Religious Privilege on a Calling Card

Photo by Glen Van Etten

Business cards can offer us much information about a business. They tell us the name of the person and/or business and give us contact information such as an address, phone number, web address, and/or e-mail. Other pertinent information may also be given, such as what services are provided. Being of an average small size, there isn’t a lot of room on business cards. The limited space given is used to convey the most important aspects of the business in the hopes that you will hire the person or use their services.

So what does that mean when someone includes their religion on their business card and their line of work is not one of religion? It could mean a lot of things, but for me, it means I probably am not going to hire the person. I can hear the shouts of outrage now of religious intolerance. In fact, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

I don’t care what religion a person is when I hire them for a job. I expect them to be competent and professional. Religion has nothing to do with it, unless they bring religion into it. Printing your religion on your business card does just that. With the limited amount of information on a business card, I have to make some assumptions about what that means.

Logically, anything mentioned on the person’s business card will have something to do with the business or the work that will be entailed. If I am hiring you to do my taxes, install an electrical light, or cut down some trees, I’m not hiring you for religious counsel. In which case, I must make another assessment of why that information might be provided. Chances are that you either (A) prefer to work with/for others who share the same beliefs as you or (B) are trying to share, or push, your beliefs on to others. That fact alone tells me something about you or the kind of service I may receive from you.

So, regardless of what religion you may follow, if you find it necessary to state it on your business card, chances are that I won’t hire you. The fact that it was stated on your card (in the event that your profession is not religiously based) tells me that you are rather intolerant of others who do not share your beliefs. Where I live, in a predominantly Christian area, it’s a matter of Christian privilege on a calling card.


parenting beyond belief…

Many consensually living families extend the freedom to make decisions to religious beliefs. Those families living with alternative religious or spiritual beliefs, or those who choose to let their children make decisions regarding their own beliefs, often find themselves at odds with the society around them, especially in more conservative areas.

I had heard many good reviews about Dale McGowan’s Parenting Beyond Relief. I had hoped to find suggestions and examples of how to develop family celebrations, a community network, or exposing your children to many viewpoints in order to let them develop their own identities and beliefs. Instead, I found a book which seemed entirely devoted to convincing the reader as to why they should raise their children without organized religion. Since most readers would be assumed to have already made that decision, the book seems to be off the mark.

I was disappointed by the content, even more so by attacks on religion. While I may agree with many of his points, I was expecting a book centered more on tolerance and acceptance, as many of us raising our children this way would love acceptance by those who are intolerant of other religious views. I’ll keep my eyes out for a good book on the subject.