Atheist Airbnb Host Versus Religious Guest


I was renting my studio on Airbnb since 2016 and everything had gone fine. I did host people from all over the world of all ethnicities and they all did like the place a lot… until the day I received a reservation inquiry for a four-week stay of a certain guest. As this person had very few positive reviews, I decided to check his profile on Facebook and discovered lots of disturbing posts, especially for an atheist like me.

As my studio is located in in the same house where I live with my family, I decided to decline his inquiry. However, I also wanted to politely explain why I did it. So, in summary, I told him that being an atheist I had problem with his profile and I also added that that in my views religions (all of them) were toxic inventions that were made to divide us. I ended my message with a ‘salam’, meaning “peace”.

One hour later my account was deleted. The guest felt so offended that he claimed a file for “Islamophobia”. Airbnb didn’t even bother to contact me to see what the problem was. What counts is money and only money; they don’t care if you’re comfy or not with a given reservation. I’ve included some of the disturbing posts that motivated my refusal.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. After my comment I realized I forgot the two most obvious things that anyone in 2019 should know. You cannot discriminate against race or disability. I had a few guests bring dogs because of their disability and you MUST accommodate them. It’s the law.

    I once had a disabled young woman and her handler stay and the were so grateful to be treated so well. One morning she threw yogurt and berries around at breakfast and I cleaned it up with a smile. Poor thing. I think your treatment of others comes back to you in the end.

    I also never had the time to “spy” on everyone online. You went to my website and booked directly if the room was available. When you arrived you were treated well like everyone else.

    I don’t know what language this guest is writing in but see nothing that would make me not allow them to stay. I would also ask the moderator to remove this posting entirely. It is wildly inappropriate to call out this person in this way. My two cents.

    Posts like this remind me why hotels will always be my preference.

  2. Like you I am also an atheist (raised Catholic) and a gay man so any organized religion is out of the question for me. I am also a retired innkeeper of over 30 years. I owned and ran a bed and breakfast in Seattle. Like you I had literally thousands of guests over the years and maintained an excellent reputation until the end of 2016 when I closed and moved to my country place.

    As an innkeeper there were 3 things that you absolutely should NOT have an opinion about. Ever! Religion, politics and a persons sexuality. Don’t ever go there. As a host think of yourself as a business and ALL you should care about is getting their money. You should never have expressed your opinion about religion whether generally or specifically. People who are religious are extremely serious about it. As serious as you are a non believer. In this case Airbnb was right to shut you down. They are all about “belonging” (corny I know) and your opinion to this potential guest told them that they don’t belong with you. You have to put yourself in the guests place hearing what you said.

    The CORRECT way to handle the situation would be to refuse the guest. Airbnb asks why you say you were uncomfortable or not a good fit. NEVER ever give a specific reason like you gave this guest. As a host you should have NO opinion about these 3 things and you can go and go as a host.

    Lastly I will say that you should never be on just one site. I absolutely hate Airbnb but and VRBO are excellent. Expedia and Home away are decent. Get yourself on those. There are quite a few other good ones as well. Ask other STR hosts who they use. There is also something called My Allocator that keeps your calendar among multiple sites and prevents any overbooking. Highly recommend them.

    Best of luck and hopefully you can turn this negative into a positive.

  3. Not seeing anything disturbing in the posts. Sorry. Why would you even motivate your decision.
    That being said the punishment is a bit harsh.



  4. Ummmm, that’s blatant discrimination and it’s a violation of Airbnb’s terms of service. So, basically, you only have yourself to blame.

    Does anyone else see the irony in the atheist going to [Airbnb]hell?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *