Monday, October 10, 2005

I’m so sickened. I am so sickened now

Originally posted by The Realist

Mr. Sane, fear not – I have some good news. After a long, hard campaign, I have reversed my company’s policy on religious advertising. Let me explain: I work for Europe’s richest company – a huge monster of an organisation. Everything is very nice here, including the coffee, but imagine my abject horror upon getting said cup of coffee two weeks ago only to be bombarded by posters about Jesus. And how we should love him. No, really! At my place of work!

Picture, if you will, the look on my face.

Cue a concerted campaign by me to have the holy-posters removed and to be allowed the freedom to work in an environment devoid of superstition, fear and nonsense.

Despite the temptations of scrawling ‘Danger: Religious fundamentalists at work’ all over the offending items, I didn’t. Someone (not me) scratched the posters at the end of last week, however it took a meeting of the equal ops people – where I was able to express my objections – to do anything about it formally.

Picture, if you will, the look on my face (again) this morning when I discovered that the offending items had been removed! The Realist 1: Christ’s ones 0.

The Realist moves in mysterious ways.

36 comments:

ph said...

So long as you are just as keen on getting posters about "sponsored walks", "cars for sale" "yoga classes" etc. etc. removed. If not it looks a bit like prejudice and intolerance

Citizen Sane said...

I don't think you do work for Europe's richest company. Not unless you're working for BP now.

Fortune 500

Sorry, but I am by nature a pedantic fact checker!

The Realist said...

I shouldn't swallow the bumf on those internal memos then...

It's not prejudice and intolerance - I have the right to work in a non-religious environment. There's a time and a place for that sort of thing.

ph said...

Why should a notice saying .... "come along to our church service you might enjoy it", be treated any differently to a notice saying "come along to our yoga class you might enjoy it". Surely both are just pass-times?
It seems that too many people in the UK are eager to take offence.

The Realist said...

Because one is about deep breathing and one is about an unprovable 'man-gas' that controls everything. Including earthquakes, floods and tsunamis.

If there were 'Praise Allah!' posters in your face at work, you'd react similarly.

Citizen Sane said...

Looks like a sinister, borderline cult to me. Sure it would start off innocently enough. Then they'd want money, then they'd suggest changes to your diet. Next think you know, you're fighting off Tom Cruise.

I've put up posters at work saying "Praise Alan". No takers so far...

Anonymous said...

I think it's time for The Realist to confront his religious prejudices and intolerance.

ph said...

I would not complain, as long as they took up no more than their alloted 'space' on the notice board and did not go out of their way to cause offence to others.

Yoga - Buddism - religion - BAN IT

The Realist said...

'Anonymous' (DA), I am not remotely intolerant. If people want to do that sort of thing, fine. Just not in my face and not at work, where I should be allowed to do my dull but adequate job in (secular) peace.

I look forward to putting signs in the street (our street, when I think about it DA) promoting my new church - The Seventh Day Church of the Man in the Moon. I'm sure you won't rip it down, so see you there.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Realist but you always seem so opposed to anything vaguely religious, so much so that you really are no better than those shoving religion down other people's throats. Now that's not very liberal is it?

The Realist said...

DA, people can practice their superstitions if they want, but there are legal requirements which forbid religion being rammed down 'people's throats' at work.

Jesus!

ph said...

I am not sure that there are legal requirements about religion and work. Who is to define what is a religion (and should be banned, because I do not agree with it) and what is not

ph said...

On the other hand.. it is a private company so they can ban whatever they want, on whatever whim that passes their fancy.

Hobbzee said...

I agree with The Realist. I'd be irritated to see a sign up at work on the coffee machine inviting me to some happy-clappy religious meeting or other. Saying that though I also think it'd also be unsuitable to stick a yoga poster up on the drinks machine too. Not that I am offended by yoga but I have almost as little interest in practicing it as religion...perhaps a way around this problem would be to have such notices restricted to notice boards especially designed for these sorts of announcements... and then those of us who don't wish to be informed of yoga/religion/Morris dancing etc simply wouldn’t look at the board.

Another thing though, is it not possible for us to be irritated/offended by such things without being branded intolerant? It seems a bit rich really when the premise of most religions seems to be based on exactly that – intolerance– namely to other religions!

Anonymous said...

That last post wasn't even mine! (really)

Realist, if you set that up, I for one promise to be a regular attendee.

It's pretty simple: There are many things are rubbed in our face on a daily basis that we may not like - what about advertising? - but why is it only religious advertising that should be banned? Isn't the "religion" of McDonalds (all the way up the stairs at Oxford Circus tube) even worse?

The real DA

The Realist said...

DA, see my previous point and replace 'deep breathing' with 'chav food':

Because one is about deep breathing and one is about an unprovable 'man-gas' that controls everything. Including earthquakes, floods and tsunamis.

Anonymous said...

Realist, that is akin to saying 'free speech is fine, except if it's something I don't agree with'

Surely a democratic society should allow everyone to express their ideas, regardless of how barmy they are (within the current law)?

Would you ban the flat earth society?

DA

Anonymous said...

To quote The Realist:

I am not remotely intolerant. If people want to do that sort of thing, fine. Just not in my face and not at work, where I should be allowed to do my dull but adequate job in peace.

I've heard a few people say the same thing about gay people (ie. If people want to do that sort of thing, fine. Just not in my face) but I suspect most people on this blog would view them as intolorant 'phobics.

