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Breakfast Etiquette: Praying at the table.

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Proud Texan

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I know I'm probably going to get blasted for this, but here goes:
DW and I are not particularly religious, but have no problem with those who are unless they force their beliefs on others. There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table.
What makes us uncomfortable is that a [religious] couple will come in, introduce themselves to others at the table who are already eating and then start praying. Others at the table become noticiably embarrassed and momentarily stop eating until they are finished. Several times this has happened while we are in the middle of a conversation with the other guests. I've also seen them take the hands of the other guests expecting them to join in.
I'm sorry, but this just seems rude to me. These individuals could have just as easily said their prayers in the privacy of their rooms.
1. If this happens to you. How do you feel about it.
2. What the heck can you do about it?
 

gillumhouse

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I have had guests say a blessing at the table but so far (at least that I remember) no one else was there. I am usually in the kitchen or coming in with the food so I stop and wait until they are finished.
They are not praying as such, they are asking a blessing for the food and those who prepared it. Personally, I would not be embarrassed as a guest. I would just do the courteous thing of waiting until they finished - unless it went on and on and on in which case I might be tempted to say amen and start eating again, These are usually people who never begin a meal without saying a blessing - to them it is like breathing and not meant to be rude.
 

Proud Texan

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I have had guests say a blessing at the table but so far (at least that I remember) no one else was there. I am usually in the kitchen or coming in with the food so I stop and wait until they are finished.
They are not praying as such, they are asking a blessing for the food and those who prepared it. Personally, I would not be embarrassed as a guest. I would just do the courteous thing of waiting until they finished - unless it went on and on and on in which case I might be tempted to say amen and start eating again, These are usually people who never begin a meal without saying a blessing - to them it is like breathing and not meant to be rude..
I had a preacher friend who always said, "Don't catch up on your prayer life at the dinner table!"
We have the kind of guests you're talking about as well. But I don't think its kosher to impose on others at the table. A silent prayer would be fine, but they never seem to manage that.
 

muirford

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Not blasted, but I have no advice for dealing with the situation either. I have not had the situation of seeing other guests made uncomfortable,so I have been fortunate in that regard. We have walked in with food while a prayer was in process but just backed out and wait to serve.
 

gillumhouse

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I have had guests say a blessing at the table but so far (at least that I remember) no one else was there. I am usually in the kitchen or coming in with the food so I stop and wait until they are finished.
They are not praying as such, they are asking a blessing for the food and those who prepared it. Personally, I would not be embarrassed as a guest. I would just do the courteous thing of waiting until they finished - unless it went on and on and on in which case I might be tempted to say amen and start eating again, These are usually people who never begin a meal without saying a blessing - to them it is like breathing and not meant to be rude..
I had a preacher friend who always said, "Don't catch up on your prayer life at the dinner table!"
We have the kind of guests you're talking about as well. But I don't think its kosher to impose on others at the table. A silent prayer would be fine, but they never seem to manage that.
.
Excuse me, I thought Texas was the Gold Buckle on the Bible Belt. I thought everyone said grace and Bless his heart.....
 

Proud Texan

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I have had guests say a blessing at the table but so far (at least that I remember) no one else was there. I am usually in the kitchen or coming in with the food so I stop and wait until they are finished.
They are not praying as such, they are asking a blessing for the food and those who prepared it. Personally, I would not be embarrassed as a guest. I would just do the courteous thing of waiting until they finished - unless it went on and on and on in which case I might be tempted to say amen and start eating again, These are usually people who never begin a meal without saying a blessing - to them it is like breathing and not meant to be rude..
I had a preacher friend who always said, "Don't catch up on your prayer life at the dinner table!"
We have the kind of guests you're talking about as well. But I don't think its kosher to impose on others at the table. A silent prayer would be fine, but they never seem to manage that.
.
Excuse me, I thought Texas was the Gold Buckle on the Bible Belt. I thought everyone said grace and Bless his heart.....
.
gillumhouse said:
Excuse me, I thought Texas was the Gold Buckle on the Bible Belt. I thought everyone said grace and Bless his heart.....
Hell no. Only the loud pushy ones.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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People can do what they wish to do. Just like in their conversation they talk politics, religion, economics - not our place to dictate what they do.
As long as
you are not the one stepping in and saying "let us pray" as I will confirm this has happened to us at a BnB by the hosts in TN. True.
What about some foul mouthed person swearing at the table? (not to compare apples and oranges but talking about offending someone) There is nothing lower than some dude swearing around ladies. If it were me, and I were the guest, I would say something. Same with the guests if someone prays and they don't like it, what does it have to do with the innkeeper?
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real. Many Americans give thanks before a meal. It is not some voo-doo practice.
 

