When you ask most people whether religion and work mix, they’ll adamantly insist that they don’t. Work is all about being productive and selling as many goods and services as you can, while religion is about matters of the heart.
But when you think about it, there is an inevitable overlap between the two. When you leave for work in the morning, you don’t leave your religion at your front door. Instead, you bring all your beliefs with you to the office and they inform the decisions that you make.
Thus, insisting that work and religion shouldn’t mix is a fool’s errand. If you are somebody who has the slightest shred of integrity, it is impossible.
The important thing here is not to impose your beliefs on any of your colleagues. If you want to share your experience of learning about your religion with your peers, you can attend to your local communities and not bring that to work. You can also explore your religion by developing individual plans adapted to your own learning pace, such as a youth curriculum for church, which can also be shared with others. You choose to share your beliefs with your coworkers, but make sure not to make anyone uncomfortable with that.
Naturally, the extent to which you have to bring religion into your work depends on your role. If you are harmlessly pushing papers in a back office somewhere, it is unlikely that ethics will ever be a problem for you. Your religion and job can peacefully coexist side by side for decades without stepping on each other’s toes.
However, in some roles, you may find that your work does put you at risk of compromising your moral integrity. You may find yourself making decisions that seem to go against the spirit of your faith.
We’ve seen this phenomenon increasing in recent years as traditional values receded and critical theory came to prominence. Many people feel like society is forcing them to act against their conscience in their work. Tech company professionals, for instance, are having to censor things that many of them actually believe in.
The problem, therefore, isn’t religion itself. That can remain a private matter. The issue is the way the modern world of work attempts to force many people to abandon their integrity and go against their religion’s moral teachings. It’s not about trying to convert fellow coworkers, but rather resist compromising on one’s ethics.
For many workers, the best option is to go and see a chaplain. Companies are now providing this kind of religious support because they know that employees demand it.
Contrary to popular belief, religion isn’t disappearing. Instead, it is having a bit of a resurgence after the failure of modernism to provide real answers to life’s basic questions. People don’t want to accept that we live in an impersonal, mechanical universe. They want to believe that there is something unknown and mystical beyond it all, pulling the strings.
Some companies actively seek out members of religious faiths because they believe that they are more trustworthy and committed to their roles. So in this sense, having a religion on your CV might actually be an advantage.
We’re also seeing the rise of decidedly religious companies. These organisations actually put in place policies that allow them to upholdreligious teachings – at least as far as the law allows. They are a form of parallel structure that runs alongside mainstream, secular companies, providing consumers with an alternative.
Ultimately, people who feel like their jobs are going against their religions should seek to change one or the other. The worst outcome is living without integrity.
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