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Would you mention your faith in your listing?

I’m starting a new thread here because the other thread I posted got side-tracked into talking about whether it’s appropriate to mention your faith in your listing or not. I mentioned that our listing is in “a Christian home” and very quickly got labeled “anti-gay” and “in your face.” Here’s a quote from one forum member: > but it sure seems like you don’t want them (LBGT) when you start off by waving “Christian” about before someone even books. Not your fault, but to the public it means “anti-gay”.

To be honest, my faith is extremely important and I don’t want to condone ANYTHING that God says is wrong, but I don’t govern my paying guests as long as they adhere to my House Rules. I only state that we are a Christian home to vet guests who may not be comfortable with whatever they were planning to do here in the state of Colorado in my home or if it came up in casual conversation. It has worked wonderfully so far and I’m not about to remove the term “Christian” from my listing. I am frankly quite disturbed how such a beautiful word has become the catalyst for so much intolerance. I wonder if I wrote, “This is a LBGT home” or “This is a Muslim home,” would I have gotten so many comments about how “in your face” or “intolerant” I was being. I welcome your thoughts but please try to refrain from attacking anyone in this thread. Think, then post. Thanks.

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I would interpret this to mean that I may face some proselytizing which I would not want to deal with. Even when I’ve intermingled with people of strong Christian faith, I found that they often will converse with, “Praise Jesus,” and similar, in response to even small talk (in talking about my children, or a new job, or whatever).

I’m not saying you would do any of this, but by reading a listing with this language, I would just move on to the next listing.

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The thing about Airbnb, of course, is that it’s YOUR home!! You can say what you like in your listing. There will be plenty of people who will be put off by you immediately mentioning Christianity but that’s exactly why you’re doing it isn’t it? Personally I’d be thinking, “if they’re already mentioning it then you can bet your life that it’ll come up when we meet in person” and so I wouldn’t book. Cool, we’ve both avoided a potentially awkward situation!

By the way, in terms of standards of behaviour expected from our guests, I would say ours are pretty much the same as yours but we have no faith whatsoever.

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You make a good point. These are (supposed) to be homes we’re renting out, with a host experience. Guests should be able to find places that they’d feel comfortable in. I’ve seen plenty of listings saying “LBGTQ friendly” or CO places mentioning 420, etc. And it’s totally fine if you decide to mention your faith and people decide to move on. Neither host nor guest may have been comfortable if it came out afterwards during the stay, especially in an in-home situation.

I have a private apartment above my garage. Since it’s separate, I don’t list my faith on my listing. I’ve had a daytime “hook-up”, boyfriend/girlfriend, and boyfriend/boyfriend stays in addition to families and such. It’s not in my home, and I’m offering a place to stay, I’m not going to limit my guests. But in all of those situations it would not have been welcome in a bedroom in my home with children next room over.

We’re supposed to use our description and listing to help invite the kind of guests who would feel comfortable in our space. And if we do so, we have to be comfortable with people deciding to move on if they wouldn’t feel comfortable.

So that said, if I come on this forum and complain about having no bookings and I’m too restrictive or turning away great guests because of my listing wording, I have to decide if it’s worth it to me to share that info. But we’re encouraged to share who we are! If we’re looking for purely a business transaction then just describe your space.

If you’re trying to appeal to a certain type of guest, then describe who you are but refrain from discriminating wording like a “muslims only” which I’ve seen. BUT, if I were a devout Muslim, I would want to stay there and as a host would only feel comfortable opening my home to people of similar faith if I were feeling like I was violating my faith by opening my home to people outside of it. If I were observant Orthodox Jewish and wanting to open my home to others of my faith who understand Kosher needs and were looking for a Kosher place to stay it would be perfect, though I probably wouldn’t make a lot of money doing so. But there may be a market for it as that faith has restrictive needs in housing!

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Sorry, but if I saw that word in your listing I would think immediately that I should not book unless I was of like mind.

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I had to google that - Colarado right?

I am Christian but I would not book either. My husband is a zen Buddhist. I don’t flout my faith and respect everyone else’s beliefs even no belief. I think this is unnecessary to post, very off putting.

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Yes, CO is Colorado where personal, non-medical use of Marijuana is legal. AND, as a Christian, if it was legal in my state I’d totally try it out! I have no problem with tobacco and alcohol usage, unless it’s a detriment to your family or abused. But since it’s illegal in my state, I can just push for more common sense legislation and home it at least gets legalized for medicinal purposes.

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I think there is a difference in saying a Christian home vs a LGBT or Muslim home because of the hostility in this country directed towards those communities vs Christians. By describing yourself as a Christian home, what is it about your home that you want your guests to know is different than homes not listed as Christian?

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I would generally not stay in a place that claimed to be “Christian.” It is a bland and useless word actually. Are you Southern Methodist or Baptist, are you Seventh Day Adventist, how do you feel about the Church of the Latter Day Saints, are you Christian Scientist so I cant bring my aspirin, or are you a member of the UUC which is so laid back as to be almost a religiously-oriented social group? Does your brand of Christian encourage proselytizing or are you Episcopalian with far more tolerant and quiet dogma?

Using just the word Christian by itself has come to mean, in this country, fundamentalist, conservative, and yes, proselytizing Christians. The word has been usurped so it no longer holds the meaning it did 30 years ago. Not to mention that in and of itself, being Christian doesn’t actually mean you are a good person! Cardinal Law is certainly Christian, so was Ted Bundy.

I would simply move on to another listing since I don’t have time or the inclination to determine through messages what type of Christian you are.