Proud Texan

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People can do what they wish to do. Just like in their conversation they talk politics, religion, economics - not our place to dictate what they do.
As long as
you are not the one stepping in and saying "let us pray" as I will confirm this has happened to us at a BnB by the hosts in TN. True.
What about some foul mouthed person swearing at the table? (not to compare apples and oranges but talking about offending someone) There is nothing lower than some dude swearing around ladies. If it were me, and I were the guest, I would say something. Same with the guests if someone prays and they don't like it, what does it have to do with the innkeeper?
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real. Many Americans give thanks before a meal. It is not some voo-doo practice.
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
What about some foul mouthed person swearing at the table? ....what does it have to do with the innkeeper?
If someone is being offensive in my B&B, which is also my home, I will ask them to stop. At some point, if someone's religion or politics is making my other guests uncomfortable, I will also ask them to stop. There have been many times I've had to stop a guest by telling him that we discuss neither politics or religion here.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real.

I'm not talking about praying quietly. I'm talking about the 2nd Sermon on the Mount! You wouldn't believe some of these people!
 

muirford

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People can do what they wish to do. Just like in their conversation they talk politics, religion, economics - not our place to dictate what they do.
As long as
you are not the one stepping in and saying "let us pray" as I will confirm this has happened to us at a BnB by the hosts in TN. True.
What about some foul mouthed person swearing at the table? (not to compare apples and oranges but talking about offending someone) There is nothing lower than some dude swearing around ladies. If it were me, and I were the guest, I would say something. Same with the guests if someone prays and they don't like it, what does it have to do with the innkeeper?
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real. Many Americans give thanks before a meal. It is not some voo-doo practice.
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real.
I doubt if anyone would be offended by someone praying quietly in public. Don't you think? Lapsed Catholic that I am, I still make the sign of the cross when I pass a public memorial. I would not be happy with someone taking my hand at a meal to join them in prayer. If I want to be included, I can ask to be included.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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You don't discuss politics or religion at your BnB? Really? People talk about that and more here all the time, especially when they encounter people from all different walks of life. More power to them. Our Brits who are tight lipped on most issues bring up politics immediately upon sitting down.
I, however do not join in, as it is not my place, same reason I do not put placards for political parties in my yard. If I stayed at a B&B with a cross or a statuary of Mary in their yard it would not worry me. If they took my hand to pray, like mentioned HAS HAPPENED TO ME I would not like it.
You started by saying: There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table. You mentioned it has come to someone even taking hands, you did not say THIS was what bothered you but added it to the first comment and then several times interrupting an ongoing conversation. So which is it that bothers you? Someone saying a blessing or the latter or both?
If you do not want to attract people of faith put that on your website, that you are non religious, anti religious or whatever you would like it to be coined.
Just like that place - I can't recall where it was that had policies "Married couples only" on her website. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but she had it on there, I think it was in Georgia?
 

Proud Texan

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You don't discuss politics or religion at your BnB? Really? People talk about that and more here all the time, especially when they encounter people from all different walks of life. More power to them. Our Brits who are tight lipped on most issues bring up politics immediately upon sitting down.
I, however do not join in, as it is not my place, same reason I do not put placards for political parties in my yard. If I stayed at a B&B with a cross or a statuary of Mary in their yard it would not worry me. If they took my hand to pray, like mentioned HAS HAPPENED TO ME I would not like it.
You started by saying: There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table. You mentioned it has come to someone even taking hands, you did not say THIS was what bothered you but added it to the first comment and then several times interrupting an ongoing conversation. So which is it that bothers you? Someone saying a blessing or the latter or both?
If you do not want to attract people of faith put that on your website, that you are non religious, anti religious or whatever you would like it to be coined.
Just like that place - I can't recall where it was that had policies "Married couples only" on her website. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but she had it on there, I think it was in Georgia?.
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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You don't discuss politics or religion at your BnB? Really? People talk about that and more here all the time, especially when they encounter people from all different walks of life. More power to them. Our Brits who are tight lipped on most issues bring up politics immediately upon sitting down.
I, however do not join in, as it is not my place, same reason I do not put placards for political parties in my yard. If I stayed at a B&B with a cross or a statuary of Mary in their yard it would not worry me. If they took my hand to pray, like mentioned HAS HAPPENED TO ME I would not like it.
You started by saying: There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table. You mentioned it has come to someone even taking hands, you did not say THIS was what bothered you but added it to the first comment and then several times interrupting an ongoing conversation. So which is it that bothers you? Someone saying a blessing or the latter or both?
If you do not want to attract people of faith put that on your website, that you are non religious, anti religious or whatever you would like it to be coined.
Just like that place - I can't recall where it was that had policies "Married couples only" on her website. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but she had it on there, I think it was in Georgia?.
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
.
Proud Texan said:
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
Nobody like a bully or a pinhead.
 

