Gerard aka ‘Ultimate Dad’ emailed me today to bring his recent experience at volunteering with his local scout group to my attention. One of my colleagues experienced something very similar when he tried to help out in such a way. Why would an atheist possibly help? How dare we go around being all helpful without the fear of eternal damnation to make us do so!
Apparently there was a problem with my application – I’d ‘forgotten’ to fill in the religious denomination section. Silly me. I explained that I tend to leave that blank because I’m an atheist and…
It was as if all the air had been sucked out of the room. The formerly genial gentleman who’d been talking to me was reduced to uncomfortable stammering. Damn, I’ve never experienced anything like this before. He awkwardly pointed out that the Scouts aren’t a Christian organisation – presumably for equality reasons more than anything else – but that an atheist cannot make a pledge to God. I agreed. It’s something I would never do, not even to cover my ass and ‘fake it’.
He rushed off to consult with his colleagues about this, but the vibe was frosty. And then I was called in to meet with the three leaders.
To read the full experience, visit ‘Family of Five’.
If you have had similar experiences of having your help shunned, hard work refused, or kindness thrown back at you for simply not believing in something mystical, then let me know: email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me on Twitter or Facebook.