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Is it a taboo to ask someone's faith in America?

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 09:10 am
Someone said he shot and ate doves. I want to inquire whether he is a Christian, because in Christianity, the dove is the incarnation of Holy Spirit. But I worry that I may offend him by asking his faith because some English materials introduce the idea that inquiring other people's faith is a taboo in the United States.
If it is a taboo, how to know other people's faith without offending them?
 
View best answer, chosen by oristarA
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 09:18 am
@oristarA,
I never heard of this being a taboo. I guess as long as you don't act judgmental after they answer you, asking said question will only lead to an answer.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 09:23 am
It's not taboo, but it needs to be handled carefully. I would also inquire of you why you think you need to know someone's faith.
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Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 09:26 am
By the way, it is usually considered rude to bring up politics or religion in polite conversation. Those topics would usually only be discussed by people who know one another well.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 10:19 am
A guy in a train from Atlantic City to Philadelphia asked me if I had been "saved". I said "Yes" and pointedly carried on reading my book and he went away to try someone else.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 10:20 am
@contrex,
Those clowns annoy everyone.

EDIT: I have been in the habit in the past of saying that i don't share their silly superstitions, which gets them so flustered they can't carry on. One woman got so overwrought, the management asked her to leave the restaurant. Heheheheh . . . i enjoyed that one.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 10:36 am
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

A guy in a train from Atlantic City to Philadelphia asked me if I had been "saved". I said "Yes" and pointedly carried on reading my book and he went away to try someone else.

The best defense for that question. I hope I can remember to answer thusly if confronted by an annoying proselytizing fool.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 10:39 am
@tsarstepan,
I have the greatest amount of faith in AMerica. Its too awesome to fail.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Apr, 2014 11:16 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

The best defense for that question. I hope I can remember to answer thusly if confronted by an annoying proselytizing fool.

If you say "I bless the day I turned to Jesus" they won't waste any more time on you.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 01:06 am
@oristarA,
Who would like to answer this question:

Christians in the United States usually/absolutely do not eat doves.
Is it true?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 01:35 am
@oristarA,
Quote:
If it is a taboo, how to know other people's faith without offending them?


the general belief is that what another person believes about God or gods is none of your business unless they offer up the information. You do not ask. The freaks on the streets trying to push their religion by asking " have you been saved yet?" are offensive on purpose. A generation ago it was common to ask " what church do you belong to?" but that has all gone away.
0 Replies
 
Zarathustra
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 01:40 am
@oristarA,
Americans do not eat dove. It may be used in sophisticated cuisines but the average American would not come across them. They are not generally hunted as a game bird either. Christians of any kind except maybe some small extreme sects have no food taboos. Catholics have a vestige of old fasting rules and should avoid certain foods (meat, dairy) during special times of the year, but they are not followed by all Catholics.

Also symbolism in Christianity is not the same as in Islam for example. Incorrect use or desecration of symbols/articles may receive community disfavor but that would be as far as it goes. There is no extreme retribution either to those in the faith or those outside the faith who don't take symbols seriously. So when a self-styled artist took a crucifix, immersed it into a jar of his own urine, declared it art, and got art venues to show it there was plenty of verbal backlash from a number of groups but virtually no chance of him being killed over it, let alone have some "holy-man" put out a death warrant on him.

I know that there is a loud group here in America that like to demonize religion and the religious. Many, many posts on this site will attest to that. I often wonder how that extreme negative message is received by those of other cultures. For example, in answer to your first question my experience is that you get greeted with an indignant reply or worst when you address non-believers. Few believers would ever be offended by a simple inquiry as to their religion.
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 01:53 am
@Zarathustra,
Zarathustra wrote:

Americans do not eat dove. It may be used in sophisticated cuisines but the average American would not come across them. They are not generally hunted as a game bird either. Christians of any kind except maybe some small extreme sects have no food taboos. Catholics have a vestige of old fasting rules and should avoid certain foods (meat, dairy) during special times of the year, but they are not followed by all Catholics.

Also symbolism in Christianity is not the same as in Islam for example. Incorrect use or desecration of symbols/articles may receive community disfavor but that would be as far as it goes. There is no extreme retribution either to those in the faith or those outside the faith who don't take symbols seriously. So when a self-styled artist took a crucifix, immersed it into a jar of his own urine, declared it art, and got art venues to show it there was plenty of verbal backlash from a number of groups but virtually no chance of him being killed over it, let alone have some "holy-man" put out a death warrant on him.

