Author Topic: Spirituality of houseguests  (Read 5655 times)

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MorgnsGrl

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2013, 06:45:58 PM »
I think that if you'd be okay with someone of another different religion, for example, praying to their (not your) God at bedtime, it would be hypocritical to tell him what he can and can't do religiously in "his" room if it won't physically affect anyone's ability to breathe and/or safety. I think you're totally in the clear to tell him that the household rule is "no burning anything in bedrooms" and to suggest that he could do it in the garage. But if a cousin who was, for example, a Buddhist, would be permitted to perform devotional meditation while spending the night in your guest room -- and I would have a hard time believing that you'd make a specific rule forbidding this, though I could be wrong -- then I think questioning Kyle in detail about his anticipated religious practices while in "his" bedroom with the door closed would be out of line.

MrTango

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2013, 06:46:25 PM »
Do you have a garage or a shed that he could use?  Another option would be to allow him to dig out a shelter in the snow to block the wind.

SamiHami

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2013, 06:56:57 PM »
I think that if you'd be okay with someone of another different religion, for example, praying to their (not your) God at bedtime, it would be hypocritical to tell him what he can and can't do religiously in "his" room if it won't physically affect anyone's ability to breathe and/or safety. I think you're totally in the clear to tell him that the household rule is "no burning anything in bedrooms" and to suggest that he could do it in the garage. But if a cousin who was, for example, a Buddhist, would be permitted to perform devotional meditation while spending the night in your guest room -- and I would have a hard time believing that you'd make a specific rule forbidding this, though I could be wrong -- then I think questioning Kyle in detail about his anticipated religious practices while in "his" bedroom with the door closed would be out of line.

Agree 100%.

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2013, 07:04:07 PM »
I think it would be good, and even interesting and informative, if you were to ask him about these traditions, not in a third degree "just what are you planning to do in my house" but on an educational level.  I knew a few Wiccans in college and from what I know they celebrate the solstices (Winter and Summer) and Equinoxes (Oester and Samhain) along with other days like Beltane (first day of May) and/or Imbolc, also known as the day of the goddess Brigid (Also recognized as the feast day of St. Brigid of Kildare in Christianity)

But I think it would help things if you could sit down to talk to him because IME, not all earth-based practitioners celebrate the same way, or they honor different gods and goddesses.  That way you can understand better what he believes and what is needed. 

I think flameless candles are a good idea so he can still light them without worry about fire. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Ladybugs

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2013, 07:15:10 PM »
imo hosts have a right to make certain rules that pertain to their household, such as no drinking alcohol ot etc....but I dont think its right to try and control a guests religion such as prayer meditation etc. I can understand a basic rule about no flames in bedrooms,for safety reasons...but I dont see why dh is uncomfortable with the guest practicng rituals prayers meditations that dont involve burning. Its kind of hard anyways to dictate that if a guest is in their room praying, or doing whatever...i guess I dont see how basic religious practice that the boy does on his own in his room affect anyone? ( except in the case of burning which is fine to say no for general safety reasons

Yvaine

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2013, 07:18:21 PM »
I think you can definitely make a rule about open flames. I'm pagan and we (general we) love, love, love our candles  ;D but there is no absolute requirement that we use them. Many of us, myself included, have "made do" in places where we couldn't set up an altar or couldn't burn things, etc. If all else fails, one can meditate and visualize it. I think you can rightfully govern his outward actions (such as burning things) if you are concerned about their possible effects on the household.

I don't think you can really govern his inward thoughts and actions. If he is this religion, he is going to be this religion in his head, and even if he doesn't have the trappings to do a big bells-and-whistles ritual of his religion, he will still most likely be doing quiet prayer, and I don't think there's anything you can really do about that as long as you're willing to have him in the house in the first place. Basically, if you don't even want his god(s) prayed to silently in your house, you should probably find him another place to stay--but if you're OK with quiet prayer, I think you can ask him not to add a bonfire and a drumming circle to it while he's there.  ;)

Basically, I agree with MorgnsGrl.

Sharnita

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2013, 07:21:22 PM »
I think it depends.  Ican see various takes on it.  If somebody feels that "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" requres that they dedicate their household to their deity, then they might feel like it fell into the area where they needed to establish expectaions for lack of a better word. they couldn't enforce worship against his will but providing the resources to worship another deity or different worship might be a bit too far. On the other hand, it seems like that would be something for them to decide prior to moving somebody in.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2013, 08:18:32 PM »
I agree, if there is too much of a problem with him practicing his faith in your house, it would be better for all to find a new place for him. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

gorplady

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2013, 08:54:28 PM »
It seems to me that you just need to sit down and talk to this young man about his spiritual practices.

It is difficult to know how to advise you without knowing what the particular religion is, because if the burning is of sage, for example, and the young man is of a Native American tradition, the sage is used in smudging for blessings, and it might be harder for him to omit that step.

