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How to let them know I'm an atheist without sounding like an heretic bastard?

Baby Carrot

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99.9 % of the people I work with are like catholic to death. They go to the church and religion is a big part of their lives.


They're not very cultured or educated, so they tend to think everybody is like them (which is very stupid in my opinion).


But the worst of all is that they even ask you for money, to buy flowers for an altar they have (geez... what a waste IMO) and for religious events they organize.


What bugs me is that they dont even bother to ask if you're into all that. They just ask directly for money, like if it was your obligation to contribute financing their faith or something... because they already assumed you're a catholic goodie goodie


I mean, yeah, they're entitled to profess everything they want and to put all the altars they feel like to, but not with my money!!!


There is this big event in december and they already asked me $$$ for it. I told them I didn't have any cash, but next time I'm not gonna come up with excuses, I need to let them know I'm not into that, like, AT ALL.


But they're gonna get all weird and probably think I'm one rude biatch for not participating. Of course is not fair and I'm in all my right, but still, I don't know how to make it less critical.


Any ideas? Thanks in advance...

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Since you want to remain in a comfortable work environment, I wouldn't get into matters of faith, although I privately feel you're within your realm to do so. But just to keep the peace, I would say, "I only have a small amount of disposable income that I can contribute to charity, and I already have organizations that this is earmarked for."

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Baby carrott - this is totally a tough one.


I am a very LOUD atheist myself and find it very trying at times. Especially at work where, as you said, a majority of the people are religious somehow.


Most people, once they find out you aren't comfortable discussing such matters will leave it alone but there's always that guy that wants to "save" you and will keep picking!


First of all, it is illegal in the US to preach or promote religion in the workplace. You could always use that as a fall-back by just simply saying you're not comfortable discussing it for those reasons.


But I haven't "outed" myself to my husband's grand parents either. They are very into their religion and I KNOW they would think differently of me. So....I've decided to just change the subject or nod quitely, feining mock agreement....


It sucks being in the minority, but our numbers ARE increasing.




Atheist power!


just kidding.

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It cracks me up that people are now thinking like there is an atheistism group


Talking about religion to an atheist is a not a bad thing.

When has atheist beome so closed minded???


I am an atheist, i dont mind people coming to ask for donation to church or talk about their religion to me. I know where i stand within myself and dont really have to SHOUT out and say, "HEY i am an ATHEIST!! dont talk to me about religion!!". Do we have to group together and have an atheist group??

GOOD grief!!


Personally if the donation is for a good cause whether it is a church/ muslim/ budhist etc organised event i would give to it. BUT, if it is a direct donation to a church to restore that church then i wouldn't as it isnt my responsibility to do so.

Being an atheist and living in a environment of christians and catholics i enjoy the festivities, christmas is great! boxing day, good friday, it all brings peole together. WIthout these events i believe the world will be a less inteestig place.

Being in a country will many diffeent religions makes life even more interesting. Muslim feativals, indian feativals, chinese. What i am trying to say is that though i dont believe in all these i am not against it either, and neither am i against the fact that they want to share their though about their religion with me Just dont try shove it down my throat.

There is so many things that make our world a colourlful place. Having an atheist saying that "I dont want to know" because there a religion affiliated within the sentence just make people think that being an atheist means that you are ignorant.


So where is the problem?

There isnt one, it is about the choice to give to something that will benefit the environment you live in or not to give the a organisation that you dont believe in.


Not believing has nothing to do with not learning. Knowledge about something that you have no interest in only make you wiser and not ignorant.

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For further information, is they money they're asking for is not about charity.


See, I'm in Mexico and people go nuts on December 12, cuz is the "Day of the Virgen de Guadalupe". So they all celebrate masses, etc, etc. Where I work, the majority of the employers are pretty much low class and catholic to the bones. And of course, they assume the rest of the world, or at least of the country, is the same way.


So they just arrive, all fresh and cool with a list of all the workers here saying: "We're gonna have a mass for december 12, and you have to give us 10 bucks, when can we pass for them?"


That bugs the crap outta me.


I mean... Sheesh!


That's what bothers me. That they're deciding what to do with the money I make. Is like if I ask for them to give me money because I'm gonna throw a party in the name of Krishna or Vishnu or Quetzalcoatl or whatever... of course they're gonna send me to hell uh?






you don't have to donate money, AND you don't have to answer to anyone, AND you don't have to give excuses.


I know! Believe me, I feel the same way, and yes I'm a little bit annoyed. But, as I have to see this people everyday, I rather keep it cool and polite instead of just sending them directly to hell without explanations u know what I mean?


now i wouldn't tiptoe around them, hiding my beliefs. you shouldn't have to do that.


Yeah is ridiculous and it bugs the hell outta me, but in order not to be seen like a weirdo you have to that sometimes. With narrow minded religious square people, you are either a goodie goodie and part of the church team, or ur an heretic bastard for having the balls of embracing the fact that THERE IS NO GOD.




Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying... I need to keep it comfortable, no frictions and rude answers.


"I only have a small amount of disposable income that I can contribute to charity, and I already have organizations that this is earmarked for."


But is not charity, is for celebrating mass. I mean, is supposed to be for free in the first place. But no, they have to pay in order to have their so called mass.




