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Old 09-21-2007, 02:02 PM   #41
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Of course, its real purpose is to remind everyone of their place in the power structure.
bingo. whether at a business lunch or a city hall meeting, the invocation is--by simply the action of its own ceremony--hegemonic in nature, setting up hierarchy to be accepted by the group and imbuing power to the dais.

i also take the stance of anthropologic observation whether watching public prayer or public mutilation or public masterbation. i don't see much of a difference between any of it.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:13 PM   #42
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Anyway, you never know when you will experience something in a different way from your habitual ways; and that is a gift.

Ha
Absolutely! While not deeply spiritual myself, I do enjoy watching others, of various faiths, participate in their rituals/pagents/practices/ceremonies. I'm really glad there is variety in this world.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:40 PM   #43
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Has there ever been a successful case where somebody sued their employer for simply having to listen to a group prayer?
funny thing is you'd have to hold your hand over a bible to testify in court...

for everyone else, i'll pray for your soul...
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:21 PM   #44
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Absolutely! While not deeply spiritual myself, I do enjoy watching others, of various faiths, participate in their rituals/pagents/practices/ceremonies. I'm really glad there is variety in this world.
I agree with this and I also liked the comment about observing it as an interesting anthropological observation similar to that which Nords was posted about the Hawaiian culture. I also know that I can be a bit of a hypocrite about being fascinated by Eastern cultures (such as Buddhism and Hinduism) and intolerant of Christianity. Some of it is that the Eastern are less known to me and less common, hence more exotic (I remember one time talking to a Unitarian minister about my interest in Eastern religions---she suggested that I first get more in touch with JudeoChristian religious history and practice since that is more my actual heritage and what is predominant in the culture---this was highly unusual from a Unitarian Universalist minister, but I did see her point). But I think my greater comfort level with these is that they don't prosthelytize (I had a friend who worked for a Japanese company and there was no attempt at conversion or even celebration of Buddhism or Shintoism) and, at least in this country (but I think this is true of India as well which tolerates all religions).) Whereas in the South, there is a definite lack of tolerance for "nonbelievers" (i.e. nonChristians).

I do admire those of you who have a live and let live philosophy, and who don't let it bother you even if it's not your type of prayer. And I agree that an attitude of gratitude is always nice, so saying grace per se for a meal is actually a positive thing (although I don't understand completely who is being thanked and why---because it seems to me that these people doing the prayer believe that God has infinite wisdom and has a plan for all people, so therefore if he chooses for you not to have food, then it seems like it should be accepted with grace since it's part of his plan and shouldn't be questioned or complained about). But it's the lack of inclusion that gets to me. True, the South does have more Christians, especially Southern Baptists, than other areas---but most metropolitan/suburban areas do have plenty of nonChristians, so I think people should at least be careful about keeping it generic and not Christian.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:35 PM   #45
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Why is it totally inappropriate? I don't know the entire context of the lunch or the company, and for anyone to say it's totally inappropriate, seems to me to be totally inappropriate, as well.
Well, I think the above remark is totally inappropriate. So we now have the possibility of an infinite regression of inappropriateness!! Somehow appropriate.....(Greg--new system of logic?)

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I'm just trying to figure out why the people who feel offended appear to be offended simply because there are people who practice their religion on their sleeves!
Well, some people can't figure out why women are offended at work when people remark how sexy they look either.

Religion is a private matter. Flouncing it in public in the workplace creates an embarrassing situation for those who do not wish to partake. Perhaps even the feeling that there may be retaliation if they are too public about not wishing to partake.

IMO, regardless of the legal issues, it's just plain rude, insensitive, and disrespectful of the feelings of some.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:49 PM   #46
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While we are on the subject of praying, here's a little helpful tip for those still working. When you get caught literally asleep on the job at work, don't open your eyes immediately upon being woken up. Wait a few seconds, mumble something under your breath, then loudly proclaim, "Amen!". Then open your eyes. As long as you weren't snoring big time, your boss should think you were just concluding a lengthy prayer.
justin, your prayer was hilarious, and this tip could work for me, except that I sometimes talk, moan, groan, sing, or laugh in my sleep.

