Thursday, August 03, 2017

Happy with your wash?

You would have thought that being the recipients of a "special" message from the creator of the universe and the promise of eternal bliss that they'd be as happy as Larry, but apparently not, many don't seem content until YOU believe it too! 

The Christian lady in the photo above is an NHS worker who was recently disciplined for using her position to proselytize her religion to colleagues. She denied the charge and claimed "religious discrimination", which as we know, is often a reaction that religious people have to not getting their own way. This feeling of indignation is based on hundreds of years of privilege and positive discrimination in this land, which many believe should continue, "this is a Christian country after all" you hear them claim. The complainant in this case claimed harassment and bullying, ultimately an industrial tribunal found Victoria Wasteney (above) guilty of gross misconduct, suspending her for 9 months. Many patients at the Trust where she worked are vulnerable people with mental health conditions and several work colleagues expressed concerns about Wasteney's behaviour and that of her church.

Of course, many people (including me) are quite happy to discuss and debate religious topics at work, just as we would political, sport, music or indeed any other field of interest that might come up. But I've never come across anyone who exploited their position to proselytize or harass (either for or against). When you occupy a position of seniority care and humility is required, however, I believe that if challenged, anyone should feel free to offer robust arguments for or against the various theistic positions. In my experience, most religious people (arguing for) find this approach difficult to deal with, they often seem totally unaware of the depth and breadth of the arguments against their position and are surprised, if not slightly shocked, when exposed to them in a coherent way. Whilst I would never try to convince someone to change their conviction (especially at work), I wouldn't hesitate (if invited) to make the strength of the atheistic/rational position clear, if nothing else I find it helps engender respect for the ideas if not the people that hold them, something religious people don't seen to get much from their books and churches.

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