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Religion and work-- is there a median?

Nurses   (6,636 Views | 64 Replies)

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I think there is a time and a place for everything.

I don't think a small place on a shelf at work for any kind of icons/amulets is appropriate.

"a little piece of wood" could be left in your pocket if it gives you a sense of comfort.

America thrives/functions on the majority of people being "Mainstream."

It makes people anxious to be exposed to something that is not mainstream.

A little piece of wood.....how do others interpret that?

Is it voodoo? witchcraft? an object that is being used in a ritual?

It isn't "mainstream." It sends a message..... no one but you knows the message.

If you need a constant inspirational support/reassurance at work, I would wear a necklace under my uniform, or have something in my pocket. I would not build an alter at work, no matter how small.

I think your co-worker may have meant you were crazy to create your alter at your place of employment.

I think you are "asking for it." It is challenging authority. If you want to stand for your rights....for the "all or nothing"....ACLU & lawyers....and all that........ go for it!!!

This is America !! It's your right !!

Myself, I need to work. I don't make waves.

If I want to light black candles, put hexes on people, get drunk, have sex with the priest, worship at midnight under a full moon wearing black gauze, or any other stuff that is even slightly unmainstream, I'll do it, but not at work or in the presence of co-workers.

It depends on how much you need/want your job.

As someone said on another BB, we all "choose our battles."

I'd let this one go and die a quiet death & never mention it at work....a reputation for being an alternative "religious nut" would take a long time to live down .....even an undeserved one.

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735 Posts; 8,348 Profile Views

Mainstream Christianity is usually of the opinion that there is only one god and it is acceptable to display the symbols of christianity and unthinkable that anyone should be offended by them.

However, there ARE other faiths and if it is allowed to display the symbols of one then why not others.

Barbara, You are doing the right thing. Stand up for what you think is right.

Once when my son was in kindergarten the class took a field trip to the river and stopped at the catholic church and the teacher MADE all the kids kneel and do the sign of the cross. I was LIVID!

I called one of the school board members at home and complained and he told me that he thought there should be MORE of that in school and the teacher should be commended for what she did.

I threatened to call the ACLU and in a couple of days I got phone calls from the teacher, school board all apologizing.

These things happen all the time and if you don't stand up for what you think is right, folks will walk on you.

-Russell

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3 Followers; 37,151 Posts; 98,933 Profile Views

Rusty

You made me remember what happened to my daughter when she was in second grade. My husband and I were in the military stationed in Alabama where my daughter was enrolled in a public school. One day she said that the class was forced to pray at the beginning of the school day. My husband and I were appalled and brought it up to the teacher. She couldn't understand why we objected and we told her we had not sent our daughter to a religious school and did not appreciate her being taught to disobey the law. We then had to try to explain the concept of "civil disobedience" to our daughter as we became aware that many schools in the south were going against the Supreme Court ruling against prayer in school. We also considered going to the ACLU but ultimately did not.

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1,173 Posts; 10,455 Profile Views

Originally posted by Yeti1313LPN

thanks kids... I'm glad i didnt get bashed-- I just wanted to see what was the concensous.... I go back tomorrow.... I'll let you know what the update is on whats happening...

--Barbara

yeti,

It is so good to see you threading. Work is our home away from home. Nothing should be made of what you placed at work. You should be allowed to do this as you are there a significant amount of time.

If something mainstream was placed.....it would not be questioned.

Yikes.........not to change the subject, but I got ????? when on the refrigerator at work where everybody posted their pic's of their kids and grandkids, I POSTED MY PICS OF MY CHILDREN-----MY DOG AND TWO CATS WITH SMALL FRAMES AND EVERYTHING.......rebellious me:}

Let us know. Hang in there. And #1, dontcha worry about it.......

You are who you are.......and a good nurse. They should value that.........as you value all others and their belief systems.......

micro

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1,244 Posts; 8,886 Profile Views

Maybe I can explain (NOT JUSTIFY) the other nurse's reaction.

Please take this as information only, as I'm not writing this to make judgments on anyone or force my beliefs on anyone.

As a fundamentalist Christian, we are taught to take the Bible Old and New Testament (minus the Apocrypha) very literally. If history says it happened, it may've happened. But if the Bible says it happened, it REALLY happened.

In a nutshell, our denomination teaches that God provides for ALL of our needs. No need to call upon earth-wind-fire-water spirits, because He does it all. No need for other gods. No need to consult astrologers; He'll give us dreams, visions, prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, love, and spiritual power--all by His Holy Spirit. He doesn't want us to practice witchcraft, astrology, divination, seances, and stuff like that; He tells us that if He doesn't provide it, it comes from the Evil One. That corrupted power eventually leads to a spirit in distress and torment, because no one cares for the eternal well-being of our spirits except God.

Hence, Christians translate symbols of other religions and belief systems as spirits in crisis. On the other hand, I have also seen some people react very violently when shown Christian symbols. (Which to me only proves that there are spiritual forces operating....)

My point in telling you this is that we all have to make adjustments to accommodate our beliefs as well as others.

