Proud But PrivateLet me start by saying that I am a very private person. I don't post daily status updates on facebook, and I don't divulge much of my private life to any but a select few. However, in the last year, I have grown very tired of feeling like I had to hide my interests and started following several atheist pages on facebook.
A little background information: my parents are very conservative, christian missionaries. My father is a pastor. I knew I did not agree with their beliefs from a very young age. I memorized sc
Sharing all of this was prompted by something that happened to me at work this weekend. I am a nurse, and I am currently working at a catholic hospital. I have been trying to transfer to another hospital here in town but, so far, have not had much luck.
While most of the people I work with are not catholic, the majority are christian of some brand or another. I was in the nurses station working on paperwork. At the time, there were about 8 other people at the station. It is not very big and there was no where else for me to sit. They were all talking loudly when one of the nurses turned to me and said, "So, I have a question for you." This immediately put me on my guard because this nurse has a "gift" shall we say for asking extremely personal questions loudly and abnoxiously in the middle of the station. If you won't answer her, she makes her own assumptions and announces them to the room. She is also the biggest gossip on our floor. Anything you tell her will make the rounds within a couple of days.
So, I looked at her and said, "Okay..." - all the while bracing myself for whatever she might ask.
"So, are you an atheist?" Damn, you could have heard a pin drop in that station. It was like 60mph to 0 in 5 seconds flat.
I just stared at her for a second and then said, "Why do you ask?"
"Oh, I just saw that you like this page on facebook and it was about athiests. Are you an atheist?"
I tried to figure out how to answer her but not answer her at the same time. " I don't like to discuss religion or politics at work," is my standard reply to probing questions, so I used that.
"Well, you posted it on facebook, so it's not like it's private or anything."
"Yes, but this is work, I don't discuss these sorts of things while at work." I turned back to my paperwork. She tried to engage me in conversation about this a few more times, but I just kept deflecting with the same responses.
By now, I'm sure everyone on my floor is convinced I am an atheist. While this is true, it is not something I chose to make a public announcement about at work. I don't feel it has any bearing on my ability to perform my job, but I lived for too long in the christian community to not know how they view atheists.
I wondered if anyone here has been through a similar experience and has any advice for dealing with any future interrogations. I just have to wonder though, why does she think her behaviour is appropriate? I don't ask other people probing personal questions unless they are very good friends. At the same time, I wonder if I should have just come out at that point, except that it would have led to her demanding to know why i don't believe in her god. another discussion I don't want to have at work. just needed to get all this out - any comments, suggestions, commisserations are welcome.