I think the God botherers should be able to put their posters up in a designated space with all the other groups/religions/yoga-ists. Then everyone can be equally offended.

ph said...

The Realist - You criteria that you use for banning seem to be nebulous, or at least 'what I do not like should be banned'. This view is one that modern 'liberalism' now holds dear - sadly.

Anonymous said...

Realist, are you a true Liberal? Or a Liberal Democrat?

DA

ph said...

Liberal Democrat I reckon. They remove old prejudices and intolerances to make room for new ones of their own liking. Though to be fair this is also a feature of the Labour Party. As for the Tories, they see nothing wrong with the old ones. You know where you are with the Tories.

Citizen Sane said...

I think the best course of action would have been to put up recruiting posters for the Secular Rationalists or the British Atheist Movement (there must be some groups like this in existence) next to every one of their posters. Let them all compete in an open market.

Now THAT, my friends, is "liberalism".

mAc Chaos said...

Having a "Praise Allah!" banner of some sort makes no sense; of course people would protest it, because Great Britain is not Pakistan. Considering that Christianity has both a present influence and historical importance through Great Britain's history, it's quite different to have something Christian as opposed to something Muslim. Any democratic institution is going to reflect the beliefs, in some way, of it's population, and so naturally a Christian tone is going to be present. In fact, it makes little sense to expect them to remove it, considering that one can never please everyone, or make everyone happy. For every Realist we please, there will be someone else who becomes disgruntled at the changes, so going with the option which would please the most people, and in this case, coincide with the culture, would make the most sense.

In any case, we're talking about a business, not the government, so all of the above only applies to the latter and not the former. A private entity can do within its own walls however it pleases, to the point of passing out Bibles and having a Jesus mascot run around the building evangelizing.

Queen Bee said...

I'd quite like a Jesus mascot running round the office - it would liven the place up and I'm sure that it would bring a smile to people's faces. Any objections Realist?

The Realist said...

mac chaos, it wouldn’t matter if every single person in this country believed these ghost stories, if one person doesn’t, they should not be made to feel inadequate in their place of work. Agreed? It’s actually enshrined in our law – a law which even private companies are obliged to adhere to.

Perhaps we could have some kind of ‘American Gladiators’ competition with mascots fighting in the courtyard for the right to be the One True Faith? My money’s on the Hindus – all those arms. You could even have a computer game:

Streetfighter 3: This time it’s biblical

queen bee said...

Realist I can't help but think that you are taking this a little too far. Perhaps you should take up yoga I'm sure that you'll find information about such activities posted next to the hymn service leaflet...

ph said...

People keep talkig about this 'law' - I am not sure that it exists, or at least not in a form that prevents people putting up notices on a notice board.

The Realist said...

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20031660.htm

Was quoted in the equal ops meeting.

Anonymous said...

"It wouldn’t matter if every single person in this country believed these ghost stories, if one person doesn’t, they should not be made to feel inadequate in their place of work."

So if I doin't like Yoga, or don't feel much good at Football, then a poster advertising either should be taken down?

Your argument's bankrupt.

The Realist said...

For the love of Jehovah. My argument is not bankrupt. I’ll re-iterate the point I have made several times – yet again adopting it to your examples. There is no problem advertising football in the workplace as football actually exists. Plus, there are not masses of rugby players who believe that theirs is the one true sport and that football players should die by the sword.

Just keep it away from me when I’m trying to work.

ph said...

Whether god exists is open to debate, why stifle debate?
If a poster suggests that adherents of another religion should die by the sword then fair enogh it should be banned. But I doubt the original poster did mention death and swords in the same sentence.

The Realist said...

No, it was for the Alpha course. At the end of the Alpha course, people go on a retreat where they 'snort like a pig and bark like a dog'. A woman who refused to do this was expelled from the church.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,385083,00.html

I don't want that shit in my workplace.

Anonymous said...

So therefore, anything that advertises something that is not fact, should be banned? How far would this go?

The point is not whether you disagree that god exists, but whether you have the right to ask for anything that opposes your thinking to be displayed.

You are basing your argument on YOUR opinion and conception of Christianity/wider religion.

ph said...

The Alpha course is a product of the Church of England - hardly a hotbed of extreme religious fervour and sectarian hatreds- the Archbish. is a Druid after all.
I think it is time you stopped beleiving everything you read in the Guardian - it

The Realist said...

It's quoting a story from The Times. The Church of England still believes in the concept of the holy ghost and speaking in tongues - which is what this is referring to. All fucking nonsense.

dw said...

I would think that weather or not their is a god would be prerequisite to everything we want to know. Not believing in some sort of creator could be akin to nihilism in my thinking or reduce my existence to 'me'. That being said I am agnostic (playing it safe?) We all want laws and accounting for actions, I suspect that that strong driving force for justice suggest an inner understanding that there may be an accounting after death.

The death penalty is frowned upon spritually because it sends one to the godhead as he is, ... a murderer with no time to truly repent or change his ways. (the caste system is simolar - reincarnation) Our views of the death penalty sheds light upon our beleifs and many deny their true beleifs and many hold false beliefs for appearances, even to self.

Our values are a product of Christian heritge weather acknowledged or not, or even if, (ahem, realist) it causes offence

But Jesus, I could be totally fucking wrong.