Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29

Thread: Prayer In The Workplace

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327

    Prayer In The Workplace

    At my workplace, every morning at 9:15 AM, a Supervisor and the Human Resources Director go into a private room and spend 15 minutes in prayer and meditation. Because this practice concerned me, I did some on-line investigation. I now feel better about the practice, even though I am not a participant.

    It is more common in workplaces than I thought it would be. Naturally, smaller businesses, usually with a CEO that has a strong faith, engage in workplace prayer more often than a larger biz. Some hints from my research.....

    Never force anybody to participate.
    When engaging in prayer, do it out-of-sight.....some folks will object if you don't.
    Never allow a person with any supervisory or managerial authority to spend time trying to convince their subordinates to join them.

    One of the articles I read discussed the fear that non-religious folk can have if they feel that there is pressure to pray. Some people, to protect their jobs and protect their ability to get a fair performance review, will "fake" prayer.
    _____

    You all know that this Bear is not a religious bruin. I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. I did have an issue with this prayer thing at my workplace. Now I am more accepting.

    Your turn.....have you encountered prayer at work? Do you participate? Are you comfortable with it?

    What say you?

    Reverend Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,758
    You sure that they're in there "praying" together? Or is it more like "Oh my god, oh my god!". Sorry, I just don't see how people can't go 8 hours without "praying". I have worked with hard-core Christians who have "Bible Study" but they take it out of the building at lunchtime. Seeing as how I've always worked for government, that seems appropriate, and they don't hide it, but don't push anybody to join in. So I don't know how the private sector operates; obviously, they must have ownership approval to disappear and "pray" during working hours, but shouldn't everyone else there have a chance to goof off, too?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,420
    It should not occur on work property, even if everyone is consenting and it is out of view. It makes people uncomfortable just knowing that it may be going on.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,028
    Blog entries
    2
    When I worked in banquet service in college, I had a couple people on my staff from the campus Catholic center. They would pray at the table before meals (we usually sat for dinner after our event was served). Not a problem with me and my only encounter with prayer in the workplace.

    I have no problem with it. If it doesn't get in the way of your work or disturb others.

    Quote Originally posted by ZG
    You sure that they're in there "praying" together? Or is it more like "Oh my god, oh my god!". Sorry, I just don't see how people can't go 8 hours without "praying".
    Tried to ignore, but cannot. Was this really your first thought when responding to this thread?! I am not a religious man, but I am mighty spiritual. Should I not think about these things while at work?

    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    It should not occur on work property, even if everyone is consenting and it is out of view. It makes people uncomfortable just knowing that it may be going on.
    Butting heads with you again, my Friend. But what should mandate this? A law? If a business or office wishes to allow this, why does it have to offend anybody? What is so offensive about this?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,810
    Blog entries
    5
    It doesn't bother me at all as long as it is separate from the other activities at work just as BUN described. I was good friends with a devout Muslim who prayed five times a day, he would just use his break times to pray in an empty room.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,758
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post


    Tried to ignore, but cannot. Was this really your first thought when responding to this thread?! I am not a religious man, but I am mighty spiritual. Should I not think about these things while at work?
    Quote Originally posted by BUN
    ...every morning at 9:15 AM, a Supervisor and the Human Resources Director go into a private room and spend 15 minutes in prayer and meditation
    Yep, actually that was my first thought. Can't these people pray at home? Go to church on the way to work? They have to go into a "private room"? Yeah, it sounds kinky, especially since overly religious people sometimes are the sex addict nutcases out there. And I know what you mean about "spiritual" which doesn't translate to religion addicts who have to observe all the rituals (or pretend to). I view some of these people like hard-core porn addicts; they have to get their fix. But if management allows them to take time to "pray", they should allow time for any other employees to get a Whopper, play on Cyburbia, go to the tanning salon, play the lottery, or hit the liquor store. It's only fair. After all, if some "pastor" can talk an old lady out of a big chunk of her retirement income, shouldn't everyone else be able to throw their money away, too?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,420
    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Butting heads with you again, my Friend. But what should mandate this? A law? If a business or office wishes to allow this, why does it have to offend anybody? What is so offensive about this?
    I'll elaborate.

