Author Topic: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles  (Read 7284 times)

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sweetonsno

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2013, 02:37:36 PM »
Karen is a-okay from an etiquette standpoint. Nobody has to toast someone who they don't want to toast, eat something that they don't want to eat, or sing a national anthem to another country.

That said, if it truly is a problem for the hostess if she doesn't participate in the toast, perhaps Karen should decline future invitations.

Lynn2000

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2013, 02:42:53 PM »
I think Karen has been acting perfectly well, and that anyone who is paying enough attention to her to notice that she didn't do every single little step is obviously not paying enough attention to the toast they claim to admire.

But, my question is, now that the minute detail of how she does not fully participate has been noticed, what's going to happen? If we assume the complainer and the organizer are two different people, that's at least two people who have noticed, and thought it important enough to mention. My worry would be that one or both of them will talk to other members about this and more people will start to notice what they never noticed before, and it might become a thing, you know? I just hope Karen isn't made to feel so uncomfortable that she has to cut back on her activities.

sweetonsno just posted... I was imagining these were semi-professional gatherings or something where you get invited because you are a member of club X, having nothing to do with one's belief in the monarchy. If we are talking about a purely social gathering at someone's home, though, it might indeed be better for Karen to decline if she knows the host will be upset by her stance. Just don't let herself get put into that position.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2013, 02:43:59 PM »
Karen is a-okay from an etiquette standpoint. Nobody has to toast someone who they don't want to toast, eat something that they don't want to eat, or sing a national anthem to another country.

That said, if it truly is a problem for the hostess if she doesn't participate in the toast, perhaps Karen should decline future invitations.

It doesn't sound as if this is a hosted event.

Sharnita

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2013, 02:45:01 PM »
In this case it was at a business lunch. I think it is reasonable that attendees assume there will not be politics - including political pressure to publicly affirm their loyalty to the monarchy. If the organizer expects some sort of political display then Karen should be refunded any money she spent, dues paid, etc. and the organization should publicize itself as being both business and politically oriented. I don't think it would be rude for Karen to point this out to the organizer who passed on the complaint.

TootsNYC

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2013, 02:52:04 PM »
In this case it was at a business lunch. I think it is reasonable that attendees assume there will not be politics - including political pressure to publicly affirm their loyalty to the monarchy. If the organizer expects some sort of political display then Karen should be refunded any money she spent, dues paid, etc. and the organization should publicize itself as being both business and politically oriented. I don't think it would be rude for Karen to point this out to the organizer who passed on the complaint.

I'm not a Brit, so I'm wondering--is this true? (Sharnita--I couldn't remember where you're from--if you're British, my apologies.)

I have the impression that the Loyal Toast might pop up at all *kinds* of places, simply because it's such a fundamental part of the entire nation's culture.

Can  Brit weigh in?

Sharnita

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2013, 02:58:00 PM »
No, American.  And when I refer to it being political, I am talking less about the original toast and more about the organizer asking Karen to participate fully to make other attendees happy. 

Gyburc

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2013, 03:02:33 PM »
Toots, personally I haven't encountered the toast in very many situations, and certainly not in a business context. I think the last time it was proposed in my presence was at a historical fencing event. Of course, my personal experience doesn't cover the whole UK!

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Margo

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »
yes, the Loyal Toast is likely to pop up a lot at formal dinners, and in most circumstances, most people would not consider it political.

for instance, I've heard it given at;
- My university's Law Society Ball
- The local Rotary Club Annual Dinner
- Annual Dinner of the local Bellringing Society (several different societies, in different areas of the country)
- Sailing Club Christmas Dinner

None of those are organisations which are political in nature or where someone's views regarding the monarchy would be relevant to their membership - and the Loyal toast would,  I think, for a significant number of people, count as "a traditional thing that happens at formal dinners" not "an endorsement of the monarchy" All of the situations where I've come across it have been black-tie events, the kind of events where you have a posh meal, toasts and speeches.

