Religion was IBU

(58 Posts)
altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:51:53

At work today and we (staff) wee discussion what out children wanted.

Staff member say "Sam" said she had gotten her daughter, a telescope as space and stars fascinated her, (her not the daugher) and that us humans didn't really know what was going on, up above.

She went onto say that when Mary road a donkey to Bethlehem what a "pile of crap" the whole bible is, and that donkeys were proven not to exist in that time, FACT FACT even more FACT!!! (didnt matter what anyone said) I said fair enought but as a Roman Catholic I dont believe in your opinion.

She then went on to say that it was a whole pile of crap, and that eveolution it was, I asked her to stop the discussion as I thought she was rude, and disrespectful to my faith. Again she tried to say her opinion, I think I must have repeated that she just continue her work and stop the discussion. (I wven told her to go away numerous times) told her why I didn't want to speak about it further as I though she was beig disrespectful. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, as people are entitled to their opinion, but I just didn't want to hear it, as I would not be changing my mind on my faith and neither would I be changing her mind. (She over a 10 min period tried to explain her opinion and I repeatedly asked her to drop it.

About 5 mins later she came back and said (no idea why this is relevant that her father was christened and that she was at a catholic wedding at the weekend??!!??

Again I told her to drop it and I didn't want to carry in the conversation, at this point she left.

One of my other colleagues asked if I was ok, I said I was, just felt that it was disrespectful, althrough entitled to her opinion, with that collegue came barging in and said "if I had anything to say, say it to her face" I said I was talking about her directly, and was just answering a question that X had asked me.

I felt like a high school kid, but I can't seem to get it out of y mind.

As she went onto to tell further colleagues that we disagreed over a donkey!!! Which wasn't the case at all, thankfully another collegue was their.

Really thinking about putting my notice in, as I don't want to be know as the adult school kid religious freak.

I just didn't want to speak about it, so why the deck did she not get the message.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:53:11

Stoopid iPhone auto correct!!

Doesn't help I have dyslexia mind.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:55:38

Wasn't talking about her directly.


Teabagtights Thu 22-Nov-12 20:55:55

You could have walked away so she couldn't try to engage you. Why stay in the same place as her?

Don't leave your job you are entitled to believe what you wish.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 22-Nov-12 20:55:57

Don't put your notice in cos of one idiot.

She's an arse, who cares about whether there were donkeys round - she just wanted an argument and you didn't give her one.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:57:07

I couldn't walk away as I was in my area, doing my job, which at the time was busy.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 20:57:38

I don't think yabu, but I don't think she was that bad either. People talk shite all the time, you don't have to give it any credit. You could have just smiled and nodded and let it wash over you. I don't think you can tell someone what they can and can't talk about, if you didn't want to hear it you should have got up and left.

monsterchild Thu 22-Nov-12 20:58:48

IT sounds like she was being unreasonable not stopping when you asked the first time. It's not on to pester people about their beliefs in the workplace. Makes it harassment in my mind. I wouldn't quit over this though, she's not worth it. But if she does start in on it again I would mention it to HR or management if possible. religious harassment isn't ok.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 22-Nov-12 20:59:40

So she was standing at your desk saying all this? YANBU. It's extremely irritating when people talk to you as though you're an idiot and think they can get you to change your mind over carefully considered and deeply-held beliefs by a 10 minute attack. Rude.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 21:01:55

Thanks *stick*I'm glad for the link, even for my own clarity, won't be challenging her on it tho. She's entitled to her opinion as is anyone.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 21:03:46

Not desk busy kitchen sink, as staff member who normally does it had to go home and attend to her sick child the other member was a cleaner/cleaning down tables.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 22-Nov-12 21:14:48

Same thing. She was rude and if she does it again please tell someone who can do something about it. Don't quit your job!

apostropheuse Thu 22-Nov-12 21:29:22


She's entitled to her opinion, but you don't need to listen to her if you're uncomfortable. Don't even think about giving up your job for that reason, it's totally disporportionate to what happened.

It's just something that happens on a regular basis if you're a person of faith. You have to rise above it. an aside, though, there's nothing incompatible with being Catholic and believing in evolution.

MrsWolowitz Thu 22-Nov-12 21:32:12


She sounds like a knob.

A disrespectful and rude, know-it-all knob at that.


altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 21:37:53

I believe in eveloution, we all evolve... I even think some of the bible is outdated but try and follow it to the modern world that I live in.

I felt I was being backed into a corner and being forced to listen.

