Faith laughed at by employer


#1

So I was at work, and it’s an Indian holiday (a lot of our clients are in India). The manager said we should eat a chocolate Ganesha, and another employee said “that would be disrespectful.”

The manager then said “it’s not like it’s literally eating him. Like Christians, they say that it’s the body of Christ but it’s not really, it’s just a cracker, right Rob, no one is eating Jesus.”

My response: “No that’s exactly what it is.”

He started laughing, “but no one believes they’re actually eating Jesus. That’s stupid.”

I said, “No that’s what happens.”

He laughed, said that’s silly, and walked in his office.

Needless to say, I’m a little upset, although I know he’s very atheistic and mocks everyone. Do I press the issue to explain it, or much it up, pray and push on?

I assume that since he’s my boss, it’s a work setting, and not worth it. Also, before you ask, there is no HR department as it’s a four man office. He is the HR department.


#2

You have my sympathy! I have had similar problems in my workplace, where there is an HR department, but I still was concerned about retaliation. I don’t think there is much you can do other than look for a different job.


#3

I see nothing to accomplish by pressing it. He believes what he believes.


#4

I would ask for a meeting with him and very calmly and respectfully explain that you were deeply offended by what he said because it cut to the core of your beliefs. The idea of the conversation is not to explain transubstantiation but simply to make him see that you were offended. He might not even realize how he comes across to people.


#5

Even some of Jesus’ own disciples walked away from him over it.


#6

I would probably just pray and push on. If he continues to bring it up in a derogatory fashion then maybe I would consider talking to him about but otherwise probably nothing positive would be accomplished by pushing it at this point.


#7

Don’t be upset. As the manager in a similar small setting, I sometimes get the same flack from my employees. When I mentioned my current conversion to Catholicism to one employee, they said “I never liked the idea of Jesus in a box.” I just shake off the dust.

It’s all good. If they want to ask, I’ll explain. But I’m not going to press them anymore than I want them pressing me. That said, I did hold a voluntary after-work Bible study for 6wks. Everyone attended and it was great! We have Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, and even Cowboy Church goers here. It’s good to have a solid understanding of theology and differences with the different faiths out there. It helps me word things in a non-confrontational way while still be true to my faith.


#8

I’d say to just brush it off, don’t worry about it.


#9

Devil’s advocate here – if you’re the manager in a small business, are you sure that your Bible study felt entirely voluntary to your staff? Sounds iffy to me… I’m trying to imagine all those Protestants voluntarily flocking to Bible study taught by a Catholic…


#10

Is he the owner of the business?

If not, go to HR. What he said was against the law in the US.


#11

I have been in a large multi national company for many years. The way you survive for many years is to keep a low profile. Don’t make fun of anyone, and don’t engage anyone who does. Just stay away from it, unless you are willing to alter your prospects over making a point. If you want to make people feel like they have to be really careful around you, they will respect and abide by that, but only out of fear. And as a side effect, you will find yourself distanced and left out of things informally and sometimes formally. People will do that to protect themselves from you, and that’s a good career limiter.

Regardless of how it should be or ought to be, that’s sort of the reality of the situation. Anyway, maybe one day your boss will say something funny.

All the best!


#12

Thank you guys for your advice. I literally had no one here to turn to and needed to share. Your support really helps a lot.


#13

Don’t think that didn’t cross my mind! :smiley:

I brought up the idea of a bible study focusing on bridging faith with work, or seeing work as an opportunity to serve God. They all jumped at it, they set up the day and participated in discussions. Not everyone was there every week and many would leave early. But it was still good. It’s kinda like family here.


#14

Honestly, I’d complain to HR. I’m usually not one to be dramatic about this stuff, but that’s pretty egregious.


#15

For there to be any formal actions, the discrimination would have to be something that happens repeatedly and there would have to be evidence that it impacted @Thrstypirate specifically and his ability to do his job and get promotions. If the boss is a jerk to everyone, he’s just a jerk.


#16

You work for a jerk. Personally, I would be looking for a new job because life is too short to work for a jerk.


#17

Nonbelievers don’t know any better, so don’t take offense. You know the truth. If he wants to discuss it, then talk to him about your beliefs.


#18

Hostile Work Environment claims are not a joke . The manager would be coached at minimum.


#19

Ugh. My husband dealt with this at his old job. The employees belonged to a chat room that OVERTLY mocked not just Catholics, but all Christians. DH doesn’t like to stir the pot, but it would have been pretty easy to show that stuff to HR.

I’d let a one-time spot of ignorance go. If it continues, document it carefully and proceed from there.


#20

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.” – Matthew 5:11


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