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would this bother you?
Old 09-21-2007, 08:50 AM   #1
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would this bother you?

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Yesterday I attended a work lunch. The CEO was present. After our entrees arrived, someone suggested the food be blessed. The CEO then offerred a prayer.

OK, so I am from the north, transplanted here in the deep South. This just would NEVER happen in the north. I just feel it is wrong to assume everyone has the same beliefs and/or impose your beliefs upon them, especially in a work situation. It's not that I'm not religious. However, what if I weren't? What if I was an aetheist, agnostic, or some other religion that wasn't Christian?

I feel there should be a separation of church and work, and that just isn't happenning here at all.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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Sounds inappropriate to me. Also asking for a lawsuit.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
Moderators, feel free to remove this thread if you feel it is too controversial...

Yesterday I attended a work lunch. The CEO was present. After our entrees arrived, someone suggested the food be blessed. The CEO then offerred a prayer.

OK, so I am from the north, transplanted here in the deep South. This just would NEVER happen in the north. I just feel it is wrong to assume everyone has the same beliefs and/or impose your beliefs upon them, especially in a work situation. It's not that I'm not religious. However, what if I weren't? What if I was an aetheist, agnostic, or some other religion that wasn't Christian?

I feel there should be a separation of church and work, and that just isn't happenning here at all.
I think it's harmless, but the "deep South" is the "Bible Belt". Just don't pray along if you don't want to.....
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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Happens all the time in the south. Never bothered me though.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #5
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This happens all of the time. For work, I have been to school board meetings, legislative meetings, and other similar events for public business. It always makes me uncomfortable, although most prayers in these settings are non-denominational, this is not always the case.

I am also a northern transplant - been in the south over 25 years. They don't call it the bible belt for nothing.

I cope by standing as others do, respectful, but not participating. Yea, I don't think it's appropriate, but I also don't think I'm going to change it - especially since I am usually present in a professional capacity. As long as no one insists I join in, I let them be as well.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:12 AM   #6
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I think evil thoughts to counteract all the positive thoughts that come from the folks praying.

Seriously, I experience this 1-2 times/yr at our company thanksgiving dinner and the like. I always feel a little uncomfortable since the prayer doesn't reflect my personal faith. But some of my coworkers (whom I respect) do practice this particular brand of faith, so I don't mind too much. I just spend the 30-60 seconds of prayer making my "plan of attack" on the catered buffet line. Well, either that or thinking in my mind what I am thankful for. I'd say get over it, suck it up, and move on.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:18 AM   #7
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Been there, done that. Doesn't bother me. If I went somewhere and a Buddhist monk, or a Hindi, or whatever, did something similar, that wouldn't bother me either. My only concern would be that they keep it "short-n-sweet"......don't want that food to get cold!!!
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:27 AM   #8
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Yes, it would and has bothered me. The question is whether "doing something about it" is worth the effort. In the workplace, it may well be inappropriate, but I share Sandy's coping strategy.

It used to bother me more, but gradually I realized that it probably isn't intended the way I perceived it. The underlying (if inaccurate) perception is that everyone present believes in God and group prayer and a silent blessing is a generic gesture. It doesn't feel "generic" to me, it feels decidedly religious.

I just wait it out, don't join in, don't close my eyes, and hope the break put everyone in a good mood. I try to think of it like a toast. But I'd be happier skipping it at work.

If I'm a guest at someone's house, I try to at least appear more sensitive and respectful to the host's wishes. One time we had a dinner party and one of our guests attempted (at our house) to initiate blessings before dinner (something we do not do); now that's awkward. Managed to mumble something about if anyone wants a moment of reflection, feel free while I get the string beans.

I harbor no hostility or disrespect over these matters, just wish others would be more aware that not everyone shares their spiritual routines.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:28 AM   #9
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:46 AM   #10
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Done all the time here, I'm used to it, it just isn't a big deal. Well, unless someone asked me to do the prayer. Only then would I be uncomfortable. But I've worked for Habitat for Humanity and had a minister working for me, so I'm pretty much immune to being shocked by religious stuff at work. In fact, I started a morning prayer routine at work while I was there--gold star for Sarah--it was brought up as a plus in my review. I think the public prayer is pretty harmless, but I'm a native of the "belt".