I don't know how my boss would take the "Amen!" after any embarrassing noise that I emit. Oh well, I'll let him know that you never can tell what amazing sounds one can make when possessed by spirit.
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:59 PM   #47
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To whomever mentioned separation of church and state and the First Amendment, that only applies to government, not private industry. By the use of the term "CEO" I assume that it was not a government function.

As Martha correctly points out, something like this would fall under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of, among other things, religion. Under the "hostile work environment" theory, according to the EEOC, "The conduct has to be unwelcome and offensive, and has to be severe or pervasive." I was surprised in my business law class to read of examples of alleged discrimination that failed to reach the "severe or pervasive" standard but in my mind were offensive enough to deserve prosecution under the law. Based on those examples, along with my rigorous legal training, would lead me to say that the OP's experience wouldn't have much of a chance in a civil rights lawsuit.

Personally it wouldn't bother me, but I can see how it would bother other folks so I would object on their behalf. Unless the organization is religious in nature, like the Salvation Army or something, I don't really think it's appropriate.

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:24 PM   #48
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Unless the organization is religious in nature, like the Salvation Army or something, I don't really think it's appropriate.
Reminds me of a brief stint I had working at the Roman Catholic Diocese. I'm not Catholic but I quickly learned that when a nun asked me where I lived, she didn't mean which neighborhood, but which parish. There were small shrines opposite the elevators so that every time an elevator door opened, I almost crossed myself.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:39 PM   #49
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I would welcome a prayer in any religion to guide our organization before a meeting...We could certainly use it....

Any religious rituals would never offend me, but as a frugal person cheap bastard the constant envelope passing around for donations at my work for gifts does offend me..
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:10 PM   #50
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Well, I think the above remark is totally inappropriate. So we now have the possibility of an infinite regression of inappropriateness!! Somehow appropriate.....(Greg--new system of logic?)



Well, some people can't figure out why women are offended at work when people remark how sexy they look either.

Religion is a private matter. Flouncing it in public in the workplace creates an embarrassing situation for those who do not wish to partake. Perhaps even the feeling that there may be retaliation if they are too public about not wishing to partake.

IMO, regardless of the legal issues, it's just plain rude, insensitive, and disrespectful of the feelings of some.
Your logic appears totally, totally inappropriate, too.

Well, you're right, I can't figure out why anyone is offended at work by a remark that someone might be dressed nicely on a given day! Let's not shift the subject -- we all know that sexual comments are inappropriate. But religion.

Since when is your idea that religion is a private matter, the norm for everyone to follow -- that's pretty intolerant of you, much the same as me saying that everyone should only express their religious beliefs in private and never at the work place -- why don't you just ban me from wearing any religious garb or emblems of my faith at the work place -- it might offend someone!

I happen to agree with privately praying and worshipping out of the public eye. But if someone wants to wear a cross, star of david or religious headware, why should I impose my private religious practices on that person? Or if someone want another to say a prayer at the cafeteria table before they eat lunch, why should your views dominate the wishes of others?

It's not rude and insensitive for anyone to profess their faith in front of the world, including at the workplace; it's rude and insensitive for you to demand that they not do that -- a little tolerance would be nice; maybe, next time when it's Ash Wednesday, you ought to tell all those Catholics to wipe away their forehead markings when they come back to work after noon-time service!
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:32 PM   #51
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bingo. whether at a business lunch or a city hall meeting, the invocation is--by simply the action of its own ceremony--hegemonic in nature, setting up hierarchy to be accepted by the group and imbuing power to the dais.

i also take the stance of anthropologic observation whether watching public prayer or public mutilation or public masterbation. i don't see much of a difference between any of it.
I also deal with such by being the 'alien anthropologist'.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #52
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Your logic appears totally, totally inappropriate, too.