Proud Texan

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You don't discuss politics or religion at your BnB? Really? People talk about that and more here all the time, especially when they encounter people from all different walks of life. More power to them. Our Brits who are tight lipped on most issues bring up politics immediately upon sitting down.
I, however do not join in, as it is not my place, same reason I do not put placards for political parties in my yard. If I stayed at a B&B with a cross or a statuary of Mary in their yard it would not worry me. If they took my hand to pray, like mentioned HAS HAPPENED TO ME I would not like it.
You started by saying: There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table. You mentioned it has come to someone even taking hands, you did not say THIS was what bothered you but added it to the first comment and then several times interrupting an ongoing conversation. So which is it that bothers you? Someone saying a blessing or the latter or both?
If you do not want to attract people of faith put that on your website, that you are non religious, anti religious or whatever you would like it to be coined.
Just like that place - I can't recall where it was that had policies "Married couples only" on her website. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but she had it on there, I think it was in Georgia?.
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
.
Proud Texan said:
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
Nobody like a bully or a pinhead.
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Proud Texan said:
It's not the praying I'm opposed to. It's the imposition of their religious beliefs on my other guests that I deem inappropriate. Pray all you want. Just don't force it on innocent bystanders.
I have never seen anything good from discussing religion or politics at the breakfast table. Most of my guests come here for peace and quiet. I will not have some zealot or bully at the table taking advantage of a captive audience and ruining the other guests' stay.
Nobody like a bully or a pinhead.
But we get them, don't we? Most of our "prayers" are lovely people, but sometimes I think they may be a little evangelical for their own good.

 

seashanty

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hmmmm ... i can only think of one time some guests prayed before eating. i wasn't offended, other guests did not seem to be either. the prayer was quick and quiet. no one spoke to me to complain. i was in the middle of serving and continued doing so as i was midway to another table.
if this happened at a 'community table' and it's just a brief prayer, i'd just be respectfully silent til they were done. joining others already seated, maybe those guests already said their prayer ... how would they know? taking other guests' hands seems a bit much.
i didn't have big tables, so it wasn't often that more than two 'strangers' ate together.
did any non praying guests complain to you?
 

Proud Texan

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hmmmm ... i can only think of one time some guests prayed before eating. i wasn't offended, other guests did not seem to be either. the prayer was quick and quiet. no one spoke to me to complain. i was in the middle of serving and continued doing so as i was midway to another table.
if this happened at a 'community table' and it's just a brief prayer, i'd just be respectfully silent til they were done. joining others already seated, maybe those guests already said their prayer ... how would they know? taking other guests' hands seems a bit much.
i didn't have big tables, so it wasn't often that more than two 'strangers' ate together.
did any non praying guests complain to you?.
seashanty said:
hmmmm ... i can only think of one time some guests prayed before eating. i wasn't offended, other guests did not seem to be either. the prayer was quick and quiet. no one spoke to me to complain. i was in the middle of serving and continued doing so as i was midway to another table.
if this happened at a 'community table' and it's just a brief prayer, i'd just be respectfully silent til they were done. joining others already seated, maybe those guests already said their prayer ... how would they know? taking other guests' hands seems a bit much.
i didn't have big tables, so it wasn't often that more than two 'strangers' ate together.
did any non praying guests complain to you?
No Complaints, but like you, I care about the comfort level of all our guests so it concerns me.
 

