02 August 2011

Compose. (28-7-2011)

Pat Kensington (my apparently evangelical co-worker) @ rosevilleschools dot edu

Your Gift.


You have injured me with your assumptions and angered me with the 'gift' that you handed me this afternoon.

You do not know me. You do not know that I grew up as a pastor's kid. That I believe in a God that is open and accepting, and am part of a church that thinks that you can believe something else entirely, and that's okay. You do not know how strongly I have considered attending seminary. You do not know how angered I am by a Christian church that contributes so blindly to so much injustice in this world, and seeks to change the behavior of the radical few that are trying to shake the faith up.

Instead of knowing me, you chose to make patronizing assumptions. When I first met you, you seemed to treat me with respect, but I now see that your demeanor toward me is a mockery of kindness. You do not see the good in me; you only see the parts of me you think are disgusting. The parts you think are wrong and morally corrupt. The parts that you, book in hand, can fix.

You think I need saving, and you told me so this afternoon when you handed me the Holman Christian Standard edition of the New Testament.

Your gesture is not only insulting; it violates the concept of appropriate workplace behavior.

In your endeavor to create a workplace that is more in line with your comfort zone and personal preferences, you create a workplace that has no space for me. I will not read your blue book. I will not change to fit your standards. I will not back down in the face of your bigotry.

You have injured me, and you have made me stronger.

Your behavior has been reported to my supervisor. Take your evangelism elsewhere.



longfellowgirl said...

OOh, so sorry to read about this. Your reply shows how strong a person you are. :)

Lynne said...

That sucks so hard, yo. I'm so sorry that it happened, but I'm glad you're standing up against that sort of behavior.

fecknom said...

(I should note that this is a piece of writing and not an actual email. I'm in the process of trying to report it at work, but I'm not hearing back.)

Kathryn said...

Aggressive proselytization is considered a form of workplace harassment, though how receptive your supervisor will be will probably depend on his or her own beliefs and affiliations.

I think it's telling that this person waited until you were about to leave the country before doing this. There's no risk of response, no invitation to conversation. Aside from being alienating and harassing, it's kind of half-assed.

I think it's worth considering telling her how you feel if you ever get the chance, but probably not in an e-mail.

Anna said...

Oh lord, honey, I just read this and I'm so sorry I didn't read it sooner. (Last week of LVC = total craziness.) You kick ass. There's so much more I could write, but I'm going to restrain myself at the desire to handle the situation as cooly, maturely as composedly as it seems you did. You are beautiful and ALL of us need saving or WHATEVER...not just some of us.