I Outed Myself at Work Today

Today was our first day back after Christmas break.  We had faculty meetings scheduled for the entire day.  Sadly, over the break, one of our students was tragically killed in a home invasion.

To start the faculty meeting, our principal spoke to the tragedy and said that she knows prayer makes a difference.  She asked everyone to join hands and asked one of the teachers to pray.

I stayed in my seat.  I also noticed that a couple of our staff members who are Jehovah’s Witnesses stayed seated as well.  A couple of teachers around me offered me a hand to hold, but I politely declined.  They all moved over away from me toward the circle of hand holding.  One of the teachers turned around and motioned with her head for me to join the circle, and I smiled and shook my head.

After more than 15 minutes of preaching, several prayers, and some possible tongue talking, they all made their ways back to their seats.

At the first break the teacher who motioned me to join the group came over and asked why I didn’t join the prayer: “Don’t you believe in god?”  I smiled and answered that I didn’t.  A couple of other teachers nearby overheard and said they thought I went to (my former) church.  I said that I used to, but not anymore.  They seemed like they thought I was joking with them.  But I reassured them that no, I do not believe in god.  There was a little more discussion about why, but I only had a few minutes before the meeting started back up, so I couldn’t really get into it.  I did say that after studying the scripture more closely I realized what a horrible god the god of the Bible is.  I told them that for him to be worthy of my worship he would have to be as good as I am.  And since I’ve never killed, ordered genocide, or ordered the rape of little girls that I must be better than god.  “It’s in the Bible”, I told them.  Hopefully it will pique their interest and they’ll get in a little study time.

Word was spread to one or two others who informed me that they would be praying for me.  Thanks?  Is that supposed to make me feel better?

Either way, there were a few funny looks and a bit of denial, but nothing bad happened as a result.  Hopefully it will all stay well in the future.

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6 thoughts on “I Outed Myself at Work Today

  1. Good for you!
    I hope you were respectful in explaining your disagreements with what a lot of them seemed to believe. Im glad to here of more atheists being open about there beliefs.
    If someone told me theyd pray for me after hearing my concerns id mostlikly respond “Thank you for your kindness if thats what you feel youre giving, but if your praying for me because my difference of beliefs concern you youre being very rude!” – i take kindness as it comes but disrespecting someones beliefs is nothing but kind.
    Good luck to you!

    • The thing that made them not “get it” was the fact that I was smiling when I said I didn’t believe in god. I’m sure I was more respectful than they imagined I could have been if they had ever imagined that situation. Thanks for the kind words. I’m finding so much support out here in the interwebs.

  2. Responding to someone who says they do not believe in god by saying you will pray for them is incredibly condescending. At best they are assuming that you are in crisis and only lashing out at a god you truly do believe in. At worst they think you are basically Satan bound for hell, and in actuality they will be praying for themselves- that they will have the strength to defeat your influence on their lives. And unfortunately, there is not really an in-between. Good luck 🙂

    • No truer statement has ever been written. I’ve been discussing the problems with religion on my Facebook with my family. Whenever they can’t wrap their heads around it, they shut down. They quit the conversation without ever addressing the issues or answering the questions. It’s always, “god is right, no matter what.” I’ve heard so many horror stories about people who’s families and friends push them away after they realize the truth about religion… I’m determined not to let that happen to me. I’m still going to be myself AND have a good relationship with them no matter what they believe. but in the mean time, it can’t hurt to call them on their BS.

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