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I'm a closet agnostic/atheist
I am a wedding photographer in Oklahoma, most of my clients are very religious so for the sake of my business I avoid telling most people my personal beliefs and even allude to being Christian in a lot of situations. How many others do this for the sake of your job?

Neisha 3 Mar 15

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5

You got to do what you got to do

your right or you can do what you havnt got to do

4

Not me, I speak out as a proud humanist whenever possible! Of course, I'm the one officiating the wedding and only seek out atheist/agnostic/humanist couples, and guarantee to my couples their experience will have no religous references!

Maybe seek out other non-religious vendors to partner with for the most part, as a 'kindred spirit' kind of thing? I'm on the complete opposite end of your problem, because I own the religious (or lack thereof) element of the day.

My wedding photographers are a mixed handful of religious or spiritual folks, most of whom keep their religion to themself, but some of whom I've had to admonish for proselytizing to my atheist clients on their wedding day. One got so bad that I had to stop giving him gigs altogether, after 3 warnings he failed to heed, he then started wearing a ball cap to my weddings that said "Go God!" on it, in order to silently defy me.

I feel that on a wedding day, photographers and other vendors should stay out of the religious element, leaving that to the couple's minister or secular celebrant. I wouldn't allude to being Christian, if I were you, but answer in secular terms, or gently correct them that you're not Christian, but you agree with their sentiments, or other such nicety. Maybe come out of the closet a little bit?

4

As of January 2017 not one of the 535 members of the U.S. House or Senate has stated publicly that he or she doesn’t believe in God.

It's nobodies business but your own.

cava Level 7 Mar 15, 2018
3

At my job I only just recently started telling the coworkers I work directly with, simply because we work in a very tiny office and try to respect eachother. My coworker started playing gospel, and I simply said "I'm not really religious, can we find a Pandora station we both like?" They're generally pretty respectful, but I know most people in the hospital would not take kindly. I got in a Facebook argument on a news site and told one religious fellow to eat a dick before I realized he was the compliance administrator. Immediately blocked all my admin on facebook. That was scary lol

I’d hate to be around there during the holidays!

@Trr97361 actually the hospital itself is very respectful. We have a lot of Amish people and most of our doctors are Muslim or Hindu, so they try to keep things festive but respectfully. (Last Christmas we weren't allowed to have Christmas trees! Though many sections made their own out of hospital equipment anyway lol) it's just the upper administration that are deeply religious. Though it's always really awkward to me when I have to call the pastors or the priests...I always feel like I'm under scrutiny when dealing with the priests

2

I understand your predicament. I find myself in a similar situation at work or at other functions at times. I just try to "beat around the bush" a bit while I try to size up the people I'm dealing with. Some of my friends have figured it out based on some of my posts on facebook. I even had one religous zealot co-worker who confronted me and thought he could verbally attack me with his accusation of being an atheist. I just calmly looked him dead in the eye and said "I never said that. What I do believe is that the standard judeao-christian belief system that you espouse to, is completely wrong and that most people who try to slap that label on someone are doing it for nefarious purposes. I feel very sorry for you that you don't have enough faith in your own beliefs that you think you need to attack others who feel differently, just so you can feel more validated in your beliefs". That is usually enough to stop them dead in there tracks and make them rethink their entire approach to the subject. I have actually gotten many people to soften their religious fervor this way, as well as getting them to reconsider their beliefs.

2

I don't advertise, but when religion is discussed I can't hide my disdain.

JimG Level 8 Mar 15, 2018
2

No clean answer that I can see. I will advise you to think of it as work, not an endorsement of your surroundings. With that in mind, be as non-commital as you can, but never be untrue to your personal philosophy.

2

Since the baptists paid for my first degree and their money spent just as well when I worked for three churches...

Those are extreme cases and yes, I even had to occasionally give a "profession of faith" (which I did, fingers uncrossed) and nod silently through a lot of bs...

