Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I'm starting a new job and I'm kind of nervous about what will happen when/if people there find out I'm an atheist. It's not something I intend to hide, so if the subject of my religious beliefs comes up I will tell the truth but I really don't know what the reaction will be. I don't know if my job itself would be affected by me being open about my atheism, but I don't want to go to work and be bombarded with religion by people who can't just agree to disagree. At the part time job I have been working for the past six months, the only person I've even discussed it with is not religious so there haven't been problems, but in a previous job when it became known that I didn't believe in a god I was faced with a number of people approaching me to discuss the subject. It never got hostile but I felt pretty uncomfortable having people try to convince me to believe in the Christian god. At that time I wasn't as knowledgeable about religion so I didn't like to discuss it. Now, it is like the polar opposite. I'm a very outspoken atheist and I love to debate religion, but I don't think doing it at work is the best idea. A lot of religious people get very defensive about their beliefs and causing a big argument wouldn't be very productive when you're trying to get work done. I'm just worried that once it gets out I won't be able to stop the discussions from happening. I'm sure the more devout believers will want to toss their views out there and, being a very outspoken person, it would be difficult for me to not respond. The other thing that worries me is the idea that my job itself could be put in jeopardy. I know nothing of the general political/religious views of the employees, whether it be a wide variety or a majority of one over the other, and if the company is full of heavily religious people I don't know how it would affect my prospects. I'm not sure if I want to stay with this job long term but I do know that in general it's a good, solid company and I would hate for my lack of religion and belief to prevent me from moving up the ladder and into better positions.