For a second job, I am a part-time instructor at a college in my city. It’s a big school – about 30,000 enrolled, and I have been employed there for 17 years. It is a state college, so it is Federally funded, and is thus subject to separation of church and state.
My department has a shared office that is available for all of the adjuncts, full of desks, chairs, computers, supplies, you name it. But it’s also a haven for religious propaganda, specifically, that of the Christian persuasion. I don’t know exactly who puts out the religious materials (although I have my suspicions), but in the past, the materials have ranged from religious-based articles to church fliers and Billy Graham books. Yesterday, there was a binder titled “The Loss of America Has Been Brought About By the Loss of Her Moral Standards.” When I opened it, I noticed that it was full of Christian propaganda…you know, the kind of garbage we atheists laugh about all the time. There were articles about America being a Christian nation, bible quotes about morality, statistical studies about how crime rates went up when prayers were taken away from schools, and articles about archaeological digs discovering giant human remains, which support Scripture. Of course, we know this is all false and easily debunked, but I can’t put into words how angry I was reading this garbage, and knowing that this misinformation was being spread in my house, a public college.
My first inclination was to do some research and print out some articles and casually insert them in the booklet, to debunk this Christian misinformation. But I also don’t want to start a holy war. Some of these people I’ve known for almost two decades, and I’m not interested in burning bridges. On the other hand, I can’t let it go. I don’t want to see this garbage ever again. It has no business being there.
So my question to you is: What do I do?
Here are some things to consider –
- I am employed at will, and could not have my contract not renewed for any reason, on a semester-by-semester basis.
- I am not out as an atheist. Only a handful of people know.
- I do not want to send an email, as that would not be anonymous.
- My department chairperson is very religious, and at one time had a sign in our department office that said “God Bless America.” “Someone” tore it down one evening. 🙂
- The lead professor knows I am an atheist, because we used to date. She is a devout Christian, and ended our year-long relationship due to our religious differences (allegedly), so if a complaint somehow was made anonymously, she might suspect me, and my job could be in jeopardy.