Jackstini Thu 22-Nov-12 21:40:58

She was rude for not taking notice that you didn't want to talk about it, but donkeys have been around as working animals for over 5000 years so she is wrong there anyway!

apostropheuse Thu 22-Nov-12 21:43:45

Yes I know what you mean altinkum. I just ignore that type of nonsense to be honest. I used to get upset if people did that to me, but it doesn't do anyone any good.

I'm Catholic too, believe me I know how it feels to be ridiculed.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Thu 22-Nov-12 21:47:21

Just as an aside...

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's... ass.

^ That is extremely old and I don't think it refers to liposuction.

apostropheuse Thu 22-Nov-12 21:50:09


maybenow Thu 22-Nov-12 21:50:35

Your colleague sounds awful, just ignore her.

But if you're interested - the Pope has apparently said something recently about the animals in the nativity, maybe that's what she was talking about:

And the catholic church does believe in evolution. They accept darwin's theory and believe that god created the universe and all life in it but that evolution is the process by which life evolved. they don't believe that evolution and catholicism is incompatible.

Kalisi Thu 22-Nov-12 21:53:22

I'm an atheist and I think she was being an idiot! Don't hand your notice in OP, some people are just pushy assholes. Ignore her and don't engage.

mummyonvalium Thu 22-Nov-12 21:54:43

YANBU - no matter what a person thinks it is not appropriate to try and make an argument. Glad you stood your ground.

apostropheuse Thu 22-Nov-12 21:56:01

Yes well I think it's been known for quite some time that there's a bit of artistic licence with the nativity story. He's not really saying anything new there. Scripture scholars have said that for many years.

axure Thu 22-Nov-12 22:03:03

Is there an Equality & Diversity policy at your place if work? You shouldn't have to put up with harassment based on your faith/religion. Go and speak to a supervisor or HR person. Don't even think about quitting.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:07

No, I don't think there will be, as its a very small firm.

I honestly felt/feel like a pertulant child in asking her to stop talking about it. I don't/didn't want her to change her opinion and not did I want to change hers.

I believe, ad respect others don't, so why be a total nymphpoopoop (ask my ds's would say)

I'm just scared I will be known as the religious freak when in reality I keep my faith to myself.

I don't think she was a idiot, certinetly not, just didn't agree with her opinion.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 22:26:28

Will read the wail link tomorrow. To late now as ds poorly.

Thanks to all, I was thinkig maybe I was being UR. I don't want to give up my job but also don't want to be known as a religious freak.

pointythings Thu 22-Nov-12 22:27:36

She was very, very rude. I'm an atheist (though I do believe in donkeys) but I would never spout crap like this anywhere - not in the office, not among family and friends. You have every right to feel hurt, she is the kind of evangelical atheist I have no time for.

Your colleagues don't sound very nice either. I wouldn't hand in notice over this, but I might start quietly looking for something else - not over the religious stuff, but over the fact that no-one spoke up for you and that there seems to be a bullying atmosphere in your office.

altinkum Fri 23-Nov-12 07:03:10

Just read the link, quite intreasting, read, but I think il wait and read the book itself before beleiving the wail fully.

Dh says next time I should just lamp her, told dh he was a knob!!!

shinyrobot Fri 23-Nov-12 09:47:39

She was being vvU, you were not. You are free to believe whatever you like and unless you were there trying to convert her then your beliefs are absolutely nothing to do with her at all.

ethelb Fri 23-Nov-12 09:54:38

I am catholic and thing ywb a bit u.

She is obviously a bit of a tit. I am also a biologist and get stabby when thickos start talking about evolution as though they understand it when really they just heard some smuggity, smug comedian use the word on the TV. Donkeys didn't exist 2000 years ago? What a facinsating hiccup of the molecular clock that they are around now then hmm

However, you are behaving like this is the first time you have ever heard someone banging off about how awful catholicism is. And you are British and Catholic? And on MN shock? This has really never happened to you before?!

FYI Catholics do believe in evolution. It's only people who are poorly scientifically and theologically educated that think otherwise.

SoupDragon Fri 23-Nov-12 09:57:00

You're thinking of quitting your job over a religious disagreement?? confused

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 23-Nov-12 10:03:19

Out of interest, did that ignorant cow think that donkeys were put on earth by extra terrestrials in the middle ages? Or did they evolve from horses recently? Or did they maybe crawl up on a beach somewhere?

It is ludicrous to think donkeys did not exist a couple of thousand years ago. What animals have evolved since the Human Race learnt to write and document what is happening?