Let's not shift the subject -- we all know that sexual comments are inappropriate. But religion.

Since when is your idea that religion is a private matter, the norm for everyone to follow -- that's pretty intolerant of you, much the same as me saying that everyone should only express their religious beliefs in private and never at the work place -- why don't you just ban me from wearing any religious garb or emblems of my faith at the work place -- it might offend someone!

I happen to agree with privately praying and worshipping out of the public eye. But if someone wants to wear a cross, star of david or religious headware, why should I impose my private religious practices on that person?
who's shifting the subject? You just switched from public, essentially "captive audience" displays of religion to personal expressions and acted like they are the same. They are not.

If you can't see the difference between someone wearing a cross or the star of David etc. from a public prayer, then I'm not sure how to respond.

Let me say a better analogy would be a company memo requesting that Friday is "let's all wear crosses to work day." Would that be appropriate? Seems closer to everyone having to be seen bowing their head in prayer together.

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Or if someone want another to say a prayer at the cafeteria table before they eat lunch, why should your views dominate the wishes of others?
Are they at a microphone and expecting everyone else to participate, or doing it privately on their own? Makes a big difference, I'd say.

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It's not rude and insensitive for anyone to profess their faith in front of the world, including at the workplace; it's rude and insensitive for you to demand that they not do that -- a little tolerance would be nice; maybe, next time when it's Ash Wednesday, you ought to tell all those Catholics to wipe away their forehead markings when they come back to work after noon-time service!
I think you are confused about what tolerance is. I am very tolerant of anyone's belief, so long as it doesn't require them to kill me to enter heaven. But it is not a display of tolerance for me to have to be preached to when I don't wish it. That would be a display of lack of assertiveness.

Personally, I think it IS rude and insensitive to try to make people listen to your unprovable opinions about religion unless they have expressed an interest and desire to do so. But I'm not aware that I demanded that people cease being rude and insensitive. It sure would be nice, however, if they just did so on their own

Look, I admit, I'm an atheist. I don't spend my time trying to "convert" believers. In fact, for the most part, I try to leave people's belief systems unmolested (I do admit to having a weakness for a good argument but that is true regardless of the subject matter). If believing that stuff is a source of comfort to them, then I don't want to try to take anything away from them. But, in the same way that I don't care for cigarettes and don't appreciate someone trying to thrust them on me, I find it inappropriate for them to push their belief systems on me. I find it ESPECIALLY inappropriate when done under any sort of official mantle be it governmental, from an employer, or just someone who has ahold of a mike at a non-religious event.

It seems you refuse to make a distinction between a private display of faith, whether a personal prayer, piece of attire, or discussing one's faith in a private conversation (none of which I have a problem with) from a captive audience when said display is given the aura of official sanction, say by an employer.

I don't know about you, but it would irritate me if I went to a public assembly, say a town meeting to discuss policy matters and had to spend a bunch of time listening to someone discuss their faith. If I wanted to listen to that, I'd go to church. If I'm in a church, whether for a wedding or a funeral or whatever, then I expect it. Other places I do not.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:17 PM   #53
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Since when is your idea that religion is a private matter, the norm for everyone to follow -- that's pretty intolerant of you
Jesus said it was a private matter! You're making Jesus cry.

(If I cared enough, I'd even quote the scripture about it.)


I've never seen this at a work function in the south, but I do live in a left-leaning city. When it happens at weddings or other social settings, I, too, keep my head up and meet the eyes of the other heathens.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:41 PM   #54
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Doesn't bother me all that much even though I would never initiate such a thing myself. It's not for me, but I don't think it's wrong to do it in the workplace as long as you're not actually required to pray.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:27 PM   #55
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Religion & politics, 2 subjects that make for long threads.

