So about three months ago, I started a new job. I'm a writer for a consulting company that works with non-profits to help them get tax-exempt status from the IRS. The job itself is absolutely amazing. It's rewarding, the pay is good, I'm excelling to the point that I've completed the estimated 1 year training in three months, and it's a small, close-knit company. Everyone there is really kind and helpful, and the environment is everything I've ever wanted in a job.
This company is very religious. They describe themselves as a Christian company. Their mission statement explains that they're "faith-based". The sales staff sits ten feet away, and I can hear them talk to potential clients about God wanting them to be successful. In addition:
- The first 15 minutes of every Monday is a company prayer.
- Business emails and internal communications include frequent references to prayer and faith.
- The company requires us to close phone conversations with "have a blessed day".
- Of the 21 employees, 14 go to the same Southern Baptist church.
Here's the thing. The CEO and my direct supervisor know that I'm a committed atheist. In many ways, they've dealt with it in outstanding fashion. They made sure that I knew that the company prayer was optional, and I would not be required to work during that time. The CEO instructed me to come directly to him if anyone ever questioned my beliefs. But I know that discussion is coming. A few people have asked me what church I go to, and when I tell them I don't, they look truly baffled. When I was having a rough week last week, 8 people asked me to pray with them. One employee genuinely couldn't understand why Jen and I aren't getting married in a church.
I know I should be able to just ignore it, but it's starting to make me uncomfortable. I love this job, and I don't want to go anywhere, but the long email chains that begin with "My toothache doesn't need a root canal!" followed by a dozen "Praise Jesus" and "God is the greatest physician" replies, copied company-wide are starting to make me squirm. Hearing the sales staff assure potential clients that we're a Christian company, and every one of the people involved in their application is saved. The long discussions during staff meetings about mission trips and how sad it is that people in Ukraine haven't been exposed to the truth about our Lord. The fact that I KNOW that the conversation is coming, and I don't know how I'll respond.
I love this job. I really do. So how do I deal with all of this? Ignore it? Say something? Help me, ObiGWJ. You're my only hope.