The same holds true in the public work I did while living in the dirt south. You do what you have to...so I finally felt I had to get out!

Welcome, Neisha! Feel free to spew here whenever you need...many of us have been through what you're experiencing...and worse!

2

I share my beliefs on an as-needed basis. I have not had any problems that way. Atheists and agnostics and the like, the few that there are in this area, seem to find me and just know.

If you end up with a Christian who has a problem with your lack of faith, remind them of the story of the good Samaritan. Jesus rebuked his disciples for judging the good Samaritan who was very kind to Jesus and Jesus was appreciative of the services that he provided.

Use their stories against them. 🙂

I must add that I appreciate your situation fully. I am a photographer, vocalist, sound engineer (which means that I am also asked to DJ), and ordained, so I end up providing a variety of wedding services pretty regularly. My faith or lack thereof either goes unnoticed or doesn't bother most people. Even wedding services, because I know their bible better than they do, end up going off well. The thing is the VERY religious will usually seek someone in their church for most of the services I provide, so if I am being employed, it is because they are more tolerant to begin with.

@Meep70, hats off to you, my friend. If I had "to do all over again," I'd be a Sound/Acoustical Engineer; that seems to me it could be a fascinating profession.

@Condor5 It SOUNDS good (see what I did, there?) but in the final analysis, I end up whoring out my expensive equipment for DJ and Karaoke purposes to actually pay my bills most of the time. Regardless, I have met some interesting people over the years, this way.

1

On the bright side, it looks like you've been inside a church many times and didn't burst into flames....lol
Ever notice all these memes about an Atheist refusing service to a Christian, yet it never happens, at least that I know of. You've got a client willing to pay for services rendered and that is what is important to you. If it comes up, let them know you are a professional and want them to be happy with the work. that you just want to do the best job possible, which includes incorporating as many Christian elements in the photos that they want. Unlike Christians and other religions we are under no scriptural command to preach our beliefs.

1

It's a personal choice.

I've found that I can't stand the inner irritability it causes when I pretend to be anything other than open about my (lack of) beliefs.

Easy enough of you manage to get this out there the first time religion is mentioned. In social interactions it's simple. But in business? Where it has the very real potential of diminishing your income I think it would be a topic to avoid.

I very much agree with what JunG wrote.

Meme Level 2 Mar 15, 2018
1

I avoid discussions religion in the workplace. Always have whetherr big city or smaller town. Religious beliefs have no place in the workplace.

1

Do what is best for you.

1

I don’t anymore except when I was in the military. This however does remind me of the bakery here in Oregon that went out of business for standing up for their homophobic beliefs by refusing to make a cake for a gay couple!

1

Where I live in central Ohio I don't know another atheist besides myself. When people ask what I believe and I know they are religious, I just tell them not to ask questions that they really don't want the answer to.

1

I personally have done this a couple of times at my work. Customers see my tattoos and ask. (My tatts were from when I WAS reglious) I just silently smile and nod my head or agree with them. I just go with the flow. Now my boyfriend works for a very reglious company with a sign out front that says “Jesus saves” and he is an outspoken Athists. His boss doesn’t know so it’s like the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. You just have to go with the flow. But inside your head your laughing or cussing lol

1

Same here. I keep it to myself because of my clients as well.

0

That's funny I'm a florist in Tulsa and I do 99% weddings and I have to hold back all the time because it would kill my business if they knew.

0

I don't adress it directly, but I'll defend the view if it comes up.

You don't have to lie, and you don't have to be that personal with clients. It's a business, right?

0

I couldn’t live with myself if I did that.

0

I don't tell anyone directly, but anyone who cares to know me knows what I feel. It's just not worth the drama. Of course, my coworkers believe in God, ghosts, magic, demons, hollow earth theory, lizardmen, aliens, and conspiracy theories. I'm not kidding. Lizardmen. Underneath the earth. Yeah I'm not even gonna try with them

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