However, if your husband is at all uncomfortable with the thought of another religion being practiced in the home, even without the burning of candles/incense/herbs, I would think twice before letting this young man stay, lest it become a major issue.

Firecat

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2013, 09:13:23 PM »
It seems to me that you just need to sit down and talk to this young man about his spiritual practices.

It is difficult to know how to advise you without knowing what the particular religion is, because if the burning is of sage, for example, and the young man is of a Native American tradition, the sage is used in smudging for blessings, and it might be harder for him to omit that step.

However, if your husband is at all uncomfortable with the thought of another religion being practiced in the home, even without the burning of candles/incense/herbs, I would think twice before letting this young man stay, lest it become a major issue.

POD. An optional step before talking with him would be to do some research on your own. I don't mind answering a few questions from people, but I always appreciate it when they make some effort to find out basics on their own before talking to me. This website http://www.religioustolerance.org/ has very good basic information about many religions. If he is in fact Wiccan or Pagan (all Wiccans are Pagan, not all Pagans are Wiccan), there are loads of other good resources; I can recommend some if you like, and I know there are other posters here would be able to do so, as well.

I don't think it's fair to allow him to move in and then try to prevent him from practicing his religion at all in your home. I think a "no burning anything inside the house" is reasonable. But if your DH is not going to be able to welcome this young man with an open heart, knowing that his spiritual practice is different from yours, perhaps it would be better for everyone for the young man to find somewhere else to stay.

Cat-Fu

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2013, 09:18:38 PM »
I don't think it's fair to allow him to move in and then try to prevent him from practicing his religion at all in your home. I think a "no burning anything inside the house" is reasonable. But if your DH is not going to be able to welcome this young man with an open heart, knowing that his spiritual practice is different from yours, perhaps it would be better for everyone for the young man to find somewhere else to stay.

I agree completely. Would you want to stay with someone who didn't want you to practice your religion? It sounds like you have the potential to be an enormous source of stability for this kid, so I do hope you are able to work something out.

Regarding your specific questions: yes, for some religions there are certain rituals that need to happen at certain times. The times and the rituals depend on the religion. :)

I would not say it is polite to ask someone not to practice their faith in your home. I think safety restrictions like no candles/smoke/animal sacrifice (I kid! :P) are completely reasonable, however.
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thedudeabides

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2013, 09:33:17 PM »
I don't think it's fair to allow him to move in and then try to prevent him from practicing his religion at all in your home. I think a "no burning anything inside the house" is reasonable. But if your DH is not going to be able to welcome this young man with an open heart, knowing that his spiritual practice is different from yours, perhaps it would be better for everyone for the young man to find somewhere else to stay.

I agree completely. Would you want to stay with someone who didn't want you to practice your religion? It sounds like you have the potential to be an enormous source of stability for this kid, so I do hope you are able to work something out.

Regarding your specific questions: yes, for some religions there are certain rituals that need to happen at certain times. The times and the rituals depend on the religion. :)

I would not say it is polite to ask someone not to practice their faith in your home. I think safety restrictions like no candles/smoke/animal sacrifice (I kid! :P) are completely reasonable, however.

I agree.

CLD

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2013, 09:36:40 PM »
I had a very similar situation come up about 10 years ago when I took in a young man in an unofficial foster-type situation. He was rather dumped on me, so we didn't have a chance to work this out before he moved in, so I asked for several weeks to read up and then decide what I was comfortable with happening in my home.  Because it was my home, and according to my beliefs, my home is a sacred space dedicated to one particular deity.

Of course, I wouldn't/couldn't restrict his beliefs.  However, after reading several books on his religion, we sat down and had a discussion about my beliefs, and about where his and mine were in conflict.  I explained what I was and wasn't comfortable with, and why, and asked him not to participate in certain rituals in my home.  And then I trusted him to honor my wishes. 

Really, beyond a no fire policy, there's no way to police or restrict someone's private religious practice.



 

lady_disdain

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2013, 09:58:07 PM »
I would adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for religious activities that didn't include fire. You don't tell me you are praying in my house, I don't ask if you are praying in my house. But perhaps your husband could have a talk with your spiritual leader? Some religions do have restrictions on having spiritual activities of different religions in a believer's house. Or, perhaps, the charity of helping the young man may be seen as more important, which will comfort your DH.

Sharnita

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Re: Spirituality of houseguests
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2013, 10:00:04 PM »
I would adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy for religious activities that didn't include fire. You don't tell me you are praying in my house, I don't ask if you are praying in my house. But perhaps your husband could have a talk with your spiritual leader? Some religions do have restrictions on having spiritual activities of different religions in a believer's house. Or, perhaps, the charity of helping the young man may be seen as more important, which will comfort your DH.

That sounds like good advice.