Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Religious Discussions at Work

Dear Madame L,

A work colleague is constantly asking me questions about my religion (I'm a member, as you are, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), but his questions (and his tone when we talk about this) make it clear that he doesn't really want to understand our teachings but rather to poke fun at my faith.

Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with this person?


Trying to Be a Good Christian But My Christian Friend Says I'm Not One Anyway

Dear Trying,

Madame L notes that the political atmosphere in this country is such (thanks to Newt Gingrich) that animosity prevails, so even private religious beliefs have become fuel for political fires and antagonism thinly disguised as "humor."

Madame L has dealt with such work colleagues in the past by patiently answering their questions and ignoring the subtext of hostility and ridicule. When the questions persisted, Madame L has invited her "friends" to talk to the missionaries so they could learn more about the church, at which time the colleagues stopped pestering her. They also stopped being "friends," which, frankly, did not bother Madame L in the least.

Madame L hopes you will continue to answer your fellow employee's questions in the spirit of Christian compassion, while reminding him/her that you would never make jokes or ask frivolous questions about his/her religious beliefs. 

Remember how Christ himself responded to hateful and bigoted people, and keep trying to follow Him.

With sympathy,

Madame L

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