Religion is one of the primary human divides. Rather than trying to understand other religions first, this session focuses on dominant Christianity, the impact it has had on the political, economic, and cultural systems of the United States, and how it manifests in our behaviors, beliefs, values, relationships, and workplaces.
What holidays are recognized in your workplace? What norms exclude or marginalize Muslims, Jews, atheists and other non-Christians? Are there key Christian concepts that shape the way people think and behave in embracing or distancing themselves from issues of diversity and multiculturalism? Are there Christian leaders, denominations or parachurch organizations that influence the way that equity issues are addressed in your community?
Just as hierarchies of race and gender in the workplace empower some, marginalize others, and lead to ineffectiveness, high turnover, tarnished interpersonal relationships, and destructive personal behavior, our religious hierarchy has major implications for our organizations as well.
We have enshrined freedom of religion in our Constitution in the phrase “separation of church and state”(notice the use of the word “church”) but even that is under attack. How do we create organizations based on religious pluralism so that the wisdom, creativity and inspiration of non-Christian traditions is valued and honored and no one is disrespected, marginalized, or excluded from full participation?