    I agree, there shouldn't be a government law restricting it. That would be ridiculous. And yes, every business should be able to do what they want. And of course, if ONE person wishes to pray at his or her desk or in a room somewhere, or on the throne after lunch, that's fine as well.

    However, if it was my business, I would make it company policy that two or more employees are not allowed to congregate for any type of religious purposes on company grounds whatsoever. When it's two or more people, it implies that on some level their activity is being accepted and/or endorsed, which may make other employees uncomfortable.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2009
    Location
    louisville, ky
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I agree, there shouldn't be a government law restricting it. That would be ridiculous.

    However, if it was my business, I would make it company policy that two or more employees are not allowed to congregate for any type of religious purposes on company grounds whatsoever. When it's two or more people, it implies that on some level their activity is being accepted and/or endorsed, which may make other employees uncomfortable.
    i agree on the government part. state and church shouldn't mix.

    however, if people want to congregate on their own to pray or play hopscotch or get drunk and fall down its their choice and i don't think allowing it implies endorsement. my boss allowsa lot of things but he doesn't necessarily endorse them. i.e. he allows us to drink at lunch but he doesnt endorse it.

  9. #9
    Normally, I am a huge Separationist, but I just got back from the office while trying to finish an application that has to be delivered tomorrow. Lots of folks putting in extra hours, tons of pressure, when my printer went on the fritz. I was saying plenty of Hail Mary's hoping that sucker would right itself. It did.

    So, yeah, I'd say there's prayer in the workplace.

  10. #10
         
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    just back from a massive dog fight session
    Posts
    358
    Some of the replies in this thread are a little

    Whats wrong with each to their own? If people wish to pray, let them do so in private. I cannot see where the issue is providing they work back the time.

    As for the line "why can't peple go without praying for 8 hours?", some religions DEMAND prayer throughout the day, for example, here are Islamic prayer times for the UK.

    People who object need to take a look at themselves, and probably chill out. What skin is it off your nose, really?

    However, don't get me started on people nipping out for cigarette breaks...

  11. #11
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,259
    I'm with HFH here. As long as other people aren't being compelled to participate, it's done privately, and people are doing their jobs, it's no big deal. As a former manager, I can assure you that it's just better not to let any two people have closed door meetings if you're concerned that people might be doing something that's not work appropriate. While the religious get more press for bad behavior, the non-religious are doing the same things. Just enforce your policies evenly.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    6,002
    As one the Christians on this Board, how about just let people do as they will. As long as it is not interferring with their work, if they want to pray, so be it. Personally, I say a quick prayer before meals. The whole tolerance thing cuts both ways. If you want us to be tolerant of you, then you need to be tolerant of us. Where I normally draw the line is preaching during work hours.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni Japan
    Posts
    24
    The problem as I see it WYP is that the Christian right has been very intolerant of others. .. like Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, American Indian Spiritual beliefs, etc… I am with T. Jefferson on this one…. Separation of church and state.

  14. #14
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 1998
    Location
    On the Mother River
    Posts
    4,573
    Public workplace no way, just do what you want silently, private workplace, as long as there is no coercion or retribution for not joining in, who cares.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  15. #15
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,572
    Blog entries
    3
    If it's low-key, and nobody else was coerced into it, like what BUN described, I don't think there should be any problems. It's odd to take time out of a workday for a 15 minute prayer session, but if there's people taking smoke breaks that last that long, or Muslims taking prayer breaks through the day, I'd really just let it go as a manager.

    A while ago, in a development review meeting, the applicant asked to start off the meeting with a prayer. I excused myself, but I probably should have just stayed and not joined in.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  16. #16
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2002
    Location
    On the corner of Walk and Don't Walk
    Posts
    534
    I just don't see the big deal in this. As Dan described it, it's some folks praying privately. Big freakin' whoop. And yes, some Christians have certainly been intolerant but you can't really make that argument in this particular case unless someone of a different religion tried to do the same thing and was not allowed to do so. As for making you feel uncomfortable, get over it. It's not like anybody is forced to go into the private room and partake. I'm uncomfortable when I can see/ hear lots of things at work that are done a lot less privately than this. I particularly like the comment about not being able to wait 8 hours to pray. I guess all those nicotine fiends who run outside all the time should be told the same thing.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  17. #17
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,319
    It's not something I would choose to participate in as a Christian, but as long as they are not prosyletizing or witnessing (coercing or recruiting), I don't have a problem with it. If they are having a big prayer throw-down in the lobby, or getting on the loudspeaker, then we've got an issue.

