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Atheism in the workplace

I bought Richard's book The God Delusion over a year ago. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and perhaps arm myself with some excellent arguments for secularism. The problem is, I find I have little reading time due to having young children to care for and entertain. So I figured that I would take my shiny new book into work and perhaps read it in my lunch breaks.

I work for the National Health Service in IT (I am seriously thinking of a long term career change into the sciences via a part time degree, but this is a digression) and the office I work in is home to three other colleagues - an Iraqi Muslim, a Welsh Catholic and my boss who, so far as I can discern, is an agnostic - the politically correct 'faith'.

As I walked into the office that day with book in hand, my boss noticed the title and immediately told me to hide it from sight. The fear of upsetting the religous members of staff present became his first concern with no regard given to the right I may have to read what I choose. I must say I found this quite upsetting and debated a little with him on the merits of this decision. Needless to say, the possibility of a work grievance aimed at myself or more likely the department as a result of the implied insult of the book's title to those of religious persuasion, made the decision very easy for him. I do not read serious books at work any more.

My question is, have other people encountered this kind of censorship in the workplace generally, or is this reaction more to do with the political nature of the UK public sector in which I find myself?

TAGGED: CENSORSHIP, SECULARISM


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