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Its not important to me. I would welcome anyone of any religion, race or creed. I have a gay man staying with me at the moment, and he is just so lovely. Myself and my youngest have gone out for coffee together. This is his third week and will be sad to see him go. I teach my children tolerance of all people and we practice this in our home.

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Can you confirm whether or not this is a shared space or a separate unit below your home? I wasn’t sure from the other thread - because you mention having dinner parties upstairs. At first I thought it was completey separate but am not so sure.

I read the original thread, and nobody called you anti-gay, but pointed out that the identity Christian has an association with homophobia. This is the experience for many LGBT folks, who are kicked out of their homes as teens or forced to go to conversion therapy in the name of their parents faith. You may not personally support these harmful practices, but it is not an attack on you for LGBT folks to be wary of the label “Christian” due to bad experiences.

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And this is why I don’t list it in mine. I personally don’t agree, but if I would host any unmarried couple staying it would be hypocritical to not host a specific type of unmarried couple…

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As a monogamous non-drinker and non-smoker, I would assume I’m not a good fit for your space (since I’m not religious). If that’s your intention by mentioning your faith, then you are doing a good job! It sounds like you’re happy with things so good for you.

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I am of two minds about this:

  1. Really? Why is it necessary for you to mention this?
  2. Thank you for mentioning this, you have clarified what type of guest you want.

Option #1: As a host, the best question to ask yourself is “does this need to be said?” Letting your guests know how to use the coffee pot - useful information. Letting your guests know about your personal salvation - rarely interesting to the listener (unless they are like minded). Letting your guests know every single detail of your religious experience - best discussed with your spiritual leader and no one else!

Now let’s assume that your guest is like minded and would love to have this conversation (option #2). It’s all a big love fest as long as you feel that your opinions are exactly the same. However, I have seen people fall out over very tiny interpretations of scripture (you know, that whole Protestant-Catholic thing). There are plenty of christians out there who believe that all other christians are going straight to hell. Do you really want to open yourself up to this type of conversation? Someone else might proselytize YOU.

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And that’s a very good point. I can’t have a religious conversation with members of my own family since I’m no longer Lutheran… It’s a hard balance trying to balance the Great Commission while also welcoming people into your home. That’s why I like the wording “person of faith” over Christian as I think it’s overused. It’s up to you on your hosting style, but mentioning personal beliefs in any way is going to turn some, if not most guests away.

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Hi @vhhorne!

This is a lot of scattered thoughts as your OP about ‘how to ensure a good fit’ came across to me as a bit arrogant (6 weeks and you know all the answers?) and that question irritated me and I’ve been mulling it over in my mind ever since. And I’m a Christian - so since you asked - here it goes…

It is totally appropriate to mention your faith in your listing. It is YOUR listing. Hosts do it ALL the time. I’m about to go stay with a shaman healer who said a lot of other new-age stuff. I’m not into that. I don’t care. She’s a nice person and I’m staying in her RV in the woods. If she asks me to join her in worshiping whatever she worships I will appreciate the invite but decline. I don’t have an agenda to discuss my faith, but if it comes up, it comes up.

Is it true that there are valid reasons for the word ‘christian’ to be equated with ‘hate’. Sad, but true.

I am a Christian and my faith is a huge influence on my life - or at least I intend for it to …One of my reasons to have an airbnb is to meet people from around the world and, hopefully, have a loving influence on their life, as an expression of my faith.

I think when you label anything ‘Christian’ certain people automatically equate that with a large variety of things based on their prior experiences. For some that’s going to mean “I hate everyone not like me” or “no liquor or tobacco” or "no playing cards, music, photographs’ or “I’m going to ask us to all pray together at check-in” or “no unmarried couples allowed” it also might provoke an expectation of a super nice loving person who will do anything you ask. etc. etc. etc.

So personally, I wouldn’t like that question ‘are you comfortable in a Christian home’ because I wouldn’t know what that meant. Would you kick me out if I yelled at my kid? Played cards? Had a drink of wine? Made out with my husband at the breakfast table? That question would make me anxious. The first time I showed up at a particular church I had a SUPER short hair cut (almost a buzz) and was wearing a pencil skirt and a tank top with a flashy scarf. The family in front of me with a dozen kids had all the girls in matching dressed and the men/boys had ties of the same fabric. I thought ‘whoaaah, I’m not gonna fit in here…’ (but I did). That was my image (at the time) of that church. So if you ask me that question, I’d have to wonder “will I be comfortable?”

I’m comfortable in homes where the host is hospitable and kind. I’ve been invited to a Christian’s home for pie, at a time that I was within a week of my due date. We showed up on time then sat on their couch having very bland conversation for 2 hours without an offer of even water, not to mention pie (which I could see sitting on the counter in the kitchen the whole boring time). So was I comfortable in that Christian home? No, I was mis-er-a-ble.

See what I mean? I do mention my faith in my profile. There is a large variety of books in my guest area, some are Christian, and I mention my faith in my welcome page in the room. Frankly it’s my hope that, by showing all my guests great hospitality that they see that not all Christians=haters.

I’ve had over 80 groups of people from around the world with an average of 3.5 guests at a time and had very few issues. I haven’t had to ask that question. Personally, I feel like the people that choose to stay in a home with a family are going to have a certain expectation of behavior. You can help that expectation by being clear in your rules.

Phew, sorry to those that felt like that was to long - as I said, it’s been rattling in my brain for a few days, and @vhhorne I hope it’s helpful to you.

cheers, and happy hosting

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I enjoyed all of what you said, I think we’re pretty similar :slight_smile:

I had to LOL vigorously at that.

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