Thursday, March 26, 2009

Politics and Religion at Work? Maybe Not...

(Interior of church in Witney, England)

Politics and religion can draw people into pretty heated arguments, and it can polarize family members and friends. While discussion of different ideas is always a good thing - especially when it is done in a respectful manner - there is a time and place for it.

Which leads me to this question:

Should you discuss politics and religion at work?

If you have strayed into this territory at work, what has been your experience with it? Have you been able to see other points of view that you never considered before? Or does it create unbelievable tension with your co-workers?

It's been my experience that you should pick a time and place for these types of discussions, or you should avoid them altogether.

What do you think?

10 comments:

  1. Topics to be avoided, I'm afraid, unless you're confident all are like minded, which is my situation at work.

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  2. I try to avoid those subjects like the plague at work. Rather than interesting open-minded discussions or idea exchanges, I've seen it devolve all too often straight into I'm-right-you're-wrong clashes, which just makes the environment unpleasant for all. Which is just plain sad, that such things can't be discussed respectfully.

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  3. I agree with Rebecca. Political discussions can be fun, but I'm finding people are so ultra-sensitive these days that they cannot disagree without taking it personally.

    I avoid religious discussions like the plauge.

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  4. I love that photo!

    I seem to be agreeing with everyone else. I avoid discussing religion and politics if I can. As Rene said, people are far too sensitive these days.

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  5. My "at work" is almost always via phone calls, since I work from home, but I've been there almost nine years and so have my closest colleagues, so it depends on who I'm talking to. There are a couple of people who have similar political leanings to mine and let's face it -- it's no problem talking to someone who agrees with you! There are a couple of others I'm friends with who have opposing political views, but we are able to still have respectful dialogue about it and it's actually nice to hear a reasoned point of view different from mine where there's no screaming or name calling :)

    Religion is a little different. I tend to keep those views to myself. My very close friends (some religious and some not) do know my views and a couple of us have talked about what we believe, but in general, I stay a pretty big distance away from talking about religion because I think it really distresses a lot of devout believers when they know that I'm not and I feel like that puts a weight on them and I don't want to do that.

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  6. When the moment is right and I can feel God pushing me, I have discussed religion at work--but only when the opening occurs and the other person hints at something that encourages me to share. I never push my views on anyone but will share when I should. It has always worked out wonderfully that way and I have witnessed to many.

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  7. I'd probably pass, with the subjects being too sensitive and close to people's hearts. Often they'll take a differing opinion as a challenge to their own beliefs, and so is best left alone.

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  8. We don't have different political parties where I live, but people have differing views about the politicians who sit in our States Chambers.

    I don't discuss politics of religion at work, not as a conscious decision, but mainly because we're too busy moaning about other things.

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  9. I'll discuss anything with anyone at any time in any place. I think it's possible to have a reasonable discussion or debate without falling out. So long as they see my point of view and I see their's, I don't see a problem, and it makes for some interesting revellations about your colleagues' lives.

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  10. Elizabeth Parker1:33 PM

    I never discuss religion or politics at work. There is nothing to be gained by these discussions, which, of necessity, would have to be short and fail to change anyone's mind. Conversely, there's a lot to be lost by having these discussions, such as a peaceful environment and trust between workers. So why do it?

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