Morticia

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hmmmm ... i can only think of one time some guests prayed before eating. i wasn't offended, other guests did not seem to be either. the prayer was quick and quiet. no one spoke to me to complain. i was in the middle of serving and continued doing so as i was midway to another table.
if this happened at a 'community table' and it's just a brief prayer, i'd just be respectfully silent til they were done. joining others already seated, maybe those guests already said their prayer ... how would they know? taking other guests' hands seems a bit much.
i didn't have big tables, so it wasn't often that more than two 'strangers' ate together.
did any non praying guests complain to you?.
We've had a lot of guests pray at the table, but never with other guests who were not traveling with them. It didn't seem to impact anyone else and I just held back serving or talking to them until they were done. However, had they tried to rally everyone into joining them I probably would have stepped in.
I think most people can separate what is a guest's opinion from what is the inn's stance on something but I would not want to have a guest be uncomfortable that they 'have' to do something they don't want to to keep the peace. It's akin to having guests who are trying to have some couples' time be forced into talking because another guest has to be the center of attention. I might walk over to the couple and block the other guest's line of sight for a minute. Easier done at separate tables.
Like the comment about the cursing at the table. Not here. If I hear it more than once or twice I stand near the table until it stops. Amazing what that 'mom' look can do. And I do not care if THAT particular guest is offended at having to behave properly in company. There is enough ugliness in the world without having it brought right into my dining room to assault my ears. And that they stop means they know full well what they are doing is not right.
As long as the political topics don't get nasty we join right in the conversation. Hubs had a very ugly encounter last week in a motel when he was back home. Another guest walked into the office to get coffee and started spouting all this racist crap thinking he was assured of a captive, complacent, like-minded audience. Wrong audience.
When I have been subjected to breakfast conversation that I do not like (at a B&B on vacation) I ignore the speakers. I am classified as an uppity (Northern) bitch but I don't care. Unless I am expected to make a scene and leave the table, I would prefer to eat my breakfast rather than go hungry because someone is a lout.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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People can do what they wish to do. Just like in their conversation they talk politics, religion, economics - not our place to dictate what they do.
As long as
you are not the one stepping in and saying "let us pray" as I will confirm this has happened to us at a BnB by the hosts in TN. True.
What about some foul mouthed person swearing at the table? (not to compare apples and oranges but talking about offending someone) There is nothing lower than some dude swearing around ladies. If it were me, and I were the guest, I would say something. Same with the guests if someone prays and they don't like it, what does it have to do with the innkeeper?
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real. Many Americans give thanks before a meal. It is not some voo-doo practice.
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
People can do what they wish to do. Just like in their conversation they talk politics, religion, economics - not our place to dictate what they do.
If someone praying quietly in public is offensive then they need to get real. Many Americans give thanks before a meal. It is not some voo-doo practice.

I'd say they are a very small minority around here. I think most people generally consider their audience and restrain themselves if in the company of strangers.
We don't care really, but we're not very compassionate referees for conversations that get amped up a little too high on sensitve subjects. As Barney Fife always said "gotta nip it, nip it in the butt"
I'm not going to have even a single guest feel out of sorts or uncomfortable because some blowhard wants to ignore good manners and etiquette in front of strangers.
If a guest brings up a highly charged topic, they have a few minutes and some leeway to keep it civil and unoffensive, but we have ALL of our guest's feelings and views to protect and respect while under our roof.
We just added a three time guest to our DNBA list because of a totally racist rant he launched into during breakfast a few mornings ago. We'd had plenty of trouble with him all three visits and this was the proverbial straw and we were the camels.
 

Willowpondgj

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You don't discuss politics or religion at your BnB? Really? People talk about that and more here all the time, especially when they encounter people from all different walks of life. More power to them. Our Brits who are tight lipped on most issues bring up politics immediately upon sitting down.
I, however do not join in, as it is not my place, same reason I do not put placards for political parties in my yard. If I stayed at a B&B with a cross or a statuary of Mary in their yard it would not worry me. If they took my hand to pray, like mentioned HAS HAPPENED TO ME I would not like it.
You started by saying: There is one practice that makes us a little uncomfortable [for our guests] and that is the practice of saying a blessing at the breakfast table. You mentioned it has come to someone even taking hands, you did not say THIS was what bothered you but added it to the first comment and then several times interrupting an ongoing conversation. So which is it that bothers you? Someone saying a blessing or the latter or both?
If you do not want to attract people of faith put that on your website, that you are non religious, anti religious or whatever you would like it to be coined.
Just like that place - I can't recall where it was that had policies "Married couples only" on her website. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but she had it on there, I think it was in Georgia?.
"Married couples only"
What if they were married in a state that allows same sex marriage?
 

swirt

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We serve all three rooms at one table at the same time. We've only had a couple of instances where people prayed at the table and they seemed to be keeping it short and sweet. I've watched faces a bit from the sideline and didn't detect any discomfort or raised eyebrows. Even had one couple that intentionally set out to be the first at the table so they could get the blessing out of the way without imposing on anyone else.
Thankfully we haven't had any ask/force others to join in. If it did happen, I'd be annoyed by it a bit, but I'm not sure what I would do....its a good question I'll have to think over a bit.
 
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