Jesus is with you" as part of their customer service.

I live in Georgia as well and that's never happened.

4

I've just learned to ignore it.

4

I might listen, but try not to join in. If it gets too in-the-face, I just make clear that I’m not part of their group, using “I” statements, but not necessarily labeling myself.

Good advice. Thanks.

4

Years ago I dealt with a co-worker who was an Evangelical Christian. He was constantly prostylitizing, claiming his moral authority and claiming that others were followers of Satan.

I was relieved when he was fired for doing that stuff, and wasn't surprised when I read in the local paper that his oldest child had been convicted of embezzlement.
Since then he's been contacting me looking for a job.

4

I have a similar problem where I work, except that it has nothing to do with religion. I do not play office politics, nor do I gossip, which has excluded me from a lot of the office social circles. Further, I am a distinct minority where I work: men are outnumbered by women by almost 6 to 1. And, at least at all the places I have worked over the last 30 years, men seem to be far less focused on being social on the job - at least after turning 30.

There are worse things to have happen than to be excluded from some conversations at work. Besides, do you really want to be their friends anyway? Personally, I prefer to keep my professional life as separate as possible from my personal life.

No, I'm not looking to be friends but having a cohesive work environment is important. i know we're all adults who can look past each other's differences. I just took a lot of dirty looks last year when I told them that I didn't let my child believe in santa. So who knows what they'll do if I share that I'm not into God. Oh well. I guess I'll just keep my mouth shut.

3

I haven't had that problem yet, since I became an non believer. I will try to ignore the fool(s) as much as possible.

3

If ever asked, I'djust say I gave up and out of believing in Santa, fairy tales and any kind of magical beings when I was a child.

I think that would only mark you as a pariah. Why make it difficult for yourself at work? I don't understand.

@Piratefish he don't care lol

@ClaytonE83 As long as he doesn't mind being shunned or passed over for promotions, I guess that would be fine. But if there is any ambition at all, such a comment could set someone back immeasurably - unfortunately.

I did that already with Santa last year and took a lot of crap about it. Not looking for anymore trouble.

@Piratefish I never fit into "work groups", but did best when working on my own and by myself. Getting along was nto ever all that important to me.

Ambition has never been a forte for me. I did my job and better than anyone else could have done it.

I could never play "office politics", because I despise insincerity.

2

I am in a relationship with a Christian man. He's cool so far. Not preachy or judgemental.
I had a very preachy coworker when i worked at Dollarama. He preached to customers, he got reprimanded eventually thankfully.
I was to overwhelmed with my workload to do anything but fight the urge to smack him.
He was racist too and for that I did nothing as well. I tried to be extra nice to my customers to make up for it, but I should have reported him and lodged complaints. To be fair I was recovering from cancer, but I wish I tripped him or pranked him.

2

At one point I had a partner who kept mentioning religious topics and then becoming irate because I would use logic and textual analysis to shoot his ideas down. He kept getting so mad at me continually (and I would be so amused in return) that eventually he just decided the only way to work with me was to stop talking about religion; which was fine with me, because I think he was trying to convert me to begin with. It was his failure that irked him so.

Paul4747 Level 7 Dec 10, 2018
2

If you feel it wouldn't go over well to openly oppose their religious ideas, I would say to work on starting conversations on other topics. Maybe make it into a personal challenge to see how often and how effectively you can steer the conversation away from religious beliefs. You might start something.

2

I work as a receiver. There is 2 of us and my partner is a very Christian man. I simply respect his views. He has never pushed any of them on me. Pretty easy for me. He is not pushy or rude about my lack of belief.

1

I understand what you mean. You'll find someone there who shares your ideals. If not you have me. smile001.gif PS. If you think work is a bad environment, try AA. smile003.gif

1

I'm glad I don't have this at my current job but my advice to you would be to say in order to keep the peace at my job I have a personal policy never to discuss politics or religion on the job and I appreciate if you would respect that. If the persist go to HR.

1

I just tell em I'm a cannibal-satanist; and they stay away from me!

davknight Level 7 Jan 25, 2019
1

I work as a receiver. There is 2 of us and my partner is a very Christian man. I simply respect his views. He has never pushed any of them on me. Pretty easy for me. He is not pushy or rude about my lack of belief.

0

A man asked me if I wanted to hear about , I said , he kept talking. Should have said "Do you understand the meaning of the word ?"

Wolf85 Level 1 Feb 20, 2019
0

it's just like any other situation with co-workers. when they ask, 'what church do you go to?' or 'did you go to church?' , you can always respond, 'i don't go to church.' or 'i'm not religious.' .... you don't need to say, "YOU go to CHURCH!?" ... if you are not comfortable telling someone you are atheist, there is no need to make a fuss about their preference. Think of the 'church' as a club or restaurant. if someone asked, 'did you go to brunch at mary's cafe?' , you wouldn't feel uncomfortable saying, "i don't go to mary's.", so why does this other building come with such heft?

there will always be those who, "pray for you" when you are going through something. there will always be those who say, "thank god...." when it really was you who were responsible for the thing.

i am open about my atheism. but it seems like my beliefs, when expressed, often fall on deaf ears. and that's fine with me. i'm not trying to convert anyone. i'm just trying not to be clobbered with religious stuff.

and then you can always take a comedic route like i do when people 'pray' the meeting goes well >>> i respond with something like, "because god has nothing else to do but ensure we come to a decision on a marketing plan?" ... the irreverence could be viewed as humorous, but you know it's a dig on the irrational.

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