Sallyingforth Fri 23-Nov-12 10:20:08

Sounds like she's an idiot FACT. People who try to cut off any response that way usually are FACT.
Tell her to keep her stupid opinions to herself FACT.

jeanvaljean Fri 23-Nov-12 12:14:54

If someone is spouting off some rubbish I disagree with I either just keep quiet and ignore it or challenge and discuss it with them in a reasonable way. Whether or not she's an idiot is actually irrelevant. I think YABU to try and close her down by saying she is being "disrespectful". I utterly loathe this approach to modern debating and it is completely anti-intellectual. We will never get anywhere in society as long as people keep playing the "I'm offended, please shut up" card. What does it matter if you find it "rude"? What relevance does that have at all? She was not attacking you personally, but an idea that you believe in. You need to have more balls to either stand up for what you believe in, or ignore what she's saying.

And to the person who said approach the Equality and Diversity team - ARGH!!!!!

Tanith Fri 23-Nov-12 12:37:18

jeanvaljean the OP was at work trying to do her job! That's no place or time for a theological discussion, even if she wanted one.

She has every right to shut this woman up.

NeedlesCuties Fri 23-Nov-12 13:13:33

I'm a Christian, and I would have just let it slide.

Arguing with some people is not worth it. Ignorance (on her part) is a bit of a power-trip and she likely wouldn't have listened to common sense.

Don't leave your job.

Maybe go to Answers in Genesis and point her to something that might educate her.

altinkum Sat 24-Nov-12 19:51:32

The point was I didn't want to argue, she wasn't going to change her opinion and not was I, no matter what she beloved to be factful.

Well I think I'm now known as the religious nutter, or the grass, as I ended up in the boss office upset, not because of her opinion/attuide but her aggressiveness towards me.

I tried to speak to her today but all was ignored, o don't want to fall out with her, but not si I want to discuss my beliefs with her also, to be told its a pile of crap!!!

Binkybix Sat 24-Nov-12 22:12:11

Maybenow. Thanks for that. Can I ask, do you know how that belief in evolution is married with man being created in God's image? I'm not trying to be antagonistic - am interested (and quite ignorant about Catholic belief!).

OP - she was being unreasonable. I don't think there's anything wrong with atheists talking about what they believe as part of a normal conversation or discussion, but it sounds as though she was just doing this to annoy/upset you and get in your face. Particularly inappropriate in the work environment.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sat 24-Nov-12 22:29:29

man being created in God's image

You are taking it literally - man = mankind, which includes all the human species.

TiggyD Sat 24-Nov-12 22:58:51

No donkeys 2000 years ago? How fast does she think evolution works?!

Sometimes you have to agree to disagree, particularly over religion. I'm an atheist fundamentalist BTW.

sashh Sun 25-Nov-12 01:13:51

Donkeys did exist but are not mentioned in the New Testament until Jesus rode one into somewhere - I think Jerusalem - long time since I read it.

Just ignore her, it is rare you can discuss beliefs without it becoming an argument.

Monty27 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:38:42

You seriously took this shit as a serious conversatation?
Oh well.


IAmSoFuckingRock Sun 25-Nov-12 01:43:31

i'm atheist but i would never have done what she did! she was incredibly rude to continure talking when you told her you weren't interested. dont leave your job. she's an idiot. jsut ignore her infuture. if she keeps it up speak to your manager. she doesn't have a right to force her belief on you or anyone else.

Monty27 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:47:33

Yes, it's surmountable to harrassment really. Discrimination on grounds of sexual, religious, race, etc etc

If I was sober I could quote it.... but sadly I've had too much wine

confuddledDOTcom Sun 25-Nov-12 02:18:04

I've met more people who try to change my mind about my faith than I have people who preach. Drives me up the wall! I would never try to force my beliefs onto someone else, we have the same rights to believe what we do as each other, yet the way I get treated just because I am a Christian is ridiculous! I prefer to keep my discussion to people who are genuinely interested - either talking for example to my uncle who's a Christian scientist and I find the stuff he knows quite fascinating, or to other Christians about something I've read and found interesting, or to someone who isn't a Christian but isn't talking about something to ridicule. I don't see the point in getting into a discussion that's set up to ridicule me.

I know what you mean about appearing like the religious nut, I hate that feeling too. Hopefully the same situation won't come up again but as you've spoken to your manager already it should be easier to deal with next time. Don't give up your job.

hackmum Sun 25-Nov-12 09:35:04

Well, there are lots of good reasons not to believe the Biblical account of the nativity story, but the lack of donkeys 2000 years ago isn't one of them.

