Being An Atheist At Work


I am an atheist. I don’t believe in god. When you die, you die.

[Remember what it was like before you were born? No? That’s what death is like. Or so I suspect. Nobody really knows. I’m cool with that.]

It is weird to be an atheist at work. Atheists are less popular than Jews or Muslims. While you celebrate religious holidays with fake secular names, I am forced to pretend like you are serious about diversity and inclusion.

[Side note: Atheists are more popular than members of the Tea Party. I’ll take it.]

I can’t tell you how many times people have tried to talk to me about Jesus and other spiritual leaders at work. I’m not offended because it’s nice. Sorta. You want me to be saved. Thank you.

For the record, I am totally motivated to do good work and find meaning in my life. I don’t like the idea of wasting time because death is the end of life; however, I don’t feel entitled to spiritual fulfillment or peace of mind. I am aware of a calling in life but it’s not Jesus who is calling me.

I won’t lie. Sometimes it’s Citibank.

The one good thing about me? I am hyper-aware that my personal needs  might be in conflict with what’s best for the people I love and respect. I try to make the right choices. I think about my own mortality. I want to make a positive impact on this world.

I’m just not sanctimonious about it.

Okay, I’m not as sanctimonious about it as other people. (cough cough)

So the next time someone tells you she’s an atheist, don’t be horrified. Don’t try to understand. Don’t try to convert her. Here is a crazy idea — why don’t you just mind your own business and respect her position? I know your religion compels you to convert people. I’m asking you to tone it down. Assume good intent. Trust that an atheist has a personal plan that is just as important as your salvation agenda.

If you’re really interested, you can ask an atheist what keeps her up at night.

You know what keeps me up at night? Jerks who talk/text/tweet while driving as if their job is so important that they can’t put down the phone. You’re going to kill someone, Christian texter. I hope your job was worth taking a soul.

[Yes, I am an anti-texting atheist. Me and Christopher Hitchens. Fighting the good fight for secular humanism and safe roads.]

In short, have some compassion and please stop trying to convert the atheists in the office. If you are really trying to have a theological discussion, be respectful of the idea that god doesn’t exist. After all, most atheists respect your concept of faith.

But let’s get back to talking about texting/driving. Surely we can find common ground, yes?

Previous post:

Next post: