Did This Secret Catch Your Eye, Too?

Whoever you are, you have to have good stories…

… and we all want to hear them. Contact me! Don’t worry — you’ll remain anonymous :)

Unless you’re responsible for that Heaven is for Real book… in which case I’m cursing you in my mind.

Interestingly enough, I know another atheist who works for a Christian publication… (and that person’s probably reading this right now.)

Here’s what I’m wondering: Did the person with the secret apply for a job at the publishing house despite being an atheist? Or did s/he become an atheist only after working there? After all, that happens with members of the clergy more often than we imagine…

(via Postsecret)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • biblebeltBetty

    years ago I applied for a position at a Christian publishing company. They wanted to pay almost nothing for my services. I always wondered if they thought I was supposed to be “honored” to work for them & therefore they did not have to pay well.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

       Did they say “The pay’s not much, but the benefits are Eternal…”?
      That’s what they used to say at the holy-roller TV station I worked at.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CaptainMLM David Mitchell

    Many years ago while still a Christian I had a temp job at a Christian book publisher and was offended by some of the hate filled books they had even then, others I thought (at that time) where good

  • Mark

    Hemant,

    If you went to your local Atheist MeetUp you might already know this person…

    • Hemant

      Considered that.  And mentioned that in the post! :)

  • Mossj

    I teach science and physics at a Catholic school in New Zealand. When I started here, I classed myself as a deist — I thought that some kind of god ( not necessarily the Judeo-Christian one) started things, which then evolved according to natural laws, also which that god set up. After working here for a few years, listening to the blatantly asinine and self-righteous stories that my more pious workmates espoused, I became an atheist. I make no secret of it — if my students ask whether I believe in God, I openly say no, and I tell them why — but I don’t exactly advertise the fact to the staff. Some of them aren’t as understanding and mature as the teenagers.

    • Mossj

      Oh I should have mentioned, when I was interviewed for the job, I told the bosses I wasn’t Catholic. They said that’s fine, but that I would have to support the character of the school by reading the morning prayer and attending masses and liturgies. I did, and I still do…but I get my students to read the prayer (unless they don’t want to), and I attend the masses as crowd-control.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

         I’m wondering if they saw it as a chance at converting you? That would be funny!

  • RespectfulAtheist

    I too am an in the closet atheist, still working for a Christian organization

  • amy.jordan32

    I didn’t post on PostSecret – but I could have. I, too, work in Christian publishing. I just started blogging again after about a year-long hiatus, and this week I blogged about being in the closet as an atheist, and how it’s no fun. 

    You asked, “Did the person with the secret apply for a job at the publishing house despite being an atheist? Or did s/he become an atheist only after working there?” 

    I can’t speak for the PostSecret person, but I evolved out of Christianity after working in CBA for years, and I think that’s probably the case for most closet atheists who work in Christian organizations.

    I’ve been thinking… there needs to be a “Clergy Project” kind of organization for people who aren’t pastors but are otherwise tied to a Christian job or organization, and for various reasons, are having a very difficult time finding a way out. There are SO many of us out here. Most of us read blogs like crazy just to feel we’re not alone. But we still feel alone because we don’t dare give our real identities. In this economy, most of us are unable to put our jobs at risk.

    I’m so thankful for you, Hemant, and I read every single post. Thanks for all you do.

  • amy.jordan32
  • dangeroustalk

    My wife works for a small book company that does a lot of work for Christian publishers. Most of the people in her office are atheists. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORRVVC5R2QWLTXEM6SX5L6BORE Jay Arrrr

    It was because I was working for a television ministry that I lost the last few shreds of belief in the whole faerie tale.
    Did you ever see Steve Martin in “Leap of Faith”? That should have been classified as a documentary.
    I continued to work there for almost another year before I made good my escape. By that time I felt like a total prostitute.
    I had read “Black Elk Speaks” and the rest of the plastic medicine man Woo and followed that dead-end for about 2 years.

    Then I discovered Reason.

  • secretanimationatheist

    I’m an atheist who works as an animator on christian cartoons. I could tell you things about the christian entertainment world that would make your bowels turn to jello my friend.

    I think the worst thing is the fear of discovery. Especially on those days when co-workers talk about atheism right in front of me spouting things i know are complete lies and I can’t say anything without fear of discovery….also the cartoons are bad.

    • BinaryStar

      Please DO tell!!!

    • David Orr

      This sounds so juicy.

  • Srferby

    I work in the navy as a Religious Program Specialist (RP).
    It was before I became an Atheist but now it helps me to be more open and not
    push religion like so many RPs do. It’s funny working with the chaplains, I so
    want to open up at meetings. Two of them know and I have found I am not the
    only one. In my area there are three Atheists and one Wiccan.

  • snoofle

    When I was still at school (Catholic), I was given a Saturday job at the CTS (Catholic Truth Society) shop.  It had christian books and cards, and crucifixes, and a wide selection of rosary beads.  They even had glow-in-the-dark rosary beads, and when I asked about them I was told that people bought them to put in coffins.  Even the religious lady who also worked there thought that was ridiculous!

  • David Orr

    I work for a company that partners with a couple big-time xtian publishers, and as such have designed hundreds of book covers for xtian books.

    I didn’t do “Heaven is Real” but yeah… it’s the same company. I submit to your cursing.

    On the bright side, it’s one of the major reasons I donated my services to MN Atheists for their upcoming anthology!

  • Sarina

    I guess I have a little bit of a unique situation in that I love the church. I understand its flaws, certainly, but what area of society is flawless? I worked for a bible camp for two years during the summers, and I long to go back, despite my unbelief. I love the kids, and so many of them are totally neglected at home and just need to be loved. I gave it to them. I love kids so much, even and perhaps especially the ones that are so difficult to most people. I really believe in the “ministry” here but I fear that, now identifying as an agnostic, it is unfair to the organization if I should work there again. I don’t even feel bad about telling the kids about Jesus, it’s a beautiful story centered on love, if you can avoid the difficulties, and if it gives them hope, I’m all for it. But I don’t know if I can lie about my own lack of faith anymore.


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