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Old 09-24-2007, 03:04 PM   #121
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after all that, i don't think i could stomach lunch.
Don't think I've ever been able to "stomach" an office lunch.

Wow! how many days has it been and this thread has not been properly hijacked.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:04 PM   #122
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Exactly correct. Which is why public prayer is inappropriate in the workplace, along with sexist jokes, etc. Many people will not say a word for fear of jeopardizing their position and prospects. They will just simmer until they quit or the lawsuit lands on someone's desk.
It's not inappropriate -- that's why no one really has the temerity to complain.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:09 PM   #123
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Don't forget the part about losing the war.

- Brewer, helpful
Man, I forgot that one! Thanks for pointing that one out too. I'm actually a transplanted Yankee but people down here really haven't forgotten about losing that War!
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:17 PM   #124
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Bosco, that's a cheap way to end the debate. Let me end in this way, I disagree with your entire post and you have a way of mischaracterizing stuff. I'm probably way to the left of you on many political issues (and I'm a strong supporter of the ACLU), but what really gets me upset is the intolerance of liberals and people who think some of us (southern) folk are a bit primitive (in addition to being "obnoxious proselytizers" and "rude and offensive").

There is no 'debate'... you think that an open prayer is just fine and anybody who objects is intollerent... We think that an open prayer is being intollerent to all the other views. We have not said you can not pray, just do it in silence. That is the accomodation.


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If any prayer bothers someone, how on earth is the other side supposed to know that it's offensive to someone if everyone smiles, looks around and goes about as if nothing is happening, and then complains here, on the internet! "
As Brewer pointed out.. that is WHY you should not have an open prayer.. because you do not know the beliefs of everybody there... even a non-denominational prayer is still a PRAYER to a God...


And why do you think that everybody that has an issue with this is some liberal person... or not a southerner... I am both..
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:20 PM   #125
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It's not inappropriate -- that's why no one really has the temerity to complain.

You are not in my company... there is a memo from HR NOT to do a prayer... or even put out Christmas decorations... only 'holiday' decorations are allowed... and one person got in trouble because he 'ignored' the memo a few years back.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:25 PM   #126
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You are not in my company... there is a memo from HR NOT to do a prayer... or even put out Christmas decorations... only 'holiday' decorations are allowed... and one person got in trouble because he 'ignored' the memo a few years back.
Reminds me of the fist fight that almost broke out because there were too few Jewish-type decorations on Dec. 1.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:35 PM   #127
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I think what is important is to create an enviornment that is comfortable for everyone, which is why I suggest a moment of silence before a meal in the workplace. There are some faiths where giving thanks before a meal is their practice. No one should create an enviornment that is uncomfortable for them either.

Silence is a blessing in itself.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:44 PM   #128
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Interesting question simple girl.... I think I would tend to look at this one as a "respect a man's home issue". Whenever I enter another man's (or woman's) home, I will always observe the cutoms of that home (I would extend this to consider my workplace as my employers home). I am not a religious man either, and I would not say grace for example in my own home, but if that is the custom in "another man's home", then I would want to show respect for that persons beliefs. So I might not feel comfortable saying Grace myself in that man's home, but I would certainly remain silent and respectful, and hold hands together, if that was what they normally did.
I hardly see how not being religious has any bearing on what they chose to do. It caused you no pain, no inconvienience, and they certainly did not ask you to profess your belief in anything to remain there. Like it or not, we live in a country that highly identify's itself as Christian. I think the last poll said something like 80% self identify as Christian. The being said, because the majority IS Christian, it would stand to reason that most of the population would not object to things like christmas trees, saying a prayer before the starting of congress etc.
To take this exapmple a bit further, should christians living in Israel get upset because the Christmas holiday is not a day off work for them there? Certainly not... The majority religion in Israel is Judaism. Therefore it stands to reason that most of the holdays, customs, and observances would be rooted in that religion. But as long as the govt does not persecute or punish anyone who chooses to believe differently... or believe not at all, I really do not see what the problem is. I truly have never understood why a Jewish star, a cross, Christmas tree, or manger scene, should bother anyone who does not believe in it. I can appreciate the beauty of a christmas tree without having any need to believe in it at all.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:51 PM   #129
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Well, that would depend, among other things, if everyone else were like-minded to attend the club. Context is everything, isn't it? It's like me asking you whether you would defend the right of the CEO to hold lunch at Cracker Barrel or Augusta National Country Club? Some might find lunch at those places clearly offensive too!
No. Context is not everything. And I think you do not understand the concept of the work enviorment in a large organization. The concept is that the work enviorment should be inclusive; not exclusive. A person - male, female, gay, straight, democrat, republican, Jew, Catholic etc should not feel excluded from or offended by the culture of the company.

