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Rated: E · Column · Religious · #1200040
This is just my little two cents on my everyday occurances with overly religious workers
Religion in the Workplace

By: Andie M. Brock

After a year working in the bible beating south I recently took it upon myself to look up the laws on religious practices in the workplace.  Although there is not enough room in this column to completely touch each and every aspect I felt the urge to speak my piece on how it affects those in a religious work environment.
For instance day in and day out I listen to people commenting and preaching on Christian views and morals.  I find it personally offensive since I myself am less than religious.  After hearing co-workers go into detail about people who have been divorced going to hell I pretty much lost the stomach for it.  Yet they see nothing wrong with these conversations and pay no mind to who may actually be offending.  If it’s in the Lord’s name who cares right?

The laws state that it is legal to pray at work, and employers must accommodate this.  I find that utterly ridiculous.  However I feel that if it must be done to accommodate beliefs it could at the very least be done in a private and quiet manner.  It should not be pushed upon others or be loud enough where others are disturbed.  I don’t want to see anymore Jehovah’s Witness books or bibles on desks or being read during work.  That is not a mandatory practice of the Christian religion. 

The second shocking law I stated that employers must be flexible when it comes to religious holidays and allow employees to make time up if they must be out for such a holiday.  On every calendar you see all religious holidays but let me tell you, when that work calendar rolls out all you see is Christmas and Easter.  What about Yom Kippur?  How about Muharrem?  They are not on those calendars.  I feel that is because it is assumed that unless you are a Christian your religion is not important enough to be recognized. 
I feel like if religion is going to be in the workplace then get it all in.  Please do not half ass it lets get all of them
on there. 

Now this brings me backward just a little bit.  Now with all the bibles and guideposts I have to look at and I don’t say a word do you think that reaction would be the same for me if I had the Koran or Torah on my desk?  No way in hell.  I would be ridiculed and someone would ask me “how you going to bring that up in here?”  Even though I do not say anything about how I really feel that is the reaction I would get.  Then after all that was said and done comes the praying.  I have actually had a woman grab my hands and say she is going to pray for me.  I DON’T WANT YOUR PRAYERS!  Should I really have to go through this at work?  Its bad enough my Mom is going to hell apparently but I need some prayers too?  Keep them.

I feel like if this society is as open and “forgiving” as they say then let’s either open up religion for all at work and not have the fear of rejection or stereotyping or let’s do away with it.  I am tired of being bullied, asked rude and inappropriate questions while I am just trying to make a living.  Last week for instance I was talking to a woman about good books and how I had not read one for some time.  Some one jumps into our conversation and says, “Do you read the bible?”  What am I supposed to say to that?  I really just wanted to scream at her and say “no! I don’t and I’m fine with that!”  As I write to you now the same individual has been on the phone for 3 hours talking about Jehovah. 

Now this article was not meant to condemn the religious.  If that gives you some meaning in life and it’s how you get by then great but can we at least respect those around us who may not have the same beliefs?  I haven’t read it for a while but I think the Bible says in there some where that judgment is for GOD not us.  That I can agree too.  If I don’t believe like you then leave me alone!
All I aspire to accomplish my 5 days a week in hell is to make some money to support my husband and I and go home and enjoy life.  You people are making it real hard for me to do that and feel good about it.

  Andie M. Brock

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