A man, along with his wife and their young son, found themselves in an unexpected living arrangement at his brother’s house due to the pandemic. While they were grateful for the offer, the family faced various conflicts involving religion, and to everyone’s surprise, this would primarily involve coffee.
A Generous Offer
The man and his family had traveled to their brother’s house for a friend’s wedding and decided to stay due to the lower COVID-19 cases in their brother’s region. Fortunately, the man’s remote job made this arrangement feasible, and their brother and his wife had extra space.
The Family’s Religion
The man explained that he and his family belonged to a religion named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. More commonly, this religion is known as Mormonism.
The Brother’s Conflicting Beliefs
Whilst he had been brought up with the same religion, the man’s brother now identified as agnostic. “My brother grew up as a Mormon too, but later became disillusioned with it and left”, he explained. “While I don’t agree with this, I still love and respect him.”
A Coffee Controversy
Naturally, the family and the man’s brother’s conflicting religious beliefs led to some disagreements, and bizarrely, these were mainly surrounding coffee. “Mormonism strictly prohibits the consumption of coffee”, the man explained. “The problem is, my brother and his wife have coffee in the mornings.”
Exposing the Son
The man and his wife had raised concerns about their brother exposing their son to something their religion strictly prohibits. The child began showing interest in coffee, commenting on its aroma and even wanting to assist in making it.
The Tactful Conversation
In an attempt to address the issue, the man approached his brother privately. “I explained to him our reservations and asked if he would consider not drinking it around our son”, he recounted. “I get that it’s his house, so I tried to offer compromises, suggesting that he and his wife keep the coffee machine in their bedroom and drink it there.”
Unfortunately, the brother did not appear to take this request lightly. His reaction was far colder than anticipated; normally cheerful, the brother responded curtly.
He’d Think About It
“He said he’d think about it, and we’d talk about it later”, recounted the man. “However, he seems to have been avoiding us all day today.”
A Reasonable Request
The man was conflicted. On one hand, his brother was fully aware of the family’s beliefs, so the man felt that he shouldn’t have offered to let them stay if he wasn’t willing to respect their religion. Whilst he wasn’t too bothered about being around coffee himself, he was more concerned about the influence it was clearly having on his son.
A Step Too Far?
On the other hand, the man also recognized that he was a guest in his brother’s house, so his request may have come across as inconsiderate. He wondered whether he should have thought first about making a compromise himself, such as taking his son for a walk during the brother’s coffee routine.
The man headed online with his conundrum, posting his story and hoping to receive suggestions and validation from his internet friends. Unfortunately, the reality was far from this. “You’re right – it’s his house so it’s disrespectful to feel entitled to make him change his way of living to suit you when he’s already giving you somewhere safe to stay”, one reader criticized.
A Suggested Compromise
Everyone was critical of the man’s attitude, although some critics still offered practical solutions. “You seriously expect him to move his coffeemaker into his bedroom because you don’t want your 7-YEAR-OLD to smell coffee?”, questioned another reader. “Here’s a compromise – stay in bed later, starting your day so that it doesn’t overlap with his coffee time”.
A Weak Belief
One commenter directly criticized the anti-coffee belief: “As my religious parents always said, if you’re too scared to expose your kid to differing beliefs because you think they’ll be swayed, then you’re admitting how weak the belief is. Do you think he’s going to never have friends who drink coffee? Come on man, be realistic here.”
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