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Office religion rants

lovesupreme

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Why is it that people who know I am Christian ask me "So do you believe in evolution?" Why, when I ask them why they care about my beliefs, do they tell me that I'm their "representative of that particular group" [i.e. their "token Christian"]?

Why is it that people still think I'm still a practicing Jew after three years of no longer dressing or acting like one? Why do they act shocked when I contribute money to gift certificate for an expecting mother, just because a coworker from Israel was uncomfortable with the idea of a baby shower due to cultural reasons? Why do they assume to know my beliefs, and that they are the exact same as someone else's? Why do they ask me if me and the Israeli are "different Jews"? Why do I feel really uncomfortable having to explain why I'm okay with contributing money to a gift card without revealing my actual religious beliefs to someone with whom I'm really not comfortable sharing them?

Why is it that when someone asks a simple question like "why is it called 'Good Friday'?" and I start to answer in a very diplomatic and academic way (the person asking doesn't know I'm religious), other people feel the need to butt into the conversation and turn it into a Catholic bashing session? I guess that's something that both lapsed Episcopalians and charismatics can agree on.
 

Crucifer

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One size fits all answer: "I don't feel that religious or pllitical discussions are appropriate in the workplace. I'm going to get back to what I'm being paid to do."
 

lovesupreme

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My problem is that most people at the office think I'm an atheist, a significant number of people still think I'm an observant Jew, a small number of people know I'm Christian but don't understand what Orthodoxy is, and only one person (a Russian woman) actually knows what it means to be Orthodox.

And yes, I avoid these discussions at all costs, but this stuff has just popped up lately. And I don't think there's anything wrong with explaining to someone the etymology of a holiday, but that whole discussion morphed into something really negative to the point that I literally ran away from it.
 

Crucifer

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lovesupreme said:
My problem is that most people at the office think I'm an atheist, a significant number of people still think I'm an observant Jew, a small number of people know I'm Christian but don't understand what Orthodoxy is, and only one person (a Russian woman) actually knows what it means to be Orthodox.

And yes, I avoid these discussions at all costs, but this stuff has just popped up lately. And I don't think there's anything wrong with explaining to someone the etymology of a holiday, but that whole discussion morphed into something really negative to the point that I literally ran away from it.
Frequently happens when discussing religion, which is why (and I speak as a manager) those discussions don't belong in the workplace.
 

mikeforjesus

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don't talk to others about the faith without fasting and given permission by your priests. Some people read deeply about satanic arguments and can be very convincing. They allow access to these spirits. So be wise as serpent and harmless as doves. Remember serpents sometimes run when they are losing as well. Don't go one by one but as a group. Even Jesus sent His disciples two by two. Talk when you are strong in your faith if you read from talented people and talk outside of work hours. The gift of preaching was not given to everyone in the early church yet some can witness in other ways. Also if you want to work in a company against religious discussion then maybe what I said does not apply. Consider working somewhere else for the sake of the gospel. Your purpose in life may not be to spread the gospel if you have children to feed and teach
 

katherineofdixie

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What I usually do when asked absurd questions is to laugh and say, "why would you say that?" Then I add "If you're interested, I'd be glad to talk about, but it's kind of hard to summarize a couple of millennia of belief. Just let me know when you have the time."
 

TheTrisagion

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There is an easy way to resolve this.  When someone makes a comment about religion, begin by launching into an explanation about the hypostatic union and end with a tirade on those who do not accept the full anagignoskomena.  People won't know what the heck your talking about, but they will definitely not bring up the topic again!  On a slightly negative note, everyone at work may avoid you all together.  Or perhaps that is a good thing, all depends on your personality.  :D
 

Adela

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Could you invite them to Liturgy or Vespers?  If they are genuinely interested, perhaps.  But, yeah, you don't have to explain yourself at work.  Just say you need to get back to you assignment, if they are just being busybodies. 

My last job my Evangelical manager was pressuring me to attend his mega church ("great music!") and was quite offended when I told him the only church I would attend was a Catholic or Orthodox Church.  So then he started telling me about the pastor who used to be a Catholic altar boy.  So, I sent him an email basically saying that a former altar boy becoming Evangelical wasn't earth shattering news, and listed links of quite a few Evangelical pastors who became Catholic. ( this was just prior to my conversion to Orthodoxy).  Because I put it in email he backed off hopefully because I had something to take to HR    It was a bit uncomfortable , this guy wrote my performance reviews and could decide to let me go.

In these circumstances, if the person isn't genuinely interested, it may be best to implement a policy of not even trying to explain or justify.  Just say your glad your life is so interesting to them but you need to get back to your job. 
 

Luke

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lovesupreme said:
It's good to get things out.
Were they asking you during the work time or break time?
 

lovesupreme

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Gamliel said:
Were they asking you during the work time or break time?
I've had instances of both.

Adela said:
In these circumstances, if the person isn't genuinely interested, it may be best to implement a policy of not even trying to explain or justify.  Just say your glad your life is so interesting to them but you need to get back to your job.
This is good advice, thanks. But to be honest, I was just venting.
 

Luke

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Pertaining to break time, I agree with Adela.  Invite them to a Liturgy.  If they continue to question, tell them that you have limited time on break.  You need to refresh yourself during break in order to do well on the job.
 

Adela

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lovesupreme said:
Gamliel said:
Were they asking you during the work time or break time?
I've had instances of both.

Adela said:
In these circumstances, if the person isn't genuinely interested, it may be best to implement a policy of not even trying to explain or justify.  Just say your glad your life is so interesting to them but you need to get back to your job.
This is good advice, thanks. But to be honest, I was just venting.
Venting is good!  I'm still steamed about coworkers who talked about their church experiences but went on the attack when I mentioned my Catholic Church experience, even though one was unmarried but living with her boyfriend.  So Catholic was bad but living in sin, well, not a problem.  Or my Evangelical manager being ok with abortion and making sexual innuendos with women at work...... sheesh.
 

Justin Kolodziej

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For me the other guy at work did all the Catholic things growing up like altar server, but quit believing it because supposedly nobody had answers as to why evil happens e.g. that ferry in Korea. I'm not known for really putting things delicately, and also the true answer is nothing less than all of Christian doctrine, so I don't think it helped any but I reminded him the sin of Adam and Eve is the cause and the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ is the solution.
 
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