Life in Post-Christian America

bth_Anti-religionSkids Grofsky was visibly upset. He had driven straight to my house from work to discuss a volatile situation that had developed there. Because I hold a partial stake in the company he works for, I speak regularly with the manager. I had already heard the details about the conflict by the time he arrived at the house.  

Apparently, Skids complained to the manager that his co-worker had made him uncomfortable by giving him a used paperback he claimed was a Christian book. Then she jotted down a link to a Christian website and gave it to him.

“That stuff should be kept out of the workplace,” Skids said grimly.

faith-06-lg“I’m not sure which item you’re referring to. As far as the book goes, Zelda investigated the matter, and the book isn’t Christian. It’s a novel about a 7-year-old girl who has visions and hears the voice of God (she claims). It’s just an interesting story.”

“The girl develops stigmata! Those are wounds on the hands, feet and side that mirror the wounds Christ had—”

“I know what they are. It’s a work of fiction. The author is a secular Jew.”

“Well, it was still disconcerting. Anyway, then she jotted down a link to a Christian article and foisted it off on me.”

“Zelda said Catherine warned you on the post-it note that the website was Christian.”

“Well, it’s still unprofessional for people to be bringing Christian material into the workplace.”

“What she ‘brought in’ was a link. The Christian material didn’t come into the office until you logged on to the website. She warned you that it was a Christian website. If you didn’t want to look at Christian material, I’d say you shouldn’t have logged onto the website. And once you were there, if you found it offensive, shouldn’t you have simply logged off? I’m not understanding what the problem is.”

“She shouldn’t have given me the link in the first place.”

“Zelda used the link and read the article. She said it was a Christian perspective, but it didn’t proselytize.”

“What’s ‘proselytize’?”

“Try to convert. It was an article about an MSN news story that generated an argument about religion, and how the combatants (both the Christians and the atheists) were uncivil, irrational and uninformed.”

“Well, it was a Christian website.”

Anti-God“It sounds like you believe having someone suggest a Christian article is going to harm you in some way.”

“I have a right not to be made uncomfortable in the workplace.”

“Why didn’t you just hand her back the post-it note and tell her you aren’t a Christian?”

“I shouldn’t have to go through all that. Bringing Christian material in there is inappropriate.”

“We already went over that. You’re the one who logged onto the website. Anyway, as for her making you feel uncomfortable, don’t you think you made her a little uncomfortable when you went and reported her to the manager? She and the clinical supervisor sat Catherine down in the office for 20 minutes over this. Now she has a piece of paper in her personnel file that says the manager had to set her straight. All because you couldn’t bring yourself to tell Catherine you weren’t interested in Christian articles.”

“I have a right not to have religion imposed on me in the workplace.”

200px-David_Foster_Wallace“Really? Catherine said you recommended that she check out a novelist and essayist named David Foster Wallace. From his writings, he seems to be a secular humanist.”

“A what?”

“A secular humanist. It’s an atheistic philosophy that simply replaces God with humanity as its focus.”

“Well anyway, what’s your point?”

“Well, you were basically guilty of the same thing you complained about Catherine doing, which was suggesting religious reading material.”

“How do you figure? Wallace didn’t believe in God.”

“My point exactly. Atheism was declared a religion by the Supreme Court in 1986.”

“So what?”

“So you suggested religious reading to Catherine.”

“I don’t see how that’s the same thing.”

Somehow I avoided wrapping my hands around Skids’s neck.

In a way, this stuff is almost laughable. But people like Catherine aren’t laughing too hard, especially since the workplace is increasingly controlled by “at-will” employers. This is mjaas0030good from the standpoint that at-will employment generally brings about a merit-based system of rewards. On the other hand, at-will employers are tethered only by state and federal labor laws. They can fire someone for having brown hair if they want. As American society becomes increasingly secular and hostile toward Christians, it’s not too hard to see people like Catherine getting fired for silly stuff like this.

Things are looking pretty grim. On the other hand, we’re getting closer to graduation day. We won’t have to put up with this nonsense forever. Don’t tarry, Lord Jesus.

Postscript: On 9/13, Catherine returned to work after several days off and found a book sitting right at the shared work station: The Quotable Atheist. It wasn’t a great surprise to me when I heard about it, although I was tempted to anger. I have to constantly remind myself that through such hypocrisy, our combatants fight against themselves.

About Douglas Abbott

I am a freelance writer by trade, philosopher and comedian by accident of birth. I am an assiduous observer of humanity and endlessly fascinated with people, the common elements that make us human, what motivates people and the fingerprint of God in all of us. I enjoy exploring the universe in my search for meaning, beauty and friendship. My writing is an extension of all these things and something I did for fun long before I ever got paid. My hope is that the reader will find in this portfolio a pleasing and inspiring literary hodgepodge. Good reading!
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2 Responses to Life in Post-Christian America

  1. theirishatheist says:

    Wow, Christians certainly are persecuted. The way you portrayed it is almost as bad as what Christians did to LGBT people in America for decades, or the way they eradicated the Native Americans, or slaughtered thousands in my own country.
    It seems you are meant to suffer.

  2. Douglas Abbott says:

    We are certainly meant to suffer. It was foretold a long time ago. It’s part of carrying the mantle of Christ. However, I would hope that atheists would come at this discussion armed with facts and reason, but that isn’t always the case. This situation actually happened to a friend of mine, just the way it was portrayed here. If I were an atheist and I saw some of the things that are happening in this country, it would make me think twice about what I believe.

    As for “Christians” eradicating the Native Americans and doing all these awful things, It’s easy to make such statements, just like it’s easy for ruthless leaders to call themselves Christians while they implement policies like the ones that ruined the American Indians. These events were politically, not religiously, driven. Let’s talk about how many millions of people have been killed by atheists—Stalin, Mao Tse Tung (there’s more than 50 million right there!). I’m afraid you’re not going to win this argument. The fact that you are saying these things shows that you don’t have any idea what Jesus is all about.

    If you believe homosexuality has gotten a bad rap because of Christians, you should check out Cy Rogers, a gay man who nearly had a sex-change operation before changing his mind about the whole thing and becoming a Christian. I encourage you to go past the standard mudslinging and find out who Jesus is. It could change your life for the better.

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