I'm not a practicing anything, but I'm not really opposed to these kinds of religious observances. Welcome to the South! It is everywhere. I don't think I've ever been to a meeting of any sort of work organization (except the heathen sailing outfit--and they were from somewhere else--midwest, I think) that didn't have a prayer before meals. Never thought anything about it.
Interesting how others take offense to it--I do what Justin does--prepare my buffet strategy!
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:01 AM   #11
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God, please bless this plastic spork so that it doesn't break and snap off as I'm trying to cut this honey-baked ham. Please look after me so the two ladle-fulls of gravy don't overflow the mashed potato crater Your munificence guided me to construct. Lord, please have mercy on that prime, white juicy turkey breast that's calling my name. Holy Father who art in heaven, give me the strength to return to the buffet line for bountiful seconds and gracious thirds. Please grant me the willpower to eat lots of desserts after three heaping plates of the main dishes. Lord, please protect this nice, clean white shirt of mine from the evil advances of errant cranberry sauce. In your name we pray, Amen.

(that's the prayer I'm going to offer after I know I've got my FIRE stash saved up. I'll be FIRE'd for sure after that...)
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
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To the insiders it looks harmless. But if you do not share the same religion you are left out for something that you cannot change without sacrificing your own religion.
And this in a situation - work - where by law you should not be discriminated for your
religious beliefs.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:11 AM   #13
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Wow, I guess I've lived a sheltered life! I've NEVER experienced anything like this, and am a bit shocked that it is common in some areas.

Now, if they explained that they are a religious based organization at the interview, that would be one thing - accept it then.

Technically, if this makes you uncomfortable, it would seem to fit under some of the religious discrimination EEO laws. But unless you are prepared to make a martyr of yourself (ironic use of that term?), it's probably best to go with the flow.

I like justin's 'think evil thoughts' idea.

Quote:
God, please bless this plastic spork so that it doesn't break and snap off as I'm trying to cut this honey-baked ham.
That is just too funny!

I'd probably take the time to mentally calculate my net worth and FIRE date.

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Old 09-21-2007, 10:19 AM   #14
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what is the difference between public prayer and masterbating in public or, might i bring back to the forum, sex in a public toilet? the difference is that public prayer is more obscene. why? because your relationship with god is even more personal than your sexual relationships.

when we live in a world ruled from the outside in, we live in a world which is all too often inside out. we would proselytize our faith before admitting to our sexuality. and we exchange our money before giving away our sex.

yet naturally we wear our sexuality out in the open upon our faces (the most sexual part of a naked body is the face), we keep our money in our pockets (where no one can see) and our gods in our hearts (where they belong). that is the natural order of things; not praying to god in either a public toilet or at a business lunch.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:26 AM   #15
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praying to god in either a public toilet
"Oh Gawd, please don't let the guy I am about to hit on in the next stall be a cop."

- Sen. Craig
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:31 AM   #16
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Wasn't there something in the Bible about making a public show of prayer?

Of course, its real purpose is to remind everyone of their place in the power structure.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:37 AM   #17
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I agree it is not appropriate. It is just as inappopriate for management to discuss politics or display porno in the workplace.

Here is a suggestion - get a Yahoo email account and email the head of the Human Resourses dept with your concern. Tell him you do not feel comfortable giving your name or anyway for them to identify you.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:39 AM   #18
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Here is a suggestion - get a Yahoo email account and email the head of the Human Resourses dept with your concern. Tell him you do not feel comfortable giving your name or anyway for them to identify you.
Bad idea. Great way to ignite a witch hunt.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:40 AM   #19
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"Oh Gawd, please don't let the guy I am about to hit on in the next stall be a cop."

- Sen. Craig
now that's funny! talk about a smorgasbord.
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:46 AM   #20
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I wouldn't like it especially (being agnostic), but to me it is No Big Deal.

Personally I'd just bow my head (out of respect for others' beliefs) but would not mutter along with the prayer, and afterwards just let it go.
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