    I view this no differently than somebody taking their two 15 minute breaks to smoke, walk up & down the stairs for exercise, engage in watercooler talk, etc.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    83
    Our City Council and P&Z always start with a prayer. This is in Texas, though, so I know that might be rare other places. I am a liberal Christian and it makes me feel a little odd especailly when Jesus is blatantly mentioned, but I of course go along with it and do actually pray as the prayer is beign said. These are supposed to be nondenominational prayers and they are usually given by a local clergy person, but they are always Christian. If it were a non-Christian prayer being offered I would probably just act like I was taking part and either do my own thing in my head or just have a blank zen-like moment. Actually during the more fundamentalist Christian prayers I kind of do that as well.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Upper left edge
    Posts
    3,851
    I agree with HFH. At least for private enterprise. Maybe public sector, too. BUT they should not be getting paod for that time (other than normal break time) unless everyone gets the same amount of time to something non-work-related.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,758
    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    As one the Christians on this Board, how about just let people do as they will. As long as it is not interferring with their work, if they want to pray, so be it. Personally, I say a quick prayer before meals. The whole tolerance thing cuts both ways. If you want us to be tolerant of you, then you need to be tolerant of us. Where I normally draw the line is preaching during work hours.
    I guess my argument stems from.... so many childless people say, hey, I don't want to keep covering for my coworkers with kids who get called away about chicken pox, etc.

    So, is it OK to be called away because your supervisor is "praying". I think that's just wrong. Or your supervisor is "fat" nd out at Burger King? Or is "music deprived" and shopping at Best Buy? I can't imagine any sane employer would grant people "prayer" time without granting other employees the same goof-off time. You can pray on Sunday, shop at Best Buy on Sunday, what's the difference? Unless you're banging your co-parishioner.... which seems to be a habit of many pastors...

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    6,002
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    I guess my argument stems from.... so many childless people say, hey, I don't want to keep covering for my coworkers with kids who get called away about chicken pox, etc.

    So, is it OK to be called away because your supervisor is "praying". I think that's just wrong. Or your supervisor is "fat" nd out at Burger King? Or is "music deprived" and shopping at Best Buy? I can't imagine any sane employer would grant people "prayer" time without granting other employees the same goof-off time. You can pray on Sunday, shop at Best Buy on Sunday, what's the difference? Unless you're banging your co-parishioner.... which seems to be a habit of many pastors...
    I think that the person who is praying should not let it interfer with their work or cause it to be a burden to others. There is a time and place to do it. However, if they want to do it during their break or lunch, that's fine. By the same token, if you want to smoke or go to Best Buy during your lunch, that is fine. As long as the activity does not interfer with your work or take away from your employer.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Aliquippa Pa
    Posts
    232
    A good many years ago, when construction work was slow, I spent a few months working in an auto junkyard. The owner was a fundamentalist Christian of some sort, his son woked there, and most of the hired help were members of the same church. This was something I didn't know when I went to work there.

    (Things added up though--prior to working there, I'd bought a used engine, which didn't last two weeks, and when I went to pick up it's replacement, the owner suggested we lay hands on it and pray. I thought he was kidding. Later, while working there, I heard the son in a conversation with another customer in what started as a discussion of Chevy parts and progressed into a miniature bible study session. Finally, one of the other guys, who ended up being a drinking buddy with me, clued me in. But I digress...)

    Sometime after I'd left there, I ran into my buddy and he told me that they'd begun to have prayer sessions before beginning work each day. That had precipitated his leaving there.

    Now, if I'd still been there for that, I must say that'd I'd have been uncomfortable pretending to participate, but I'd have been more uncomfortable refusing to pretend to participate.

    I'm not suggesting for a moment that these guys were anything other than sincere in what they were doing, but my point is, the coercion aspect doesn't need to be blatant, or even intentional, to exist.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Cyburbias Brewpub, best seat in the haus!
    Posts
    2,672
    Unfortunately, the retaliation factor in any direction is the drawback. Non-Christians and atheists know this all to well.