Daily I have to censor what I hear and see in public. I delete emails for tarot readings, tune out TV commercials, programs, and movie rushes, edit webpages to delete astrological forecasts, and other things that I have sworn off of since becoming a Christian. Because of my past, I have to be careful of different things than other Christians--I don't even play cards much any more, since I used to "read" cards. I consider it a personal victory that I no longer look at someone's hand or palm and assess their character or their longevity. (Thanks be to God, I never got into phrenology... :chuckle )

True, seeing a Buddhist shrine or a Vishnu goddess or an Islam headscarf or a pentagram tattoo evokes the sensation that there are lots of people out there who really don't know what they're missing when they reject my God, since He's really done all He promised for me, and I've never been happier.

But I don't witness to people unless they ask.

I can't object to the display of your symbols of your beliefs on your person or at your workspace; it wouldn't be fair.

God doesn't force Himself on anyone and I'm sure we all know the difference between displaying our beliefs and forcing them on others.

And there is no escape from the world. We as a family have had our little skirmishes with the secular world--for example, everyone wore logo T-shirts at one job I worked, but all logos were banned the day after I started wearing my "Wonderful, Counselor" Native American Jesus T-shirt.(? never figured out whether that was because of Jesus or because there was an archaic law that said admitting you were N.A. was illegal in that state??)

My son was considered a freak at school because he wasn't allowed to play with Pokeman stuff or participate in the Halloween party.

Last year, he had to have a signed note and explanation for opting out of reading from the Harry Potter books--conversely, a friend's kid was told he couldn't read his Bible during "reading time" at school.

So we all face our spiritual challenges, Yeti. I have to agree with the other posters; leave your shrine up til someone gives you an ultimatum. And then take it to the ACLU. Cause personally, I'd rather we all could display some of our spiritual selves rather than nothing. The US is all about freedom of religion, not absence of it.

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801 Posts; 9,251 Profile Views

I can't add much to what anyone here has posted, except:

Whether or not you can display the items of significance to your faith depends on who "owns" the facility where you work, and, as I understand it, from where they get their funding. Even in a Catholic hospital, if they receive funding from the federal government, they are not allowed to discriminate against employees for religious reasons. But, for example, if you live in a very predominantly Catholic town, such as Wichita, Kansas, where we have three Catholic hospitals, you would not get very far with complaints, etc.

Bottom line, no one has the right to question your sanity based on your religious beliefs, period. Each of us is religious or not, in our own way. Many of us feel that the proof of our religion is found in our own lives, but that proof may or may not be enough to convince others. Doesn't matter. I had a philosophy professor, who questioned everything, required logical proof of everything. However, on matters of faith, his final comment was that "faith was sufficient reason for a human to believe in God (however that human might define God, or gods).

Kevin McHugh

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jschut has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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As a fundamentalist Christian, we are taught to take the Bible Old and New Testament (minus the Apocrypha) very literally. If history says it happened, it may've happened. But if the Bible says it happened, it REALLY happened.

In a nutshell, our denomination teaches that God provides for ALL of our needs. No need to call upon earth-wind-fire-water spirits, because He does it all. No need for other gods. No need to consult astrologers; He'll give us dreams, visions, prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, love, and spiritual power--all by His Holy Spirit. He doesn't want us to practice witchcraft, astrology, divination, seances, and stuff like that; He tells us that if He doesn't provide it, it comes from the Evil One. That corrupted power eventually leads to a spirit in distress and torment, because no one cares for the eternal well-being of our spirits except God.

Amen Sleepyeyes....

and my kids pray at school just as they do at home........

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87 Posts; 2,646 Profile Views

Praying for all of you. God Bless you and yours.

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629 Posts; 10,480 Profile Views

Barbara:

I agree that if its acceptable to have a Christian prayer, its equally acceptable to have a Buddha statue, or a wiccan shrine, or whatever.

I don't think you're overreacting, I do think its unfair. Just because you are outside of the mainstream doesn't mean you relinquish your right to express yourself during work hours.

If that were the case, I'd never talk about my personal life, and I sure have a lot of stuff to talk about now! (hehehehe)

:rotfl: :lol2: :lol2: :rotfl:

Besides, mainstream is overrated. We have the status quo to thank for the missionary position.

Del

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859 Posts; 8,886 Profile Views

O/T: What's wrong with the missionary position? :D

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835 Posts; 9,851 Profile Views

This reminds me of a co-worker once who had a Budda at her desk. She would dress the budda (am I spelling that right?) up in different things (Santa hat at Christmastime, witch hat during halloween, bunny ears during easter, etc.). I didn't think twice about it, and actually found it kinda neat to see what the budda was wearing each week.

Another Buddhist came on the floor one day and found it EXTREMELY offensive and reported it as harrassment. After that incident, no, and I mean NO articles even remotely religious could be displayed. Oh well.

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839 Posts; 12,043 Profile Views

i remember the story from our local hospital:

cranky surgeon (?redundancy?) who was hindu, was always spouting "jesus christ" when pi$$ed at something/someone in or... finally one day after he did this, one of the nurses looked him dead in the eye and said "holy cow!"...he burst out laughing....

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