Monday, 13 March 2017

Making real conversation possible

Most of us have heard of Westboro Baptist Church and their truly awful behaviour towards gay people. They are not alone in giving Christianity a bad name and sadly I play my part too, although I certainly don't share their hostility to gays.


This remarkable talk by a young woman who grew up as part of that church and was taking part from the age of 5 years, in protests against gay people and holding up placards that she scarcely could read let alone understand, is salutary and can teach us much.

For those of us who work as doctors it can give  an insight into how to help and relate to those patients who we may feel have wacky health beliefs. Sadly there is often hostility, frustration and impatience which rarely leads to a satisfactory consultation.

And for those of us who claim to be Christian believers and who would love others to share our convictions there are lessons here in how to approach the 'other' who does not share our views. Megan ends with 4 principles to make real conversation possible.

1. Dont assume the other person has bad intent in their beliefs and ideas.
2. Ask questions and listen well. Map the disconnect
3. Stay calm. This needs practice and patience. 'The rightness of our position does not justify rudeness'
4. Make the argument. The value of our position is not self evidently true otherwise everyone would share it.


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