As stated earlier, I am from the south and have seen prayer in the work place for years. Before board meetings the Chairman would always give a brief prayer. At stockholders meetings the Chairman would give a prayer. At special company dinners or lunches, someone would bless the food. Not a problem as far as I was concerned. Whenever I traveled to other parts of the country for a company related meeting, no prayers given at lunch or before the meeting. That never bothered me either and didn't give it a second thought. I guess I'm just a roll with the flow type of guy.

It's funny though, outside the workplace I see it both ways here. For example, in a restaurant I rarely see a public prayer. But there are a few that do. I have religious beliefs but I just don't feel a need to make a public prayer. If I feel a need for prayer, I say it to myself. That's just me.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:54 PM   #56
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Or if someone want another to say a prayer at the cafeteria table before they eat lunch, why should your views dominate the wishes of others?
the religiously proverbial eye for an eye:

is there not a difference between an individual offering a moment of silence before taking a meal in a cafeteria and an institutionalized moment of silence required of everyone within that cafeteria?

an individual practicing a moment of silence is not offensive, so why would an individual having a ruckus moment during a group's moment of silence offend them. and if it would offend them then maybe it is the action of the group which is equally offensive.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:57 PM   #57
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I also deal with such by being the 'alien anthropologist'.
oh you want to out-alienate me do you? try going through life as the gay alien anthropologist.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:00 PM   #58
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bosco, please stay in Canada.

You are our kind of guy!
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:02 PM   #59
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who's shifting the subject? You just switched from public, essentially "captive audience" displays of religion to personal expressions and acted like they are the same. They are not.

If you can't see the difference between someone wearing a cross or the star of David etc. from a public prayer, then I'm not sure how to respond.
Nope, I think you got it all wrong again! This was posted as a private function -- a company holding a lunch -- where an employee requested the CEO to bless the food. No one was being coerced into a forced prayer to acknowledge anything, and as I've said all along we don't know the exact circumstances and culture of the company. We really don't know how "captive" was the lunch crowd, since for all we know, the poster and others, if they felt so uncomfortable could have left the scene.


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Are they at a microphone and expecting everyone else to participate, or doing it privately on their own? Makes a big difference, I'd say.
Yeah it makes a big difference -- but you keep on assuming that there's a major element of coercion!


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I think you are confused about what tolerance is. I am very tolerant of anyone's belief, so long as it doesn't require them to kill me to enter heaven. But it is not a display of tolerance for me to have to be preached to when I don't wish it. That would be a display of lack of assertiveness.
Yep, you're pretty much intolerant. Not confused, at all, about your view. No one is requiring you to open the door for the Jehovah Witnesses when they come knocking on your door. But you appear to think that people are preaching to you (and why you would think that!) when someone makes a common religious gesture of praying before eating a meal. You're simply not balancing your right to be left alone with someone else's right to show their faith.

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Personally, I think it IS rude and insensitive to try to make people listen to your unprovable opinions about religion unless they have expressed an interest and desire to do so. But I'm not aware that I demanded that people cease being rude and insensitive. It sure would be nice, however, if they just did so on their own
Yep, that saying Grace before a meal really makes you listen to unprovable opinion and religion!

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It seems you refuse to make a distinction between a private display of faith, whether a personal prayer, piece of attire, or discussing one's faith in a private conversation (none of which I have a problem with) from a captive audience when said display is given the aura of official sanction, say by an employer.
As I said several times over, context is everything; we don't know the culture or values of this employer; and we don't know whether this is really a "captive audience." It would make a big difference to anyone if the employer were Chick-Fil-A, Catholic Charities, or the NCAAP!

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I don't know about you, but it would irritate me if I went to a public assembly, say a town meeting to discuss policy matters and had to spend a bunch of time listening to someone discuss their faith. If I wanted to listen to that, I'd go to church. If I'm in a church, whether for a wedding or a funeral or whatever, then I expect it. Other places I do not.
Well, I agree with you on that!
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:15 PM   #60
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oh you want to out-alienate me do you? try going through life as the gay alien anthropologist.
Can't outdo that.

Straight and white so look 'normal', but get the hairy eyeball for being atheist.
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