    Religious discrimination, pro or con, is supposed to be illegal and unconstitutional, but how many people keep tens of thousands of dollars around in a legal war chest to protect themselves from a boss or workplace that does not approve of their religious leanings?

    The latest religious research recently released says that there are as many pagans as Jewish people (1.2 % of the population for both). Twice as many pagans as Muslims (1.2% pagan versus .6% Muslim).

    In the US, there are 3% of the population (for just a start) that have to worry about discrimination from Christians on a daily basis. If you believe they do not live in fear of persecution, your wrong. The penalty for getting it wrong is unemployment.

    The retaliation does not come from someone saying "Your a devil worshiping jew/pagan/muslim who is a danger to the community". It comes in the form of poor performance reviews. Because performance reviews are ALWAYS subjective, but legal. Therefore, not partaking in daily bible study or prayer in the workplace can be an insidious way to make those not "OK" with the practice disappear.

    It happens all the time.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  24. #24
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,259
    Interesting how a fairly neutral opening inquiry about appropriateness of prayer in the workplace quickly becomes inflamed assaults from both sides of the issue that are much more global and increasingly irrelevant to the original question. Now there's discussion of "persecution" when it appears that hurt feelings or mild discrimination are what's really happening. I'm not taking sides here, just observing that hyperbole rules once again. I'm reminded of when my son started claiming that he was a victim of "child abuse" whenever we wouldn't let him do or have something that he wanted.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Cyburbias Brewpub, best seat in the haus!
    Posts
    2,672
    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Interesting how a fairly neutral opening inquiry about appropriateness of prayer in the workplace quickly becomes inflamed assaults from both sides of the issue that are much more global and increasingly irrelevant to the original question. Now there's discussion of "persecution" when it appears that hurt feelings or mild discrimination are what's really happening. I'm not taking sides here, just observing that hyperbole rules once again. I'm reminded of when my son started claiming that he was a victim of "child abuse" whenever we wouldn't let him do or have something that he wanted.
    The main issue inquiry as I understand it is defined as "Is prayer in the workplace acceptable". A seemingly innocuous question with an easy answer.

    It is only an easy answer if one assumes, that all managers are fair and blind to religion in the work place. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are so many ways this can go wrong, it's not funny. Christianity and Islam and all of their sub-variants, are predicated upon proselytizing and spreading "The Word". This in itself is a culturally hostile act. The basis of that hostility is "If you don't believe like us, then YOU are wrong". There is no way around this.

    That is not to say that only christians or muslims could run amok. A manager who is a devout athiest, could easily find a way to punish those who are christian or other peoples of faith. Just being Jewish could get you pounded on from ANY direction, as well as practicing any other belief.

    The stronger your views, the more likely they will be a problem for others or a problem to you individually do to conflicts that will arise.

    For instance, in my workplace, there is a woman who is really quite likable in general, but has very conservative religious views and politics. She likes to send stuff around that is in that vein. If I push the fact I am a Heathen into her face, it could pose problems and possibly ruin a good working relationship. Is it worth it for me to do so? No. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it worth upsetting the office? No.

    Are there people who would be offended just knowing there is a pagan that works here? Yes in fact. The people who would be upset don't care if it is legal or not. So why bring it in to the work place, why allow it when it can only end badly? Its not equal how the result could pan out. About 87% of the population can be lumped into christianity and its sub-variants (if you include mormons). 87 to 13 are not equal outcomes.

    Its not hyperbole to insist that religion in the workplace is not a good idea. We are not dealing with willful children trying to get their way in this instance. We are dealing with adults that may or may not have power over peoples lives and ability to earn a wage. In a perfect world, there would be no issue, in reality that is not the case. The best solution is not to let it enter into the workplace.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Workplace manners
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 23
    Last post: 29 Jul 2013, 11:23 AM
  2. Profanity in the workplace
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 27
    Last post: 24 Dec 2012, 5:28 PM
  3. Anger in the workplace
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 11 Jul 2012, 7:15 PM
  4. Dealing with workplace IT
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 17
    Last post: 19 Apr 2011, 11:08 PM
  5. Workplace realignment
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 06 Apr 2011, 3:13 AM