I know, it basically reduces to "me atheist" against the whole catholic world. Ew. SO ANNOYING.


And once they find out I don't profess their catholic poop.


Ur totally right! I'm a total closet atheist here! And is hard indeed to get out! Geez! I feel for the gays now... more than ever.


Is like, be part of the majority or.... burn in hell witch! burn in hell homo!




I don't mind making donations either.


But they're not asking for donations, they're automatically assuming I'm catholic and thereforeeee, asking me for 10 bucks for their mass.


Why would I invest 10 bucks in a mass I don't believe in, just because a bunch of squares assume I'm also catholic?

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Baby carrot, I can relate so much!


I'm not an atheist(I think?), but I'm definitely--lately--far from religious, and I run into this situation all the time...especially where I work and goto school.

It is presumed automatically that everyone is a Christian to some degree or another.

Once, I was walking around campus minding my own business when this guy stops me in the middle of street...

He stopped me to invite me to a Christian college student's group AND asked for a dollar donation and gave me a Jesus bumper sticker.


I wanted to tell him that I didn't believe in that, but he was really handsome so I gave him a dollar and bought a bumper sticker anyway...


As it is, for me, I just don't get into it with fundamentalist people. Yes, you can tell them that the religion isn't for you or that you don't believe...And most will leave you alone. But there are those who think that "The lord" put you in their path for a reason and won't cease and desist until you are "saved." Those kinds of people are harassing you and you can report that...


What someone believes and doesn't believe is their own business.

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It is presumed automatically that everyone is a Christian to some degree or another.


Yeah, is automatic... everybody is supposed to be born hetero and catholic/christian...


I wonder if we have to tattoo in our foreheads the mark of the beast or a rainbow just for people to stop assuming this automatically.


The girls that ask me for this stuff are not even attractive... I mean, I'd zip it and gave them the money if they looked like Scarlett Johansson or something (LOL kidding


I don't get fundamentalists either. That attitude of "my god is the real one..." is just lame. I can pray to Harry Potter and make him my personal god if I feel like to... after all is completely random. But I wouldn't dare to ask anyone for money to throw a party and buy cute scarfs and stuff ya know...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am an athiest myself and Ive learned to try not to bring up discussions of religion or politics unless its someone you know pretty well. But when I have to, if someone is talking like they assume Im a christian, I simply reply that "I am not religious". That is somehow more exceptable to them than saying "athiest" because by saying "not religious" it leaves open the possibility that you may believe in a god but are not into the whole church thing and religious holidays, (which is more acceptable to them) while at the same time letting them know youre not interested in discussing it any further. Maybe its not being totaly honest, but total honesty is not what youre looking for, youre looking to get along with youre coworkers and have them stop pestering you about religious topic and this way seems to work best for me.




I think there are so many churches out there that use the word "athiest" with such negative connotations (that we're evil people, we're doomed to hell, ect. ect.) that if you can avoid using that word to describe yourself, but still tell them youre not religious, that should work well.

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So true! You just can't be totally honest about that kind of things.


I don't like the idea of them assuming I belong to other kind of religion, but is wiser to keep it cool like that.


Cuz the thruth is, they're gonna pester me (even when they shouldn't) about the fact that I don't believe in anything of anything. Most people step back and gasp when they found out that kind of things.


Thanks for the advice!

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Trash Mail - you totally bring up a good point.


I actually LOVE discussing religion and the likes but find people's assumptions and judgements...taxing sometimes I guess.


And I see what you're saying about giving, but there are sooooo many organisations who give and help just as much and have NO religious affiliation as well. Not that one should pick based on that, but why not?

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i am so sick and tired of everyone downing athiests.... i believe in SOMETHING. but what that is...i dont know...


and people who "cant discuss things" shouldnt even have bothered to write a post about how they cant discuss it... (dont write anything at all)


I say... dont give them money. tell them that you dont support it and or you have to budget your money for something else...


dont explain yourself... you dont have to tell anyone anything you dont want to tell them... and you go head and believe whatever it is that you want to believe...


in the end...we all die...


nobody knows the TRUTH!

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I say... dont give them money. tell them that you dont support it and or you have to budget your money for something else...


dont explain yourself... you dont have to tell anyone anything you dont want to tell them... and you go head and believe whatever it is that you want to believe...




I couldn't agree more. The thing is that you gotta be diplomatic about this kind of things (is not fair) but is very possible that I sound like a biatch to them if I put it like that.


Like Pacman said, sometimes being ambiguous and saying partial truths are the best way to procceed.

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OK, so I've just did it.


They came to ask for the money for their mass on december and I simply said...


"I'm just not religious, I'm not catholic or anything"


They were kind of surprised but finally they just accepted it and went away.


It wasn't that bad. Although is sure is gonna be the talk of the town for a while. Since they ALL know me and recognize me pretty well.


But who can control what people say or think? Noone really.


But I'm definitely NOT gonna fake or pretend to be someone I'm not just to fit in.

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I don't think you need to tell people you are an atheist. That is your business, not anyone elses.


If you are being made to feel uncomfortable, you should speak with your HR representative. As I understand it, your coworkers cannot directly silicit money from you. They can post flyers in the break room, but they can't ask you for money or donations.

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