Wow. The recent article on faith in the workplace caused quite a stir on Twitter! Some people loved it! Some people thought it was a full on attack to their beliefs and that it has a religious agenda. Some weren't quite sure what they thought.
Freedom of speech means that you have full permission and a right to say what you want, write what you want and speak what you want. Sadly, some groups believe this means you should be silenced if your beliefs are different than mine, or even given special rights if your faith is threatening mine.
Let's look at this objectively, and remember please, faith is impossible without emotion, so this might not be as linear or as logical as you want it to be.
If I am threatened by your beliefs or what you put your faith in, that only shows I am insecure and truly not convinced by what I believe. This is where the problem is, not in the fact that we believe differently. In our world of social media, Internet and global interaction, we can no longer fight, shun, argue and think we'll get away with it. It is time to step up, believe in what you say you believe in, exercise your faith with confidence, honor and grace, in the marketplace.
Related: Why Faith Belongs in the Workplace
If you say you want to pray to Satan for your ads, blog or team management, that is obviously your right to do so! And I will pray to the God of heaven for mine. This is not an argument of may the 'best man win' but I will ask you to remember, Elijah did the same thing and it was funny, the prophets of Baal ended up looking kinda goofy. Could it be because they had no clue who they believed in? Or was it because their belief was in something with no power. That is a good question to ask yourself. Be sure your faith is placed in something that will stand up behind you and hold you up in your scariest of times.
I find it so alarming how many people will argue and fight for things they really don't believe in. They just love a good fight.
Be true to you! You were designed with a unique design, and it's your job to make sure you fulfill that! Ok, so we're good so far. But there's something I must address. It's this idea that being true to yourself and your beliefs means you have to hate others. Being who you are and staying true to yourself, however, doesn't mean you have to pick a war or a rant about everything.
Far too many people are completely insecure about who they are, what they believe in and where they are going in life. This creates a situation where we have a lot of people defending themselves, 24/7. Take a quick look at Facebook. The average 'rant' is not someone hoping to influence culture. Rather, it's someone who feels like they are not being heard giving their piece of mind to 'someone.' Who is the someone? The people they call their 'friends' on their profile. Most times it's a defense against something they say they care about dearly, something they stand for. Yet in reality, when you look at the rest of their page, this topic rarely, if ever comes up.
Let's review this for a second. Here's an example. Let's say you stand for the protection of stray cats. I dunno, it's the first thing that came to my mind. Go along with me on this example. You stand for the protection of abandoned, stray cats and you are going to give your piece of mind, once and for all, today on Facebook! So you start out your rant. Your 789 friends are listening (at least that's what you believe in your mind at the time, despite the fact that Facebook reports that many of your friends aren't even paying attention) and you step onto your Soap Box and here we go! You are taking your stand!
Now, once you are done with your rant and making your point to all of your friends and the non-existent society you think you are influencing (because your friends are the only one seeing it anyways and many of them aren't even paying attention) you go on your way. To your life. The life you were living before you 'took your stand' and made your case.
I'm one of your friends. In reviewing your profile I see that you don't have one thing on your profile about cats. As a matter of fact, you have a few posts where you had a fit, or maybe that was a rant, it was shorter, about liter boxes at your friends houses and how it made you sick. So the strong desire to influence the world and make an impact in the realm of stray cats is not anywhere to be found. Except for your recent rant.
What can we learn from this?
Being true to you is about more than your rants, it's about how you're living your life. And if someone else's faith or beliefs threatens you, makes you mad and offended? It might be time to really ask yourself, "Do I really believe this?"
Related: Preaching the Morality of Capitalism