What would you do?

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pitar's picture
What would you do?

An old co-worker of mine contacted me a couple weeks ago asking if I would volunteer as a personal reference for him. He's thoroughly convinced there's a god, being the child of missionaries and programmed as a soldier of the gospel army, and looking to spread it. With Africa and the orient opening up to the western world, new missionary opportunities (converts=money) are being exploited so seminaries are taking in new meat. He wants to be part of that carnage.

I recently got an email request from one of the schools he applied with to validate his background. I've got half a mind to vaporize it but knowing the kid, Honest Abe that he is, this is his dream come true. Should I ignore the request or color him the perfect disciple for their religious groove?

This is a test of your altruism versus your atheism. There's pain in them thar decisions.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Eversman's picture
I think this is the part

I think this is the part where you weigh the good and the bad. In my case I wouldn't do it because everyone who knows that am an atheist wouldn't even think of me as a personal reference. But since it has been your friends dream, I think you could make an exception as that will also show that atheist are good people.

D_Trimijopulos's picture
Will they hire somebody else

Will they hire somebody else if you refuse to help him?
Surely they will!

I would have given the required information hoping that he will not be disappointed too soon and too hard.

Pitar's picture
I'm in agreement with the

I'm in agreement with the both of you. Thanks. "...disappointed too soon and too hard." I hope not. It was all he talked about when we worked together. We'll see.

ThePragmatic's picture
Speak the truth?

Speak the truth?
- "He is a completely brainwashed soldier of the gospel army. He is exactly the kind of sheep you are looking for."

Alembé's picture
Your former co-worker

Your former co-worker contacted you 2 weeks ago with a request to act as a reference. You could have diplomatically declined directly to him at that time. If you did not actively decline, then you gave applied consent and I think that you have an obligation to be factually correct regarding his background.

Pitar's picture


Lemme 'splain.

Some months back when he resigned I offered to write a letter of recommendation for him when applying at another prospective place of employment. I do that for everyone as a professional courtesy upon their separations. I knew him to be very religiously tied but my offer was not towards that end, nor should he have expected it to be knowing I'm an atheist.

A couple weeks back he contacted me and asked if I would agree to be a character reference and I did, thinking it to be for another prospective job for him. It turned out to be a seminary looking to recruit him for missionary work. This blind-sided me. I think him to be skilled as an employee but otherwise I'm not a reference for his chosen religious undertakings. I think it highly assuming on his part to extend my offer to such things. But, religious types do carry a certain amount of (handy) naivete and I dismissed his faux pas.

Still, I thought it a good question to ask here to get a tally and opinions.

Being very young, he has few people to count on in his short life who can vouch for his character. I have decided to put my convictions aside and let him learn on his own what he needs to learn first hand, as Dimitrios suggests. I will complete the inquiry from the seminary on his behalf.

I should have painted a clearer picture in my first post.

Alembé's picture
@ Pitar,

@ Pitar,

Fair enough. From experience I know that giving a refernce has the potential to be tricky. Fortunately mine have been of the "present the candidate in the best possible light, while retaining my integrity" type. Your former colleague put a twist in the proceedings, but you seem to have handled it admirably.

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.