I know that there is a loud group here in America that like to demonize religion and the religious. Many, many posts on this site will attest to that. I often wonder how that extreme negative message is received by those of other cultures. For example, in answer to your first question my experience is that you get greeted with an indignant reply or worst when you address non-believers. Few believers would ever be offended by a simple inquiry as to their religion.


Thanks for replying.
But I got a very different message online:

Quote:
Doves are a popular game bird in North America. Hunters are able to hunt doves in the fall months, normally between Sept. 1 and the end of December. Some hunters choose to donate their meat, but others prefer to clean and eat their own game birds. Cleaning doves normally does not require much time because the birds small compared with ducks or geese. With a few household items, you can clean doves and enjoy them in your favorite recipes.
http://www.ehow.com/how_7158088_clean-dove-eating.html



Indeed, an American who teaches English in Japan said he has shot and eaten a lot doves and enjoyed doing so.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 02:11 am
There are dove hunters in the United States. Doves are incredibly stupid birds. If there were twelve doves sitting on a fence, you could shoot ten of them before the remaining two became aware that there was a problem. Dove hunters, however, aren't much better. When it comes to stupidity, it's a toss-up which is the most stupid, the doves or the dove hunters.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:21 am
@Setanta,
One who shoots any animals "off a fence" should not be allowed to go hunting for very long. Doves are incredibly difficult to shoot because they can burst out of cover. (I don't ever recall seeing doves on a fence , they are pretty much ground cover squatters like quail or pheasant)/

A dove yields very little meat and, I went hunting for the birds once and was kinda creeped out for shooting these cute little guys. They are quite delicate so
A 28 guage shotgun with a number8 shot is about as powerful as youd want. Otherwise youd just turn the bird carcass into hamburgers.

However,theyre still a popular hunting bird here and, in the late summer, the dove season opens the many fall and winter hunting seasons in a row. Many high end restaurants serve boned dove or quail stuffed with venison sausage and roasted and served as an appetizer accompanied by a berry or apple based sauce.
Those are farm raised though.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
  Selected Answer
 
  4  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 04:38 am
@oristarA,
I have never heard of a religious reason for not eating doves. In my youth I was a devout Christian. I would not have had any problem eating doves. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I don't think most Christians take this literally.

Jesus is the Lamb of God. And people are described as fish in the Bible. Christians have no trouble eating lamb or fish. Not to mention that Christians eat Jesus' flesh and drink his blood (as bread and wine). This doesn't keep them from eating bread in more mundane contexts.

Eating doves is rare for most Americans, it is not part of our typical diet. But this has nothing to do with religion.
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tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 07:28 am
@oristarA,
As Zarathustra said, in general, Americans don't eat doves.

Quote:
Doves are a popular game bird in North America

This might be a really poorly researched article. If there is a subset of hunters who shoot doves for sport, I bet there is an even smaller subset of hunters who actually eat the smallish bird. I suspect most hunters who hunt doves turn to taxidermy and keep their prized birds preserved (rather then cooked).
~~

AS for Christianity and doves as a symbol, please keep in mind that there are boundless flavors/shades of Christianity in the United States. Each with their different sets of symbols. Not all of them recognize the cultural symbolism of doves (or at least hold it to that high of a symbolic degree).
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 07:45 am
When people eat dove, they normally call it squab. Pigeons are squab too.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 07:49 am
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

When people eat dove, they normally call it squab. Pigeons are squab too.

I do remember hearing a recent scandal in the foodie world several years ago that involved high end restaurants serving wild pigeon rather then actual farmed squab here in NYC. Thankfully, squab is rarely served in NYC restaurants. I never been to a restaurant that has it on the menu.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2014 09:31 am
@tsarstepan,
In Pa alone, we have about 1 million hunting licenses and about 350K hunters go for doves. I only hunt rabbit and wild goose so I don't see the need to hunt stuff like doves, quail, gallinules, rails, or some of the small ducks like buffleheads (Who are just too cute to shoot and eat).

Usually the rule is"you hunt it, you eat it" and 350K dove hunters for 2 months of banging away in the corn still doesn't come close to denting the population. In delawaer and Maryland (especially the Eastern shore), dove hunting is a prelude to the big season of waterfowl slaughter.

Look at what happened to the passenger pigeon.

  http://foodnetwork.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/food/fullset/2011/12/7/2/LR0815H_sausage-stuffed-quail_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape.jpeg                                            Heres a quail stuffed with venison sausage, To be completed it should be served with a tart cranberry/ lingonberry sauce

Yeh ceilli is correct that most restaurants will call all this stuff squab , but in really high end ones they call a dove an a quail a dove or a quail because of the taste preferences of diners.
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