The "Have you found a church yet?" Question - page 7

I would like to get some input on how to handle this question at work. I always find good advice on this forum, and I really don't know what to do about this. I am a new grad and moved to a new... Read More

  1. by   Nepenthe Sea
    As for the people who are wondering why some of us get so offended about the church question, and why don't we just get over it? I have to agree with what many others said about it. It doesn't offend me if somebody asks. Most of the time, I just assume that they are being friendly. I have a problem with the ones that keep on pushing you about it when you've made it plain that you are not interested, because they think you need to be "shown the way". Some people really DON'T take no for an answer. And all the people who said that there are people like that in every aspect of life are absolutley right, too.

    I remember one time I was at the grocery store. With my black hair, pale skin, and visible tattoos, I must have "looked" like I needed saving, and there was a couple there that was more than willing to do the saving. They sent a religous tract my way - not a church flier, but one of those Chick tracts that tells you that you are going to Hell for whatever reason thay have that day. What REALLY made me mad, though, was that they sent their three-year-old daughter to give it to me! I guess they thought that I couldn't possibly turn it down if this cute little girl gave it to me. I very nicely told the girl, "No, thank you, sweetie." As she walked back to her parents, I saw them give me a horrible look. And all I could think was, "If it's so important to you, then YOU do it!"
  2. by   Hushdawg
    As a non-Christian I can relate to the OP's delimma.

    When faced with religious inquiries that are obviously going to be full of friction I usually say "I don't feel it is appropriate to discuss religion in the workplace, I'd rather focus on what we do here that we have in common."

    However, I've been fortunate enough to have positive experiences when I simply express my faith and I've found that in the long run it does help to simply be confident in your chosen path and embrace the criticism and questions that come with it.
  3. by   Piccione
    Quote from rn-2-b-n-09
    Okay, just out of curiosity, are you at a "faith-based" hospital? If so, this would be expected...
    Yeah, what kind of hospital are you working at? And which state, not Utah, right?

    It's kind of funny because I'm working in an exactly opposite environment in which my co-workers all claimed themselves atheist and likes to drink, smoke, be inappropriate, party, break rules and make fun of Christianity especially around Christmas. Since I grew up in a Catholic school, I feel so not fit in. I'm looking into (switching career to) nursing, but it'd just be as awkward for me if people keep asking about my religion because I really don't have one either. I learned too much philosophy to fall into either categories.

    Em... what is your hospital's policy for religious discrimination? Maybe you can see if you can change department or hospital? This is really a difficult question Maybe you can politely and honestly tell them that you don't believe in God but find the common ground on morality, on why you still think helping people is important to you even though your don't believe in God, and assure them that you're compassionate and having a good heart. I can imagine it takes some skills to make this conversation goes smooth...
    Last edit by Piccione on Feb 22, '10
  4. by   Cathylady
    Quote from Spidey's mom

    AMEN Steph, no need to be offended.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    I've gotten the "smile!" remark my entire life. Genetics plays a part in my looking like a grump. I find myself trying to always have a smile on my face and that takes some work!

    I'm saving up for a facelift because of my genetics. I often wonder how much this has played a part in anything dealing with the job, where everything is important. I don't like what I see in the mirror and it is very hard to put on that fake half smile in attempts to make the lines less prominent. < Me, seeing self in mirror!
  6. by   khminh
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    I grew up in the rural deep South and although I live in the "big city" now, when it comes to this issue of church and religion, there isn't a huge difference. I never belonged to the traditional Black church, I still don't, which made me something of an outsider now and growing up. As a result, I've been on the receiving end of what church/religion you belong to more times than I can count and I can tell you that while some folks may ask as a getting to know you question, if you don't answer just right this question can lead to proselytizing and judgment which is why those of us on the outside tend to get stiff when it comes up. So while some people may mean no harm, some people do.

    We can't do anything about it, folks sure are going to keep asking so the only thing we can do is get a thick skin.
    That's the problem. Christians do harm without awareness. Sometimes, they even intentionally ignore other people's opinions. They always think they are correct.