Even if all that attended a lunch in a strip club approved of it; it would not be correct. One reason is that people who would object might not do so because they might feel pressured to do so as to speak up might affect how they are viewed at the company and negatively affect their future at the company. Going to the strip club would be found out by others at the company and begin to set the wrong tone in the company. Finally the manager is looked upon as a leader in the company and representative of its culture. This would be the wrong message for the manager to send.

Women have brought suite and won cases against major companies who allowed pornography in the office; sexist jokes to be sent via email and entertaining clients in strip clubs.

It is also important to remember the power imbalance in the employee/employer relationship. The employee's future is tied to how well he/she can work within the culture of the company. It she/he is exluded from that culture either actively or passively they will not succed. It is not the same dynamics as outside the office.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:23 PM   #130
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You are not in my company... there is a memo from HR NOT to do a prayer... or even put out Christmas decorations... only 'holiday' decorations are allowed... and one person got in trouble because he 'ignored' the memo a few years back.
Texas Proud, I don't think I'd ever want to be in your company with your views. If I were in Bill Marrott's, Joe Ukrops' or Truett Cathy's (Chick-fil-A) company and they decided to say grace before a company lunch, I wouldn't blink an eye. And if the Sultan of Bahrain were given the opportunity to say a Muslim prayer as a guest opening the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, I wouldn't blink an eye either if I had a seat on the Exchange or were a trader on the floor. I'm pretty sure the law is on my side, not yours. Just because your company has a policy -- a policy I would respect -- doesn't mean it's good policy for everyone. Have you forgotten what having an open mind is all about -- and you accuse me of being "narrow!"
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:45 PM   #131
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There is no 'debate'... you think that an open prayer is just fine and anybody who objects is intollerent... We think that an open prayer is being intollerent to all the other views. We have not said you can not pray, just do it in silence. That is the accomodation.
That's a funny accomodation; it's actually no accomdation -- and if you can't figure that one out, so help you God. And regarding the intolerance issue, if you can't figure that one out too, I'm afraid it's pointless to debate; it's been spelled out so many times already. Maybe I'll spell it out again below.




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As Brewer pointed out.. that is WHY you should not have an open prayer.. because you do not know the beliefs of everybody there... even a non-denominational prayer is still a PRAYER to a God...
You just don't get it again; a nondemoninational prayer, which does not profess any particular faith -- except the belief in something greater than ourselves -- is only upsetting to an Atheist. So, the Atheist should not be forced to participate in the group prayer -- it's against his religion but should his right to be left alone trump everyone else's. If you ask Bosco, his answer is yes. If you believe that Bosco's view trumps everyone else's, then it seems to me that you're pretty much intolerant of the views of others. It's his way or the highway, isn't it? If the group forced him to participate in the group prayer, then the group would be intolerant of his views. Is that very difficult to understand.


