How to have a conversation about RELIGION in English

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How to have a conversation about RELIGION in English

Religion and beliefs are an important part of our lives, but talking about them can be difficult. If you’re not careful, you might offend someone or even get into trouble. In this video, I’ll teach you how to discuss religion politely so you can have respectful conversations in English and learn about other cultures. You’ll learn vocabulary related to major religions and beliefs so you can discuss popular faiths intelligently. Most importantly, I’ll teach you how to use open-ended questions that will help you develop conversations with people who have different beliefs. I’ll talk about Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and others while discussing how people can identify as being religious, spiritual, orthodox, or non-practicing. I’ll also explain the difference between of atheists and agnostics. The world is full of many cultures and beliefs. We all have so much to learn from each other, so take your English conversations to the next level by learning to discuss religion.
Test your understanding of the lesson by taking the quiz: http://www.engvid.com/how-to-have-a-conversation-about-religion-in-english/

TRANSCRIPT

You are healed. You are…Hi, James from engVid. When I’m not actually teaching English, sometimes I do religious services. I’m joking, but this is a serious matter. By the end of this video, I would like to make sure that when you speak to people of different religious faiths or backgrounds, you will be able to, when you will remember that…Well, how to talk about religion, or faith, or belief. Okay? Sometimes we talk about religion, and sometimes we can say “faith” or “belief” and it means to believe in a higher power; it could be God, it could be a Spirit, whatever moves you. I think it’s kind of a serious lesson, because religion is a very powerful force in our lives, and we should be respectful of one another or to each other when we discuss it. You can’t have an open dialogue if you have a closed mind. “Dialogue” means to talk, okay? So, this lesson is to help you be able to speak to someone else who doesn’t believe the same way you do, so at least you understand each other. Listen to me carefully: You don’t have to always agree or like, but you can respect and understand, and that’s today’s lesson.

So, ready to get serious? Let’s go to the board, shall we? Okay. So, you’ll notice I have different symbols up here. I am a terrible drawer. I can’t do anything. The worm is as good… Sorry, E. Mr. E is as good as I get, so this is as good as you’re going to get. So if you go: “My faith is not there. I’m Bahai.” I’m like:
“You’re behind me, because I don’t know how to draw it. Sorry.” So, here are some of the world’s major religions that have billions of people that follow, or hundreds of millions. So I tried my best. Forgiveness if I didn’t get it quite right. Okay? Nobody get upset. I did a bad drawing for all of you. Let’s go to the board. One of the most common questions people say when they talk about religion, they meet you and go: “Hi. My name is James. I’m from Canada. I teach English. Do you believe in God?” And that’s the problem right there. “Do you believe in God?” You’re going: “What’s the problem? It’s a question.” Yeah, but it’s a yes/no question. Please check out the other videos I have on making interesting conversation, because especially in this one, when you say yes or no, you really limit the
person, or we say put them in a corner. You put me in a place where I’m with you or against you. Already we have division or friction. So why don’t we ask a question that lets them speak to us, and explain to them where we’re coming from so that we can get a mutual understanding? Now we understand together. And I think I’ve got two questions that can help you make friends from different faiths, so you understand each other and start that dialogue. Remember? Talking. If you say:
“Are you a person of faith?” you’re not… They can say yes or no, but you’re actually not saying “God”. Remember I said “faith” or “belief”? “Belief” means to think something is real. “Faith” means to believe something… Believe in something. And when you’re thinking of that, I don’t necessarily have to think of God. I could think of a force that makes the world go around. Gaia. Some people believe in Gaia. Life… The Earth is alive and we’re part of the Earth. That’s a belief, it’s a faith. Some people believe… Have… Well, you don’t have a belief in science. You could say it’s a belief, but they believe in science. Right? And that has nothing to do with God. So when people say: “Do you believe in God?” They’re really saying: “There are those who believe in God, and the blasphemers and the heathens”, and it doesn’t have to be like that. Some people don’t believe in the book, but they actually believe in the same God you do. So, give them a break. Okay? And ask: “Hey, are you a person of faith?” And they might say: “Yes, I do believe in a higher power.” Okay?

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