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Hello. I am interviewing for a position at my company. My potential boss is a holy roller at a Mega Church. He has been known to make comments degrading other religions such as Catholicism. So, pretty sure he won’t like my stand on religion. My strategy is to just politely be open to his comments, but never offer an opinion or reveal my stance. I know this could be an HR issue, but I’m trying to ride the wake, not make waves. Thank you for any advice! #religionatwork #bossis religious

anonymous 7 Feb 7

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33 comments

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9

Does your potential boss have a boss? If this is a company wide plague then do you really want to spend every day there?

He is the only one like this.

@Breathe Good luck then. It'd=s a road others have traveled, so it can be done.

8

I was "laid" off a job after 2 months because I didn't attend the companies (at work) weekly bible study, which I had been told was not mandatory. The CEO was a holy roller. I lost another job when the boss suspected I was an atheist, but not before he sent me multiple emails (company email) with conspiracy theories and went on and on about the evils of Obama, which I never replied to.

I was working for a small research company, again, in the bible belt. One of the researchers working there kept asking me what church I went to. When I told him I didn't, he invited me several times. I politely declined each time. He was persistent. Yeah, I got "laid off" that job, too. Even if you try to keep it professional, these types will probe and prod.

All the best to you. I hope it works out. I think you've been given some good advice already, so I'll just leave this. πŸ˜‰

Another one of these likes but not like comments.

@AMGT And I'm just one person. Is it any wonder why so many atheists remain closeted? Thank you so much, Amy. You made me smile. ❀

Wow!!!

8

My boss is hyper religious and I enjoy countering it by posting my own stuff on the bulletin boards! Been doing it for years and he hasn't caught on. And I do it in the employee lounge. Just little snippets of wisdom that run counter to the popular position of right wing fundamentalism at my job.

I think I will need to approach it like this to psychologically survive. Hmmm...

guerrilla tactics!

@btroje yeah and good clean fun!

You're my hero!

The fact that you use the phrase "he hasn't caught on" shows that you need to hide your identity as the on-site atheist. This is not healthy - even though there's no doubt that your posts are enlightening for anyone who pays attention. Be careful lest your reasoning mind leads you to trouble. Of course, the ensuing HR issue might be interesting. Good luck.

Post ideas as you think of them. This could probably be a whole new posting. ????

8

Always make waves..

6

Yep, I'd just politely steer the conversation toward work whenever it comes up. If he asks you something about your views or your opinion about religion, I think I'd just say, "Oh, I don't know much about that," or "I don't pay too much attention to those things," and then change the subject to something related to the job for which you're applying. I think it's better to come across as ignorant of religion than to have a firm stance when you know it contradicts your boss's opinion.

@NewAgeHulk It's not a lie if it's none of the other person's business. It's a professional work environment so, technically, you're within your rights to take it to HR and bring legal action as you wish. Being practical, though, you'll have difficulty proving anything under those circumstances and are more likely to lose your job. If that's a risk you're willing to take, I say roll the dice. But I won't judge anyone for deflecting questions about religion in the workplace.

As a woman, I’d prefer to stay away from anything that makes it look like I’m uninformed, but that might work in this case.

@Breathe Maybe uninformed is the wrong word. Disinterested?

@NewAgeHulk I doubt being upfront about your disbelief will keep you off his radar in terms of conversion attempts, either.

6

If it comes up, I'd refuse to offer anything. It's not work-related. Definitely an HR issue.

5

I think if this is a job worth holding on to that is your best stance. Document though

5

I worked for a Catholic Hospital. The leader decided that every one had to sign a statement that belied and supported Jesus Christ. When my boss as me to sign I told him that I could not. He just said thanks and walked away. Never heard any thing about it again. I am sure he knew I was not a believer. I was over 60 and close to retirement and am sure they did not want to make a fuss. Also there many Doctors who there Moslem who worked at the Hospital.

How strange. Thanks for sharing that.

5

I usually just tell people that no matter which religion a person chooses, a majority of people will find that religion false since no more than a 1/3 of the population follows any specific religion.

If he degrades other religions at work, he definitely has himself a potential career damaging HR issue. I'd be polite and try to stay out of it. However, as someone who is an HR manager, don't be afraid to bring it to their attention if he truly deserves it.

5

Unless the discussion of religion is relevant to the job? I have had similar co workers. Kindly thank him for his religious views...but mention that discussing personal beliefs is a distraction that takes away valuable work time. Better than doing the verbal sparring.

5

I have a headache just thinking about this....

4

I think you have a good plan, just don’t let him bait you.

CS60 Level 7 Feb 7, 2018

Yes!!!!

4

Man, I don't know if I could work there. Religion aside, I can't stand to hear somebody running anyone down--hurts my heart. I stay away from people that do that.

4

Don't tell your friends. Get off face book. Change your picture on here.... if this job means that much to you then do all you can to keep it.... you won't win if your holy roller boss gets wind of being one of us.

3

run away.

3

That's a tough one. Personally I don't think I could keep my mouth shut. A person can only handle so much till they snap.

2

I established a reputation first before I mentioned that I am an Atheist.

I feel strongly that mention of one's beliefs at work, by anyone, is inappropriate. None of anybody's business, and what possible bearing can it have on work performance?,

2

There are a lot of good positions listed here below, only you can figure that best path for you. I know I couldn't "hide" for long, but that is just me. Best of luck, no matter how you decide to go.

2

Fake it 'til you make it. He will probably not hire you if he knows.

2

I would immediately tell him you're an atheist. The two likely outcomes is he fires you and then you sue and get a bunch of money and he gets fired or he never brings it up again. He may still try to backstab you but knowing what's going on and keeping notes might protect you. If he says something outrageous take out your phone and ask him to repeat it because the recording you have been making might not have picked up every word.

Yes, watch out for retaliation, in disguise! They do it from a position of fear and insecurity!

2

If you get the job, you may want to keep your resume updated and be on the lookout for potential references; just in case.

JimG Level 8 Feb 7, 2018
2

@Breathe -- Sorry Breathe, but I'd lose my breath in a situation like that. I am not you, so you will certainly have to decide for yourself and that decision will be based on your circumstances -- but I would leave, or I would stay specifically to fight the bogeyman even knowing who would lose.

Make your decision.

I’m seriously thinking of declining.

2

Good luck!

2

Hmm. Mega church, eh. How big an appetite do you have for subterfuge? How would he know you're not just a face in that vapid crowd? Just spit-balling here.
Of course a more honest strategy is easier to maintain.
None the less, all I can offer are wishes for your success. You seem conscientious and that should work in you favour.

I have a healthy appetite for subterfuge and whether I like it or not, this will most likely happen.

1

"I believe my time at work is best spent doing my work to the highest possible standard" repeat as needed.......

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