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And why do you think that everybody that has an issue with this is some liberal person... or not a southerner... I am both..
Well, I was directing my post to the original poster and others who began this thread with the idea that this never happens in the north. I never said what you say about liberals; I just think that liberal knee jerk liberalism that sometimes borders on hypocrisy.
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:24 PM   #132
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You just don't get it again; a nondemoninational prayer, which does not profess any particular faith -- except the belief in something greater than ourselves -- is only upsetting to an Atheist. So, the Atheist should not be forced to participate in the group prayer -- it's against his religion but should his right to be left alone trump everyone else's.
It is funny, we keep going back and forth and seem not to get each other's points - actually, we probably get it but just don't agree. Like I implied in earlier reponses, to be consistent you would have to agree that it is your obligation to participate or remain silent if your company became dominated by Scientologist bosses who injected their religion into the daily operations. They might profess that of course they respect your views and won't hold it against you at promotion time if you don't join in. And, of course, you wouldn't feel anger if it seemed that those that do participate (believers or fakes) seem to be the ones who get ahead. By the way, the Scientology scenario isn't so far fetched.

This stuff isn't the same as Christmas trees at the mall. Norms set in the workplace or the school have a coercive effect. Not a problem if they are work/school related norms (come on time, do your work, be courteous, etc). But they are a big problem if they are religious norms just like they are a big problem if the are hostile sexual norms (accept the dirty jokes or leave).
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:59 PM   #133
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Intolerance versus Insensitivity.

All subjective, all potentially offensive to others.

That's why it seems best to me to leave such rituals out of the workplace, where the "audience" is unselected, captive, and likely of many perspectives. Church? Fine. TV? Fine - change the channel. Work? I don't think so.

Just my perspective - not so sure why anyone would be so attached to a workplace prayer when he or she can do it on their own any time, and the risk of alienating or offending others is real.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:20 PM   #134
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No. Context is not everything. And I think you do not understand the concept of the work enviorment in a large organization. The concept is that the work enviorment should be inclusive; not exclusive. A person - male, female, gay, straight, democrat, republican, Jew, Catholic etc should not feel excluded from or offended by the culture of the company.

Even if all that attended a lunch in a strip club approved of it; it would not be correct. One reason is that people who would object might not do so because they might feel pressured to do so as to speak up might affect how they are viewed at the company and negatively affect their future at the company. Going to the strip club would be found out by others at the company and begin to set the wrong tone in the company. Finally the manager is looked upon as a leader in the company and representative of its culture. This would be the wrong message for the manager to send.

Women have brought suite and won cases against major companies who allowed pornography in the office; sexist jokes to be sent via email and entertaining clients in strip clubs.

It is also important to remember the power imbalance in the employee/employer relationship. The employee's future is tied to how well he/she can work within the culture of the company. It she/he is exluded from that culture either actively or passively they will not succed. It is not the same dynamics as outside the office.
Dex, your post has me laughing so much. I work in a staggering large organization, where I have been a leading proponent of diversity in the workplace. And professionally, I know a lot more about employment law than you'd ever imagine, on both sides of the labor-management table.

Context is everything; there are few absolutes. So, let's take your silly example of going to a strip club; if these were all young males on travel in some desolate part of the country where the choice was good food at a McDonalds or the local strip joint, in your view I suppose it would be wrong for them to go the strip joint!

You know the ideal for a large company (or even a small one) might be to have a diverse, inclusive workforce, but if a company executive wants to have a work force that reflects his values and his faith and does not discriminate against anyone illegally, then it's his choice, right?
Why do you seem to suggest that this is wrong?

Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, sex, and other prohibited grounds is generally morally and legally wrong, but I know of no moral or legal authority that remotely suggests that a CEO cannot say a prayer at his company lunch -- some might find that inappropriate and bad business, but it's his choice to do that. It's like Bill Marriott saying that he won't allow smoking in his hotels, anymore -- it's his right to do that so what if his decision were also based on religious grounds. Or what if the Orthodox Jew who heads a well-known shoe company decides to give all his workers time off during the middle of the day to have prayer reflections, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, for 15 minutes each day -- it's his choice isn't it?
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:12 PM   #135
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Dex, your post has me laughing so much. I work in a staggering large organization, where I have been a leading proponent of diversity in the workplace. And professionally, I know a lot more about employment law than you'd ever imagine, on both sides of the labor-management table.

