Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
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07-01-2014, 04:38 PM
Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
If they are a Christian?

Hi. This is my first post, hopefully it is in the right place. I'm posting on these boards because there seems to be a few Christians here too and I would like there view on how they would see it. Sorry if it is a bit long.

Basically I am an Atheist. Always have been always will be. I'm in NZ which is one of the least religious countries in the world. Christians are pretty thin on the ground here and I would be hard pressed to name 10 I know personally and I know a lot of people. Hell, I even went to a Presbyterian boarding school for 5 years and there wasn't a single religious person there the whole time. I even think the Chaplain was a closet Atheist. It's just that kind of place.

So when looking for a new roommate it is a pretty safe bet that they will be a godless heathen like me. You'd think. Anyway my last 3 roommates have all turned out to be Christians of the happy clappy born again type. I only find this out after they move in. I have nothing against their faith. I am more than happy for them. It's just not my thing.

I do find however that their world view is a bit screwy and it ends up causing me problems. They seem to think that paying rent is voluntary and when they get themselves into stupid situations instead of trying to find a practical solution they will pray about it for guidance. I know if I was having financial problems I would go and see my accountant, not some broke church pastor who tells them to have faith and the Lord will provide. It's almost like because they have been 'saved' it doesn't matter if the dick people around or have to take responsibility for their own lives. It's like an ongoing theme with them. It might seem like a making broad generalizations, but this is simply my experience.

So basically when interviewing people I want to find out if they are Christians, but in a way that isn't insulting or without having to explain that I am not discriminating on the grounds of their faith, but their approach to life, neither of which sounds very polite.

If there are an Christians on here reading this, how would you feel about being asked this? I don't see it as discrimination. I'm just trying to avoid anymore problems. Also is there a subtle way of doing it so it isn't so obvious?
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07-01-2014, 05:06 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
Maybe ask for hobbies? what they do on their spare time?

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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07-01-2014, 05:22 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2014 05:25 PM by Bows and Arrows.)
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
I have no clue about the laws in NZ, but in the US you can't really ask those things.

"tell me about yourself."
"do you do any volunteer or community service type work?"
"what do you do in your free time?"
"is there anything that you are passionate about?"
"how do you feel about alternate lifestyles?"

ask about their political views and/or current events

no answer by itself will tell you, but when you start putting all the answers together you should get a hunch of what might be going on.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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07-01-2014, 05:23 PM
Re: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
Ask do you waste time on Sunday?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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07-01-2014, 05:25 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
And I almost forgot!

welcome to TTA.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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07-01-2014, 05:29 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
Maybe you don't need to ask. Instead make sure it's obvious that you are an atheist , I believe that they will offer their view rather quickly.

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07-01-2014, 06:12 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
(07-01-2014 05:22 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  I have no clue about the laws in NZ, but in the US you can't really ask those things.

"tell me about yourself."
"do you do any volunteer or community service type work?"
"what do you do in your free time?"
"is there anything that you are passionate about?"
"how do you feel about alternate lifestyles?"

ask about their political views and/or current events

no answer by itself will tell you, but when you start putting all the answers together you should get a hunch of what might be going on.

I generally try and get a good feel for what they are all about. I spend about an hour talking with them and only one potential ever brought it up. She asked if she moved in would she have to pay rent for the 3 weeks she was going to Fiji to do missionary work. I told her 'yes' and she seemed a bit put out. My house isn't a storage facility.

I always ask what they like to do on the weekends and not a single one has mentioned going to church. I casually mention some things you would think they would not be too happy about but still not a peep out of them. It is like they are trying to keep it a secret or something. If they bring it up then I have no problem discussing it with them but they just don't.

Here a lack of faith is not alternative by any stretch of the imagination. It is the norm. That is why I just assume they aren't religious. Hence the reason I feel the need to ask them outright. Legally you can't discriminate against people for their race, gender, sexual preference, religious views or anything else unless it is in a roommate situation.

Maybe I am just having a bad run.
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07-01-2014, 06:12 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
Instead of asking them about their belief, tell them yours. It's almost guaranteed to get response, and if it doesn't then they are probably the more logical ones (yes a few exist, the more "I'm Christian cause I was raised that way" types).

Atir aissom atir imon
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07-01-2014, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2014 06:23 PM by The Germans are coming.)
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
I just looked for a roommate and didn`t mention anything about me, in fear that I may scare people away.

Now I am stuck with that disgusting, lazy Croatian cunt who cant cook or clean his own stuff and I have no clue how to get rid of his future corpse.

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07-01-2014, 06:30 PM
RE: Is there a polite way of asking a potential roommate
(07-01-2014 05:29 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Maybe you don't need to ask. Instead make sure it's obvious that you are an atheist , I believe that they will offer their view rather quickly.

But that would be like going "Oh and yeah by the way I am straight. Is that a problem for you?" Just too weird. It's just who I am. It's my default position and I shouldn't need to bring it up. If anything the onus is on them to go "Oh and by they way I am fairly active in my Church. Would you be OK if I had some friends round for Bible study?" I'd be fine with that. They can study the Bible till the cows come home and it doesn't bother me. Just something that lets you know. I.e one roommate says to me "By the way I'm gay. Is that a problem?" I'm like "I knew that when I opened the door and we wouldn't be here an hour later shooting the breeze if it was."

If the table were turned and I was in a society were religion was the norm and you had a different MO then I would go "You seem great and I really like the house but just letting you know I don't share your beliefs. Is that going to be a problem?' Then they decide if it is or it isn't.
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