Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, For My Supervisor Tells Me So

Because I can’t think of any other reason why your latest business report SUCKED.

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

Well, I’ve DEFINITELY got a problem you’ve never had on your blog.  I just moved to the DC area, and am working for  an economic policy think tank with some conservative leanings. Around the same time I came aboard, my supervisor also started.  She’s a smart cookie, and we get along well enough, but she has this habit of  throwing her Christian faith around, and it makes me uncomfortable.  An example would be if I express some frustration over part of a project, she’ll say “Well, I’ll pray for you to work it out, Cynthia”  or if she catches someone gossiping she’s say, “I don’t think that’s something Jesus would say.” She says it in this half kidding/half serious way, but I know she’s dead serious.  It doesn’t seem to bother anyone else, but it rubs me the wrong way. I may have a Lutheran background, but my conservative political leanings (hence the job) are from an economic – not a religious – standpoint. I love the work I do, but it kind of feels like Christian camp sometimes.  So how do I express myself without ostracizing myself from the office culture – and more importantly, from the woman who decides my pay raises?

Dear Cynthia,

Wow, this is a sweet meatball you’ve thrown down center plate, Ms. Cyn (get the joke, “Cyn”…alright that was a bad one)…

Listen, I know I’m supposed to tell you to sit her down in a friendly manner and gently tell her the Jesus talk makes you a bit uncomfy. But I’ve gotta shoot straight her, for some reason my Super Spidey Advice Powers are sensing that’s not gonna fly very well here.  Maybe if you were of a different faith, and if you’re office culture had a separation between church and state, so to speak, I would think you could do it.  BUt my gut tells me this is how they Holy roll in your parts…so if you love the job, just try to get used to it.  If speaking-in-tongues is the worst schtick your boss is selling, not so bad really. 

Really. You could have much worse for a supervisor.

Really.

Probably not the answer you’re expecting, and I anticipate getting some annoyed bru-ha-ha over this one. But you seem to really love the work you’re doing, and you get along with your boss…sometimes you need to pick your battles.

One caveat: if someone joins the team that is Jewish or Muslim or Pagan (now THAT would be a fun question to get!) then that would be a great opportunity to say something like, “Hmm maybe we should all cut back on bringing our faith into office discussions…we wouldn’t want to make [insert name] uncomfortable.”  Kinda of the weeny way around it, but I think most traditional offices are the ultimate weeny roast, so sue me.

Let me know what you decide to do…and thanks for the thought provoking question!

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11 responses to “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, For My Supervisor Tells Me So

  1. Sometimes it helps to remember that the religiously zealous, while annoying, are usually well-meaning, too =3

  2. Excellent (practical) advice considering the economic times we are living in.

    As a Christian businessman/company owner, I am uncomfortable overtly talking about faith unless others have brought it up first. I have sue-my-butt-for-any-excuse-a-phobia and I understand not everyone is a Christian or wants to be, so thats how I approach it.

    So…hey, looks like I’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday…

  3. stuffjourneymemberslike

    Is this really an either/or issue? Shout out or shut up? Maybe some people (especially coworkers) need to question why their faith is so compartmentalized. A person’s true worldview is revealed through everything they do, regardless of what they say or don’t say. C. S. Lewis once advised, “Preach the Gospel, and use words if necessary.”

    A gentle way of approaching this topic might be to explain, “I’m know you care about others in this office, which is why you should know that these constant reminders of your faith come across as judgmental. Are Are you assuming I’m not a person of faith just because I don’t verbalize my beliefs? Please allow me to live out my values how I feel is best. I know you don’t mean to be offensive but your comments make me uncomfortable.”

    Never make assumptions about other’s motivatons or they’ll only get defensive. Always assume the positive when confronting someone.

  4. I am sorry I do not get this problem, if the boss was a football fanatic, or referred comments back to how it was done in their day, you would just shrug it off, as that is the way it is. I have worked with persons of varied faiths and asking them to set aside the part of them that is their faith removes a vibrant part of that person. How cold is the work setting where there are no plants, pictures of the kids or grandkids, witty sayings, or words of encouragement on the cube wall. If the person is not being abusive then maybe they are not the one with the problem.

  5. bushgirlsgonewild

    As a devout asshole, I have never tolerated such nonsense from any of my bosses. If they start talking ‘Jesus this and Jesus that’, I simply fart as loudly as I can and say, “That’s what I think of your M************ Jesus, OK?”

    I did that at the last job I held about 11 years ago…

  6. At last…something with bush in the name that I can relate to.

  7. Savvy advice. Reality check: I was fired last week for asking management to take me off an Evangelical Christian religious/right-winged political newsletter (of which I was writing). The firm is a direct response advertising agency so we weren’t sending it for fun or profit. Votes for the other side? Absolutely. Well-meaning?

  8. crunchymunchyhoneycakes

    I honestly think that, if you feel uncomfortable in the situation then speak up! We were born with voices for a reason. So use them I say, but on a slightly more conservative tone make sure you use it wisely. Asking someone to give up part of themselves for the sake of stopping you from being uncomfortable almost makes it sound as though you don’t care if that’s the only thing that gets her through each and every day or about anyone except yourself! I understand where you’re coming from because religousy things aren’t exactly my idea of a high fiving good time either and I am of the belief that I accept yet reject all religions but i do respect other peoples need to believe in something / anything to get them through. Maybe you should just do the same and be thankful that she cares enough as your supervisor and as a fellow human being to pray for you. How would you feel if instead of saying I’ll pray for you to help you sort out the problem she just arked up and hurled abuse at you instead. You should be thankful she actually cares. I’m sure she means well it’s not as though she is threating you to go to church and follow her religion or she’ll fire you is it??? sorry if that sounds harsh but they’re are far worse people out there as supervisors than someone who is a little lordy lordy hallejua xoxo

  9. oh i will tell the superviser to shut her mouth and keep her silly religious superstitions for herself. a job is not worth hearing all the nonesense everyday

  10. Saying “I’ll pray for you” is a very kind thing to do.

    @EraZer Head: Freedom of Religion, bud. She is not pushing it on anyone just making comments here and there.

  11. I agree, saying “I’ll pray for you” is a very loving gesture. I think that it is most likely this lady that is rubbing you the wrong way. If everyone is religious in those parts, why are you scoffed at only her? She sounds like a nice enough lady to me!

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