Context is everything; there are few absolutes. So, let's take your silly example of going to a strip club; if these were all young males on travel in some desolate part of the country where the choice was good food at a McDonalds or the local strip joint, in your view I suppose it would be wrong for them to go the strip joint!

You know the ideal for a large company (or even a small one) might be to have a diverse, inclusive workforce, but if a company executive wants to have a work force that reflects his values and his faith and does not discriminate against anyone illegally, then it's his choice, right?
Why do you seem to suggest that this is wrong?

Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, sex, and other prohibited grounds is generally morally and legally wrong, but I know of no moral or legal authority that remotely suggests that a CEO cannot say a prayer at his company lunch -- some might find that inappropriate and bad business, but it's his choice to do that. It's like Bill Marriott saying that he won't allow smoking in his hotels, anymore -- it's his right to do that so what if his decision were also based on religious grounds. Or what if the Orthodox Jew who heads a well-known shoe company decides to give all his workers time off during the middle of the day to have prayer reflections, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, for 15 minutes each day -- it's his choice isn't it?
I doubt the credentials you state and an indication is the way in which you change the assumptions, bring in the context and absolute non-issues. For example, the original post was about a company lunch and all I did was change the lunch to a strip club. And yes it could be wrong to go to a strip club in the example you stated because of the reasons I and others have put forth. The food, that they were all male and they all agree makes no difference. And why it does not make a difference is the important issue - again the reasons were given previously.

If you are part of a large organization and involved with diversity I truly hope you understand these points for the company and how you are preceived within it.

I not sure if you will believe me on this issue. Maybe you should discuss it with a significant other or a friend who might have a different opion than you currently hold.
Good Luck
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:20 PM   #136
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I can yawn too. I am not bothered by Muslims, Christians, or Wiccans. But what would happen at your workplace (or former workplace if your are ERd) if a Muslim boss started meetings with his Muslim prayers? The fact is, the majority sees it as no big deal to impose their beliefs on minorities (witness prayers in school) but would raise holy hell (pun intended) if minorities did the same. We don't need no stinkin theocracy in the US.
If it were me and a Muslim wanted to pray it wouldn't bother me at all. Nor would a Satanist, Wiccan or Rastafarian (don't bogart that joint my friend!) bother me.

But if you are the type that is offended by expressions of religiosity - My advice is that they find a new job. Or better yet, start their own companies.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:21 AM   #137
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Context is everything; there are few absolutes. So, let's take your silly example of going to a strip club; if these were all young males on travel in some desolate part of the country where the choice was good food at a McDonalds or the local strip joint, in your view I suppose it would be wrong for them to go the strip joint!
Your example again is bad... you give an example of people on a business trip and AFTER work some decide to go out to eat where ever they wish... it is NOT a business function... so, if they decide to go to the strip club, that is on their own time even if the company is paying for their food...

But if there was a manager who said 'We are having our next meeting at the strip club at midnight, bring your dollars', that is so wrong it is amazing you would not think so...

You say you work at a mega corp... and you are in diversity... well, so am I... and religion is part of work... and people are allowed to pray on their own... Muslims are given the time they need to do their prayers... Jews are allowed to take their holiday off work (yet, it is a vacation day).. But, none of it is brought into a company function... and if YOU can not see the difference then you are narrow minded and you view will never change...

And it is funny that you say I am intolerant and narrow minded as I really don't care... I think it is wrong, and I know some who are upset, but I think it shows the person who insists on bringing their religious view into the work place as the narrow minded one...
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:24 AM   #138
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Your example again is bad... you give an example of people on a business trip and AFTER work some decide to go out to eat where ever they wish... it is NOT a business function... so, if they decide to go to the strip club, that is on their own time even if the company is paying for their food...

