What to learn from Reza Aslan’s Fox News interview

The author of Photo: Cover of Reza Aslan's book AP photo

SALT LAKE CITY, July 30, 2013 — Reza Aslan appeared on the Fox News’ show “Spirited Debate” to talk about his new book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” What he ended up doing, however, was giving a lesson in how to talk to someone who disagrees with you.

When pushed by host Lauren Green on the issue of “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan responded, “To be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.”

Normally, it’s tacky to flaunt your achievements like that. However, in this scenario, regardless of how one feels about the conclusions of his book, this was a great way to respond to someone who attacks the validity of your scholarly findings. Stating the facts is just one conversational tactic used by Aslan. Watch the clip below to see how many you can find. Here’s our list:

Seven ways to be successful in an argument:

1. State the facts.

2. Base your opinions off of your own knowledge, not springing off of what other people say about something.

3. There is power in keeping your cool.

4. No matter what, find opportunities to smile, not in a Joe Biden vice presidential debate kind of way, but in a normal way.

5. Resist the urge to attack. Dialogue is almost always better.

6. Avoid emotionally charged language.

7. Avoid cutting off others and allow your “opponent” to speak fully to complete his/her thoughts before you respond.

Remember, disagreements are part of life, a colorful, and even fun parts of life. Following the above steps will keep them fun and make you look good in the process.

Read more Ask Angela on the Deseret News and follow her on Twitter @angelatrusty and on Facebook.

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Angela Trusty

Angela Trusty brings her great life observations and advice Communities.  Angela also authors   ‘Ask Angela’ which also appears bi-monthly in the Deseret News. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the lucky sibling of 5 sisters and 1 brother.

She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Baltimore will always be her home. 


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