There are situations where it might be more of an issue, particualrly if the organisation involved had any kind of political slant to it.

atirial

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2013, 03:35:17 PM »
That said, if it truly is a problem for the hostess if she doesn't participate in the toast, perhaps Karen should decline future invitations.
I would say that Karen is handling it correctly with one exception. If it is an organisation with Royal patronage, or which the Queen heads, then refusing the toast would be very close to insulting the host and organsation. She should probably cease to attend the events in such a situation.
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emwithme

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2013, 03:47:11 PM »
The regiment that my father and brothers all served in does not need to participate in the Loyal Toast*.  This is the regiment that traditionally (ie before there were several amalgamations) recruited from my local area (in the English Midlands), so at formal dinners growing up there would always be several men who would not stand to make the toast (even though theoretically the exemption should only take effect in the Officers' Mess)

*[cut from wikipedia] The Loyal Toast: After the Jacobite rebellion in 1745, all officers of the army were required to drink the health of the Sovereign in their mess after dinner as a token of loyalty to the King. The King, however, absolved the regiment from this duty, saying that their loyalty had always been beyond question, and gave the officers the privilege of never drinking the Loyal Toast in the Officers' Mess and of ignoring the National Anthem when it is played by the band after dinner. This privilege was reaffirmed by the Sovereign prior to the formation of the regiment in 1993.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2013, 03:48:26 PM »
I think that Karen is handling this with a lot of class.  It's not what you believe, especially in business, it's how you behave.  There may very well have been competitors attending the same luncheon, and I'm sure that nobody would condone starting an argument about who has the best service, or who deserves what contract.

The organiser was wrong to ask Karen to do anything else.  She should have tut-tutted along with the complainer, made a non-commital remark, and bean dipped to a more important topic than who was not toasting. 

whatsanenigma

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2013, 03:50:41 PM »
That said, if it truly is a problem for the hostess if she doesn't participate in the toast, perhaps Karen should decline future invitations.
I would say that Karen is handling it correctly with one exception. If it is an organisation with Royal patronage, or which the Queen heads, then refusing the toast would be very close to insulting the host and organsation. She should probably cease to attend the events in such a situation.

It sounds to me like she does "participate" in the most visible parts of the toast, though.  She stands up and holds up a glass but then just doesn't drink from it or say the words along with everyone else.

I do agree with you, though, that if her refusal of the toast was more obvious (not standing up, for example) that it would seem very insulting.   If it drew attention to her, if the focus became on her refusal to participate instead of on the toast itself, especially if she was actively trying to create this outcome, it would be rude and insulting and inappropriate, I think.  But it sounds to me like she blends in and only the most intense busybody would notice or care.

And just as a side note, I could absolutely imagine circumstances in which I might participate wholeheartedly  in some kind of toast but not say the actual words for some reason.  Maybe I am about to cough, or I've swallowed something slightly the wrong way, I got caught off guard,  or whatever.  I would think this applies to other people, as well.  So the "not saying the words" part really wouldn't phase me even if I did notice, which I probably wouldn't.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #42 on: November 12, 2013, 03:52:06 PM »
That said, if it truly is a problem for the hostess if she doesn't participate in the toast, perhaps Karen should decline future invitations.
I would say that Karen is handling it correctly with one exception. If it is an organisation with Royal patronage, or which the Queen heads, then refusing the toast would be very close to insulting the host and organsation. She should probably cease to attend the events in such a situation.

Does the queen head women's professional organizations? Is someone who organizes an event the same thing as a host in that she pays for everyone's dinner?

GSNW

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #43 on: November 12, 2013, 03:55:01 PM »
I think this would be along the same lines as, when people say the Pledge of Allegiance, some people do not want to use the words 'Under God'. It's all about your own personal beliefs, and no one gets to say that those are wrong.

I agree with this.  I've had students who don't SAY the pledge, but they'll stand during the pledge and they will stay silent during the following moment of silence.  OP's friend has done what is necessary to stick to her guns without causing a scene, and it's not the other person's business.

Calypso

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Re: Politely Sticking to Your Beliefs/Principles
« Reply #44 on: November 12, 2013, 04:07:39 PM »
Have the hostess tell the lady who complained that Karen is a direct descendent of the Plantagenets, and as such disputes the veracity of the Windsor claim to the throne. That'll give her something to chew on  ;D 8)