S3, Ep. 06: Challenging misinformation: How to have productive conversations with friends and family

Respecting Religion

Dec 9 2021 • 38 mins


What do you do when you’re around the dinner table or visiting family over the holidays and hear someone share misinformation? How do you have productive conversations and truthful exchanges that bring people together? From fake narratives that drive violence to the mundane myths that build a false foundation, Amanda and Holly talk about common misconceptions they hear, what they see when talking about the dangers of Christian nationalism, and how you can find areas of agreement with others. They share some specific ways they would handle difficult statements in one-on-one conversations. In segment three, Holly and Amanda talk about the pros and cons of online worship from their own experience.

Segment one: Why is misinformation such a problem in Christian communities? (starting at 00:49):

Amanda and Holly discuss this May webinar from the Council on Foreign Relations: Disinformation and Faith Communities, which featured Joan Donovan from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, along with Ed Stetzer of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center.

They also mention a piece Stetzer wrote for USA Today in September 2020: “Evangelicals need to address the QAnoners in our midst”

Amanda wrote this column for Baptist News Global about Michael Flynn’s troubling comments: If you’re paying attention to Christian nationalism, you won’t be shocked by Michael Flynn’s call for ‘one religion under God’

Segment two: Handling difficult conversations with others (starting at 14:28)

Learn more about the Christian Against Christian Nationalism campaign at christiansagainstchristiannationalism.org.

Amanda referenced this summer’s webinar: White Christian Nationalism: How Racism Undergirds Christian Nationalism

Amanda read this Tweet from author Kaitlyn Schiess:
The problem with the “confront your family about politics on Thanksgiving” thing isn’t that we can’t influence our families or shouldn’t have those conversations, it’s thinking one tense dinner will do it.

Long, compassionate faithfulness > “bold” one-time confrontation.

Here are some resources to help combat misinformation from the Christians Against Christian Nationalism website:

Segment three (starting at 28:41): Online and in-person worship services

Amanda and Holly talked about this NPR story by Deena Prichep: Worshipers found religious homes near and far thanks to virtual services

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