25 February 2007

Heathenry in the Workplace

In a comment on my last post, I snarkily made mention that I don't use my real name in bloglife because I don't want it to negatively impact my yob. This is true. I don't own a hammer, but if I did I would have to either leave it at home or keep it inside my shirt where nobody can see it.


Because my place of work is owned by people who are pretty strongly Christian, and though they don't seem to have a problem with Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists working for them (to name some of the religions that have been represented at the company), it's been made clear to me by others in the company that it's not wise at all to advertise that I'm a heathen--especially since several of our customers are pretty stolidly funformentalist Christian and have been known to try tracting employees who they know aren't Christian.

I've been able to hide behind company policy ("Thanks, but company policy doesn't allow the distribution of literature on the property. I appreciate the thought, but I'll have to decline"), but that only takes one so far, really. The closest I've ever come to putting up the big flashing neon hammer over my head was when I smilingly told one chap "And may Odin bless you, too" after he replied with "Well, may Jesus bless you then" after I politely told him that I couldn't allow him to leave tracts in our place of business and that "I have my own beliefs, thanks."

I find myself forced to ask how long I can go on perpetrating what I feel is a charade. I mean, it's not like I'll get strung on a rack and have a bowl of burning coals placed on my gut until they burn right through or anything, if I advertise that I'm heathen. But at the same time, I don't want to borrow trouble.


1 comment:

Ron said...

I don't think you are being deceptive. I think you are being wary, which is appropriate given the circumstances. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, then it speaks more to your desire to feel safe in your surroundings (which is legitimate) than to personal dishonesty.

We cannot trust people to react the way we would like them to simply because we know we ourselves are behaving in a trustworthy manner. But we can trust them to be who they are. If others around you are warning you not to advertise your heathen beliefs, pay heed. You may not be fired for being a heathen, but you may be penalized on some other trumped up charge. Ask Don Larsen (

If your desire to be open about your faith is more important than keeping that particular job, perhaps its time for a new job. Maybe the RBC Center is hiring.

Hope this helps.