I am sitting at an inservice at my job and breakfast was prepared for us.  As we were all about to get up to eat one of the employees stands up and asks if we could have Mr. ________ say a prayer before we eat.  She also "excused her feeling of necessaty for the prayer because some people don't like it but she just had to."  So, Mr. __________ asked everybody to bow there heads in prayer.  Everybody did that I could see except for me looking around the room at all the followers and thinking this is terrible. 

 

I have a question.  Has there been any laws that prevents this type of "at work" display of social behavior towards spiritual direction?  It is a lot different when a person performs their own personal direction of spirit, asking the entire group of employees to take part in their defined social behavior toward spiritual direction is another.  This should be illegal. Can my fellow Atheist Nexus members shed some ideas on how to fight this?

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Tags: and, job, religion

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Comment by Earther on August 15, 2011 at 10:59pm
Sicile, read sentiantbipeds link http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html .  It was somewhat helpful but kinda like I thought, very vague.  It really is awful people continue to allow this.  I keep trying to think how making it illegal would bite me in the ass somehow and I cant really think of one can you?
Comment by Sicile on August 15, 2011 at 9:55pm
This happens all the time at my school. Our principal will ask those of us who "are of mind to" to bow heads and pray before we eat at just about every PTA meeting we have.  I always wonder what our muslim family thinks when she prays to jesus.  I know what I'm thinking- it should be illegal.  I mean would it be ok for her to say, "Ok, those of you straight people come up and eat first", or "OK black folks, you eat before the white ones".  I mean, why is it OK to put atheists on the podium like that but not any other group?  It's that same old double standard.  Just kick the atheists to the curb - You would think they would treat us better since our eternity is going to suck so badly....
Comment by Earther on August 14, 2011 at 8:12pm
I did report a "comment - question" on FFRF yesterday.  I aslo read most of the report you linked me too.  The report is kinda like what I thought it would be, vague and to the disgretion of the employer.  Unless the law is clearly written as illegal the employer will need to put there own interpretation to your turmoil.  Asking the employer to do this can also be seen as a distraction to the workplace. 
Comment by Daniel W on August 14, 2011 at 6:49pm
Potentially making yourself a target is a reason why this sort of activity is probably illegal in the workplace. The "mob" part of "flashmob" is key. Unfortunately if you fight it, you will still be a target in the workplace. I would contact FFRF as Dakota mentions, and see if they are able to help without putting you at risk. Unless you want to be at risk.
Comment by Earther on August 14, 2011 at 4:41pm
Make no mistake, I could have left the room if I wanted but I chose to sit it out and not bow my head.  If I did get up though I feel that I would have made myself a social target.
Comment by Dakota Marquette on August 14, 2011 at 9:40am
They (the FFRF) is working on a case to have this "requirement" removed from the Military services as well...it is a norm for them to do this at retirement, commissioning, and cultural celebrations. I don't have any problem with not bowing my head when the prayer is recited...I actually find a few people with their heads raised with me. That usually makes me feel a lot more comfortable.
Comment by Daniel W on August 14, 2011 at 8:39am
This is terrible! I dont know if it is legal - seems like it would not be.

http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html
Comment by Atheist Andrea on August 13, 2011 at 9:38pm
This is how I feel at weddings or funerals. I will not bow my head. I actually put my chin up higher. I cannot believe this is happening at your job, though. This is ridiculous!
Comment by Steph S. on August 13, 2011 at 8:49pm

You can seek legal help from the Freedom From Religion Foundation -- (FFRF) -- they take injustices to court and have a legal team. The link is below.

http://ffrf.org/legal/

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