How To Talk To A Fundamentalist
We are all fundamentalists at some time or another over certain issues. It is just the intensity of fundamentalism that varies. So, if I was a fundamentalist (not the extremist kind), how would I want a non-fundamentalist to converse with me?
- You must realize from the beginning that I don't require scientific proof to believe something is true.
- Respect me me a person. I am not stupid. You can disagree with my ideas, but don't think I'm an idiot.
- I will try to be gracious, even in my inflexible insistence upon certain truths.
- I would appreciate finding areas we can agree on before we debate things we disagree on.
- If we do disagree on what I think is a foundational issue (what I would call a fundamental truth), I will still try to be gracious even though I think you are gravely and perhaps even foolishly mistaken.
- If you try to change my mind on a fundamental issue, it would be dishonest of me and na√Øve of you not to expect emotions to become involved in the discussion.
- Even though I may vehemently disagree with one of your fundamental truths and even consider it foolish, I will not hate you for it.
- Even if I believe you are going to Hell, I will not treat you as an inferior person. My beliefs are mine. They are not your problem to try to fix.
- Some of my beliefs are offensive to you. I understand that. But you need to understand that I could find some of your beliefs offensive to me.
- Compassion would demand of me that I desire you to believe as I do.