Coming Out Atheist, pg 148

Jul 5, 2016

“Your workplace may have policies about how they want their company image to be presented by employees when they’re on the job – policies that might include not bringing controversial topics. And I don’t actually think that’s unreasonable. Just make sure the policy is being applied fairly – to believers as well as atheists. (That applies to relationships with co-workers as well as customers, by the way. If religious employees can wear crosses or other religious symbols, you should be able to wear atheist pins or buttons; if co-workers can post flyers about religious events they’re participating in, you should be able to post flyers about your atheist events. Etc.)
Now, if policies aren’t being applied fairly, you’re going to have to decide if you want to push back. That decision will probably have to be based, not just on how bad the discrimination is and how stubborn you think your employers are likely to be, but on your own personality and situation. (Translation: Do you have the time and energy, the resources and the stomach, for a legal battle with your employer?)
But when you’re making that decision, it’s important to remember: Insisting on your equal rights in the workplace doesn’t always have to end up in the courtroom. In fact, it usually doesn’t end up there. In many cases, simply having a conversation or two with the right people – people in authority who are likely to be supportive, or people in authority who are likely to be supportive, or people in authority who understand the law and care about not getting sued – is enough.”

–Greta Christina, Coming Out Atheist pg 148


2 comments on “Coming Out Atheist, pg 148

  • 1
    fadeordraw says:

    This is a supercilious paragraph. Yes one has to deal with colleagues with various world views and with owners who may have ridiculous religious bents, but weather in for-profit, non-profit or government, your value added, your irreplaceability, will come from your understanding of the product/service provided, the process of delivery and the clients being served. As an existential atheist, your evidence-based analysis, is your value to the company and you colleagues. If you’re in Human Rights issues, you’re liking running an ideological, personal gambit that had little to do with the success of the business. If you’re called out for being non-Christian in a Christian-based company, that means you’re not making money or not irreplaceable to the company. If the company doesn’t care about your contribution because you’re an atheist (black, gay…), leave (it won’t survive long given a competitive environment). There again, if you’re not making a contribution of your colleagues and company, a Human Rights complaints might be an option.

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  • There are work places that have rules regarding controversial topics such as religion and politics. An employer can make these demands without regard to freedom of speech. Public education comes to mind. As a former secondary teacher it certainly would not have been appropriate for me to express my opinions on politics, as parents would think I was trying to persuade their sons and daughters to accept my philosophy. Nor would I allow students to proselytize their religious beliefs in the classroom. Parents have called me out on that but my explanations made it clear to them why that could not be.

    There is no place for Proselytizing of any kind in the work place, be it from a Christian, Moslum or an Atheist; but two people should be able to have frank and amiable discussions on religious topics in the workplace without an employer interfering.

    And if a person does persist in pushing the envelope by wearing outrageous symbols and often bringing up the topic of religion, it may need to be discussed. Certainly confront the individual first and if he/she persist then approach the employer if you want. I, however, would rather continue the discussion. I am not afraid to defend my atheism.

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