JeezyOrangePips Sun 25-Nov-12 09:47:13

Oh my word. I've just l

JeezyOrangePips Sun 25-Nov-12 09:57:32

I'll start again!

Op you are NBU to not want to discuss your faith with a colleague. That is your decision absolutely, and swbu to try and force the issue.

But oh wow. I've just had a quick look at the answers from genesis website posted. I looked at one page and it was laughable. It was so chock full of assumptions and falsehoods about what atheism is, I really wouldn't know where to start.

Taking a politicians stance (vote for me because he is worse) in order to justify their religion, and filling the 'he is worse because...' sentance with giant leaps of illogic really doesn't help their cause!

(but as I said, I only read one page - others may be better)

specialsubject Sun 25-Nov-12 10:22:22

the issue is aggression at work, the subject is irrelevant. So you should indeed have reported her for that, well done.

no beliefs or faiths deserve respect - why should what she thinks matter to you? - but PEOPLE deserve respect and that means not starting an argument in a place where someone can't walk away from it.

I'm an atheist and was immensely pissed off by a visit from the JWs the other day - but as I was at home all I had to do was slam the door. You didn't have that opportunity.

Binkybix Sun 25-Nov-12 10:48:49

Thanks Ophelia. I know that 'man' is shorthand for 'mankind' (ie humans).

My question was more about trying to understand how the idea that mankind was created in the form that we are now (ie in God's image) is married with evolution theory (ie mankind evolved from other organisms and was not created as we are now).

As I say, not trying to be antagonistic - just interested.

onetiredmummy Sun 25-Nov-12 12:08:51

Oh OP I get the same from a family member & I'm an atheist, have been since my teens.

Ignore them, you know you get fundamental Christians who are OTT about everything loosely concerned with their faith? Well you get the same with atheists and it sounds like your colleague is one of them.

Every time I see this family member I get quizzed about how dreadful it is that schools even mention faith of any kind, I get lectured about how I'm not doing enough to expose the lies of religion (because I'm a gentle atheist & you all can worship whatever you want, which is wrong apparently). I get lectured that anyone who has a faith is an idiot & foolish, & the contempt they show for any believer is very uncomfortable. She won't shut up about it & is aggressive & won't back off. She is horrible, my heart goes out to you at not being able to escape.

HR policies are there for a reason, use them.

HecatePropylaea Sun 25-Nov-12 12:47:47

I find that just repeating "I don't care what you think" or the even more direct "I don't care about anything that you think about anything"

and saying nothing else at all - makes them go away. There really is only so long you can talk at someone whose only response is "I don't care what you think" grin

And, I know it's rude. But when someone decides to be breathtakingly ignorant, I say give it to them with both barrels grin

vladimirimp Sun 25-Nov-12 12:48:33

If the situation played out as described above, then it sounds to me that she was trying to deliberately upset you - "what did you get your DD for Christmas", "The Bible is a load of crap" - I just don't see the link?! Unless of course someone else in the conversation had provoked it.

Having said all that, I always struggle to understand why religious people are offended by people saying stuff like this. I mean, you must realise that the vast majority of people think that what you believe is fabricated, regardless of your religion. (To be clear, that Christians must presume that other religions are false, same for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, atheists...every group is in the minority yet thinks it holds the true view). To be offended because people say something when you already know they believe it, is odd.

HecatePropylaea Sun 25-Nov-12 12:52:33

To have someone following you round repeating it when you've been pleading with them to just agree to disagree and just drop it is odder grin

ethelb Sun 25-Nov-12 12:52:47

@binky the catholic church argues that man was made in gods image and there is sanctity of human life and just doesn't feel this is incompatible with evolution. No further explanation on this has been offered by the church as it isn't considered necessary or even something that is fully understood.

I guess the best explanation is that God oversaw an evolution that eventually produced humans. It was just a very long way if creating something inhis image. Doesn't mean they aren't in Gods image just because God took a long time over it necessarily.

giveitago Sun 25-Nov-12 14:09:02

anyone having this convo at work rather than with your crew down the pub or whatever is just unprofessional really. Don't give up your job over this.

I'm not religious and find RC very difficult to negotiate (dh rc) but work is for being professional. Like everyone, I have loads of opinions on lots of things but work is for being a bit insipid and just getting on with work and not offending colleagues.

If it happens again I'd have a world with your HR as you should be able to work without feeling your being insulted in your personal life.

giveitago Sun 25-Nov-12 14:21:14

you're not your

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