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after-dinner mints at Kauai Pasta - comments, please!!!

after-dinner mints at Kauai Pasta - comments, please!!!

Old Mar 11th, 2005, 05:33 AM
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In margot's defense, she has never expressed and agitation or outrage, nor said that the restaurant owner shouldn't give out whatever mints he choose. She merely described her visceral reaction and asked whether we also found it "strange and inappropriate." Of course we have freedom of religion end expression, it's just that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to exercise those rights.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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margot,
My reaction would have been similar to yours. Yes, the owner can do whatever he wants to, but WHY would he find it necessary to do this? What's his point? Who cares? Where's the humility?

Margot, looking forward to the rest of your report as this was great reading!

-Bill
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 05:59 AM
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Yes, EXACTLY, Anonymous! In fact, I have already stated that despite my reaction, we DO intend to go back to the restaurant next year! I did not intend for this post reflect any hostility, just wanted to bounce this off the board for perspectives - I must admit, though, that I am somewhat bewildered by the rather harsh tones reflected in some responses...in any case, keep 'em coming!
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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I guess I'm really surprised that so many people seem to think nothing of a business "imposing" their personal views on their customers.
I guess it is "politically correct" to accept it because it is of a religious nature". But would the feelings be the same if the owners were members of KKK and passed out mints in the shape of little white hooded men? Or if the mints were wrapped with the words "we support pro choice" and had "abortion is the right of women" stamped on them? Or what if they were in the shape of swatiskas? "Gee, if that's their belief, why should it bother the customer", some of you would seem to say. Or is it only because it is an expression of their religious feelings and not political feelings that make it OK?
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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I started to write a long response to this thread, and while editing my post noticed that Patrick had pretty much made the same point I was aiming for. And much more eloquently!

So I'll just summarize by saying that
I, too, would have been a little uncomfortable, or at least surprised. Someone mentioned that the owner is free to put whatever message he wants on his mints. Maybe, but it's not an unlimited right. Someone else mentioned the "slippery slope" theory. So if he had racist quotes on his mints, would would be okay? Where do you draw the line?

To answer my own question, I think some of the harsh responses here are people drawing the line in favor of this because they are comfortable with being in the majority that they symbol on the mints represents, as Patrick mentions. But as reneeinva pointed out, you need to put yourself in others shoes. If you were part of a minority (race, religion, whatever) how would you feel about this? Just something to think about.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:26 AM
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I guess most people donít mind it because the alternative is unthinkable: not being able to express your views at all.

The vast majority of people would object to mints with the KKK emblem being passed out, and would hopefully vote with their feet and not patronize such a place. But to prohibit the expression of the sentiment in the first place would be worse, in my opinion.

The price we pay for a society in which people can follow their beliefs is that we must also be ready to defend the right of people to espouse views that we find repugnant.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Since I have young kids and order birthday goody bags etc. I see catalogs where they sell tons of strange religious stuff: Lollypop crosses, chocolate praying hands, religious mints, WWJD gum. I think it's very creepy: who wants to see a kid sucking on a cross or nibbling on Jesus? It's a weird way to market and merchandise faith, in my opinion. I would not have like that restaurant to give me a mint. My husband is Jewish, and I'm not religious. There is a time and a place. When you go into a restaurant, you have the expectation that you're going to order food, they'll cook it and serve it, and you'll eat it and pay. To slip in a religious element, even if it is just a little testamint, is off-putting. I would have hated it. Maybe even resented it. Not because it's a huge gesture, but because it feels overzealous and sneaky and not part of the deal.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Patrick, As others have said, you have the choice to walk out the door of any business you choose.

I understand your point, Renee, but I do see some conflict between it and the words of Jesus, "If any man deny me...."

margot, You concede the right for the guy to be passionate about his religion; the mints are part of that. I'm sure he would tell you they're given out of love. Maybe not the kind you're familiar with, but love none-the-less. Accept it for what it is.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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Patrick: I totally agree!

This reminds me of what Alaska Airlines used to do (not sure they do it anymore). They would place a little card on your food tray , usually under the roll or dessert with one of the psalms on it. It always bugged me and I would always return it to the flight attendant, saying "No thank you".
-Bill
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Beachbum and others: You may have a choice to walk out of a business that does something you don't like, but in this case, OP said the mint came with the bill.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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I was going to say the same thing, Beachbum. You've already supported that restaurant by the time you're given their "propaganda"; what good is walking out?

And you've conveniently failed to acknowledge my question how the religious propaganda differes from other forms of political progaganda. You see to be saying "it's OK, because I agree with what he was saying". What if instead the mint had a sign of the devil and said "there is no such thing as God or Jesus"? Would you still feel the same?
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:08 AM
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Again, following up on Patrick's point about what if you didn't agree with the message. (I've got to stop doing this!) Kind of reminds me of the ongoing school prayer debate. Great so long as it's YOUR prayer. What if the kids had to recite passages from the Koran?

But getting back to the original poster's situation, I wouldn't mind it so much if it was a restaurant where you might expect this, such as one run by a particular organization, or an ethic place closely tied to a particular religion. I think what concerned me, and presumably margot55, was that it was so out of place. You had no clue beforehand, so you couldn't choose to "vote with your feet" beforehand.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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I'm thinking it's a hospitality and respect issue, rather than a religious one or even freedom of speech in general. At a restaurant, you have a certain expectation not to have the owner's views impressed upon you, making you uncomfortable. How would any of us feel if the mints had promoted a political candidate whom we don't support? Even if the testamints are offered "with love," it's misdirected, as margot's "visceral reaction" attests.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:11 AM
  #34  
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OHMYGAWD!!! Christians on Kauai!!!
Run for the hills!!!!!

Yet another reason not to go to Kauai.

Ain't it great that we live in a country where the guy CAN give out these mints and we can argue about it on an i'net travel board AND margot55 didn't have to take off her berqa face covering to eat the mint alongside her hubby? :-?

BTW, M55, check your e-mail and the US Mail. Happy belated "monumental" B'DAY you Wonderfully Wicked Wahine! ><
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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Judy, Anonymous, and Patrick - you have nailed my very issues exactly and very concisely - thank you.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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Well said, Kal.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Kal - yes, all those things ARE wonderful, but I still remain troubled by this specific situation nonetheless; however, as stated before - WE DO INTEND TO GO BACK THERE, despite my strong feelings about what happened. Will certainly report back after we do to let everyone know if they've changed their "Mint Policy"!

P.S. to Kal - got your e-mail, sweetie - mahalo!
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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I'm with sfamylou, would you want to lick a cross? Or eat Jesus hands chocolate?

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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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I went to a Thai restaurant the other day. There was a large Buddha with food offerings in front of it on display. I saw this as an opportunity up to discuss religion with my 12 year old daughter. We asked the waitress about the offerings and what they represented. And we talked about our faith and the differences. Is this any different from what Margot55 experienced?

It honestly never would occur to me to be offended by someone else's practice of their religion.

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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 07:26 AM
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Granted, the mint was served after the meal; but margot can certainly choose not to go back. And I still don't understand why the mint couldn't have been accepted in the spirit it was given.

You may not believe me, but yes, I would agree that if I'm on private property, as long as a law is not being broken, the owner of that property has a right to try and sell or tell me anything s/he wants - political, religious, or otherwise.

"You see[m] to be saying "it's OK, because I agree with what he was saying"." And you seem to be saying, "It's not okay because I disagree or am uncomfortable with what's being said."

I know this will get me flamed... The religious right is continually accused of being intolerant. Where's the tolerance in the reactions of nonreligious here?
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