    You are brave. Keep it up.
  7. by   elkpark
    Quote from khminh
    That's the problem. Christians do harm without awareness. Sometimes, they even intentionally ignore other people's opinions. They always think they are correct.

    You are brave. Keep it up.
    Are you going to seek out every single thread on this site that mentions religion, no matter how old, and post your repetitive Christian-bashing? You throw around the term "Christian" as if there is one, consistent definition of a Christian and they are all the same. There is an incredibly wide range of Christians "out there," many (I would dare say most) of whom bear no resemblance whatsoever to the particular narrow stereotype you find so offensive. I've worked with and have been friends with many, many Christians over the years who are nothing like what you describe, and would never consider pushing their personal views on a client (or anyone else). The people you are condemning on all these threads stand out because they are so vocal and visible, but you probably encounter any number of Christians every day that you don't recognize as Christians because they make no attempt to push their religious identity on others at work.
  8. by   Phil-on-a-bike
    As a dyed-in-the-wool atheist from one of the least religious nations on the planet - who moved to the Deep South - I got this a lot.

    And I can honestly say it never bothered me in the slightest!

    What this is, is well-meaning people inquiring, in a pleasant way, about your well-being. What's not to like in that equation?

    A civil thankyou and a polite, non-preachy explanation of my irreligious outlook was no effort at all.

    It didn't result in anybody being offended, and - perhaps more surprisingly - did not result in anybody trying to Save My Soul.

    I did still get invitations to church-affiliated social events, which was I thought was very nice of people.
    Turns out you don't have to believe squat to enjoy a day out picking peaches in the sunshine - who knew?
  9. by   JBudd
    Quote from elkpark
    Are you going to seek out every single thread on this site that mentions religion, no matter how old, and post your repetitive Christian-bashing?
    And considering that post was EIGHT years ago!

    Hi Elkpark!!
  10. by   2210485
    I don't see how this question is offensive at all.

    I am Muslim first of all. So just to clarify my opinions aren't being put forth as someone who is a Christian or who is not aware of what it is like to be marginalized.

    In fact I would argue that in our present political climate I face more open hostility as a Muslim then the average athiest.

    That said I think you might be overreacting a bit to this. While you are certainly entitled to your own emotions and feelings, you DID sort of open this up for public input, thus I will give you my own opinion on the content of the original post. It's by no means meant to be personal or hostile.

    Imagine a conversation that goes like this:

    Charge Nurse: "Where are you from?"

    New Nurse: "Texas!"

    Charge Nurse: "Nice! Have you found any good Steak Houses around here yet?"

    New Nurse: "No, I'll have you know I am a Vegan! Furthermore I find it very rude and unorofessional for you to assume that just because I am fron Texas I eat meat! The only conversation that belongs here is patient care and I would appreciate it if you left my personal life out of this!"

    How would you view such a conversation as a third party observer? If you felt the new nurse overreacted in this scenario then you and I are on the same page!

    While it is a bit presumptuous to assume that a new nurse is a Christian, the question itself is rather innocent. You are certainly welcome to inform the individual of your situation or simply inform them that, you orefer to keep that sort of stuff on the downlow. There are tactful ways to close the conversation.

    However I don't think theres any need to really let it get under your skin either.

    Nearly 75% of Americans are Christian, in nursing specifically studies have found that as many as 88% of Nurses are religious.

    What about the doctors, sure there would,be alot of atheist doctors? Wrong!

    There are actually LESS atheist doctors compared to the population at large! Doctors were also be discovered to be more likely to apply religion in the workspace as well. 55% of Physicians go so far as to openly admit that religious beliefs guide their patient care practice.


    400 Bad Request

    These numbers of course get higher in certain regions. In Mississippi for example Atheists constitute quite the minority.

    In light of all these statistics, it is not necessarily shocking to me that questions about church preference come up. I can't see it being offensive, they are only trying to ensure you get settled in.