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partially out at work day

It seems I've come partially out at work, to at least two people... I've been exposed as the evil atheist that I am... yeah.

I was chatting with two other part-time faculty members and the older man asked the other woman if she would vote for Hillary, or ever voted for her husband. She denied it strongly, insisting that she would never vote for those heathens.

Yeah, that's the word she used. But, last I checked, Bill was a Southern Baptist, and I'm pretty sure Hill is some sort of Christian, too.

I interupted. What does that have to do with anything?

The older man claimed that people of other religions lie about what religion they are. I wanted an explanation for that claim. He told me about when he was in the war, about a guy in his unit who said he was an atheist, but one time when he was under fire, invoked god's name.

Now, to me, it sounded just like an expression of surprise. And I pointed out that I break the second commandment all the time. I'm an atheist, and I say things like "Oh my god" and whatever. That doesn't make me a believer or a liar. It's a cultural exclamation. It doesn't mean anything to me other than that. I freely admit I picked it up when I was 13 just to piss people off. (Because I was being told I shouldn't say things like that. And that even in college, a classmate of mine would repeatedly ask that I not do that.) But what does that prove?

The woman proceeded to say that she didn't care, and that I would just burn in hell. And the man asked me what I would do if I woke up dead and found myself in hell. And I pointed out that I didn't believe in hell.

Eventually, I managed to extricate myself from the conversation. The older man has a tendency to turn everything into a joke, so he started telling some joke about an AC technician sent to hell, and God demanding him back when he made hell so comfy, and threatening Satan to get a lawyer... ???

It was a weird conversation, so I guess we'll see what happens now. Even though I know to expect that reaction, it still strikes me as being shockingly bigotted and ignorant to say that non-Christians are all liars and you can't vote for them unless they share your religion.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
andysocial
May. 29th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)
I just finished reading The God Delusion this weekend. One chapter that should be required reading for anyone who says that atheists are evil is the chapter that proves rather conclusively that, wherever we get morality and ethics from, it damned sure isn't from any scripture.

Many of my coworkers know that I'm not a believer, and they don't say much about it, except the occasional snarky, "Well you'll find out won't you?" Of course, I work in Military Intelligence and Information Technology - I'd hope the intellect level is a little higher than the cultural average. Somehow, I'd have thought you'd be in a better environment as well.
inafoxhole
May. 30th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
I got the God Delusion last week as an audiobook. I have TONS of driving to do this summer, so it seemed like a good idea. I thought about seeing what other atheist titles I could get for the drive, but I can't decide. If the God Delusion is good, though, I may look for others of Richard Dawkins books. I just don't see how I have time to read... not when a Carl Sagan book has been out for MONTHS that I still haven't read!

I'd have thought I'd be in a better environment, too. It is better, I suppose, but hardly perfect. I've encountered other snarky comments before from classmates in grad school and such, so it didn't actually surprise me. My mom, though, is worried that if I say too much this woman might try to get me fired. She wants me to keep silent, but how can one when people are saying such stupid things? I really did my best not to be confrontational, though. Still, I doubt it will go that far. She said I'd burn in hell in a very offhand way, if you can imagine that. And the other guy is basically a jokester, so I doubt he has enough venom in him to do more than make bigotted remarks. And the department chair seems to like me and think I'm a good teacher, so I don't think it would matter much even if they did try something.

Only time will tell though.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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