Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Christian Privilege in Mississippi - by "Sara"

I've been working at my retail job for about a year now. The majority of my coworkers are Christians and attend church regularly. Because I'm atheist, I know that if they were to know about me not believing they would change how I was treated at work. As part of our job description, we are obligated to work at least ONE Sunday a month (part of a rotation) so that everyone has at least one off day on the weekends. Of course, not everyone is happy when it's their weekend to work on Sunday because they would like to attend Sunday service with their families. 

A couple months ago i had mentioned something to a coworker about having trouble finding vendors for my wedding (turns out not many vendors in MS are very open to providing their services for a secular ceremony). My coworker had asked why it has been so hard, so I simply explained to her about my atheism rather than lying. She later had trouble using discretion when it came to telling the other coworkers about me not believing in god. The majority of my coworkers were shocked about my beliefs and one of the older women had made the comment "we'll I guess that means you won't have a problem working Sundays then." i had calmly explained that i didnt mind working sundays, but i did mind working every sunday because i would like at least one weekend day off just like everyone else. Since then I have worked every Sunday for almost 2 months (instead of everyone being on a rotation like it was before). 

It seems strange that my coworkers claim that because they're Christian's they've persecuted and discriminated against when in fact they seem to have the upper hand and discriminate against someone who has never made a negative comment about their religion or even hinted that they believe differently.