But if there was a manager who said 'We are having our next meeting at the strip club at midnight, bring your dollars', that is so wrong it is amazing you would not think so...

You say you work at a mega corp... and you are in diversity... well, so am I... and religion is part of work... and people are allowed to pray on their own... Muslims are given the time they need to do their prayers... Jews are allowed to take their holiday off work (yet, it is a vacation day).. But, none of it is brought into a company function... and if YOU can not see the difference then you are narrow minded and you view will never change...

And it is funny that you say I am intolerant and narrow minded as I really don't care... I think it is wrong, and I know some who are upset, but I think it shows the person who insists on bringing their religious view into the work place as the narrow minded one...
Texas Proud and Dex, I have a question for you: Do you read your words into the sentences I have written? You claim I change the assumptions of a business lunch at a strip joint -- now all I did was provide greater context, and as I said context is everything. And Dex, read your own posts, you basically say it's wrong to have a lunch at a strip joint in my context because you say it's wrong -- you're the one who brings up strawmen arguments, not me. It's really incredulous to both of you that I support the efforts of a CEO to accommodate the religious views of his employees and, in doing so, you both have painted me as intolerant! And yet you cannot see the intolerance of your own views? Texas Proud, you're really getting silly when you say that religion is not brought into a company function! You don't object, I suppose, to the day off you undoubtedly receive on the 25th of December, or that the New York Stock Exchange is closed on Good Friday -- the Muslims and Jews are probably wondering when on earth will the entire workforce be given a holiday at your company for Yom Kippur or the begining of Rammadan. And the Wiccan wants to know why isn't Earth Day a national holiday. And your office birthday parties are really annoying to the Jehovah Witnesses in your office -- why don't you just do away with them? Yeah, I know you'll all say these are part of our culture and the religious meaning is secondary, like Thanksgiving; yada yada yada!

Yep, your posts are really funny. I cannot tolerate the laughter anymore. And Texax Proud, as you indicated before maybe you don't have to put ya hand on that Bible or some other book in Texas when you get sworn in as a witness in a trial. But when you lose that case and appeal it to the United States Supreme Court, and when you sit down in the Court's spaceous and dignified courtroom to hear your appeal and the 9 justices walk into the courtroom, you'll hear the Clerk say "God save the United States and this Honorable Court." Of course, you have the right not to rise with other members of the audience in the courtroom and walk out in protest of that brief prayer, but I doubt you would. You'll just stew in your chair and think the Justices are so intolerant for that brief acknowledgment of God and it's impostion on everyone else who doesn't believe in God, right?
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:35 AM   #139
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".... to be consistent you would have to agree that it is your obligation to participate or remain silent if your company became dominated by Scientologist bosses who injected their religion into the daily operations. They might profess that of course they respect your views and won't hold it against you at promotion time if you don't join in. And, of course, you wouldn't feel anger if it seemed that those that do participate (believers or fakes) seem to be the ones who get ahead. By the way, the Scientology scenario isn't so far fetched."

Yeah.... it is way too far fetched.

Check way, way, way, back and you'll see that this is about an employee asking to have a blessing said at a company meal.... and thus it was done. Nothing more.

From that we have decended all the way to needing to accept that this is the same as company enforced religion, public masturbation and equal time for devil worship.

We have also seen several people here explain at great length why they reject having a blessing of the meal. They will not tolerate this behavior. And this, in their minds, proves they are tolerant people.

How have we become so ungenerous and self focused that a token religious expression, something so utterly common in our national traditions, something that some of us must obviously feel is meaningless, can be so threatening to supposedly grown up people?
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:46 AM   #140
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How have we become so ungenerous and self focused that a token religious expression, something so utterly common in our national traditions, something that some of us must obviously feel is meaningless, can be so threatening to supposedly grown up people?
How have alleged adults become so close-minded and ignorant that they cannot understand that in a multicultural, multiethnic, multireligion society like ours a compulsory religious ceremony can be offensive to many people forced to attend?
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