09 April 2013

My new co-worker is an uber-Christian

There's been some turnover at my job of late, and we recently hired someone new after a long and frustrating search that resulted in me working a fair few split shifts. Things are back to normal now, and the new guy seems to be doing well.

This evening I had a chance to shoot the breeze with him for a bit. He's from out of state and said there was some "drama" he needed to leave behind so he could start over. He told me about his recent divorce, during which he peppered the conversation with references to how frequently he prayed ("I resolved to pray for her every hour on the hour", he said at one point), that God spoke to him and gave him sage advice along with revealing that his now-ex was having an affair with a good friend of his (because apparently he could not possibly have figured that out otherwise), that she knew she needed to choose between "God's path" and "the world" but that she chose the world, that their marriage counselor was their pastor, that he had spent some time as a youth leader before moving here, blah blah blah...

Now, being a non-believer in a generally very religious part of the country, I usually make every effort to avoid conversations about religion. I have one client who frequently talks about the Bible and how it relates to life lessons, and another who cited Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline as some of his favorite bands before referring to Richard Simmons as a "maggot infested faggot". I just nod and smile. If someone outright asks me about my beliefs (almost never), I'll tell them in as courteous a way possible, but I don't ever bring it up either with co-workers whose beliefs I am ignorant of or with clients with whom I need to maintain a professional relationship.

I suppose that's why I get that much more annoyed when people just start talking about religion or politics like their beliefs and opinions are the norm. Yeah, right on, you prayed for her every hour! That's not weird or pointless at all! And it totally worked, if by "worked" you mean God did whatever the fuck he was going to do regardless – which has a strange tendency to look exactly like shit happening as if God didn't actually exist at all! It's obvious this guy  has led a pretty insular life, which isn't unusual for a devout Christian. He seems to be accustomed to being surrounded by others who share his beliefs to the point that he's taken it for granted that the real world is more diverse than that, and I'm sure he'd be surprised to learn that he has co-workers and clients who are non-believers.

We work different shifts, so I doubt we'll have much time to get to know one another. He's a very nice guy and it seems so far that he'll be a great fit. But I can't help but wonder though whether we'll end up having long discussions about God and atheism and whatever else. Oy. I feel like I get enough of that on the interwebs.

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