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Explaining. Proselytizing. Throat shoving.

Found this question on another forum and thought it worth posting here...

What is the difference between explaining one's religion/beliefs and preaching it? When does it become proselytizing and when does that become trying to "shove one's religion/beliefs down someone's throat?"


Asked by IhartU at 12:25 PM on Feb. 24, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Explaining is when someone asks about an aspect of XYZ religion, and someone of that faith answers.

    Preaching is when you talk about it without being asked. And you keep going and going and going.

    Proselytizing is when you keep talking about it when you've been asked to stop.

    Shoving it down one's throat is when you keep going and ignore ALL requests to stop. And you tell everyone else they're going to go to hell because they don't believe the same as you.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:49 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • If you think people who don't share your religion "don't get it yet" that's throat shoving. If you answer someone's question, that's explaining. Everything else is just degrees in between.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:18 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • IF someone wants to have a healthy conversation about it, fine. But if you are forcing it on them, unsolicited, or making them uncomfortable, then that's being too pushy.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 12:46 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • There is discussing religion (my beliefs, or I beleive) , and insisting everyone is "Wrong, misguided, or their heart is not open" if they don't follow yours. It's pretty self explanitory on which is proselytizing/ throat shoving and which isn't.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:09 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • If I ask a question about your beliefs you are welcome to explain them.

    If you stand on a street corner shouting your beliefs I have the choice to walk away- that is preaching.

    If you follow me down the street threatening me with hell that is forcing.

    Ringing my doorbell borders on forcing because you came to my door unsolicited by me.

    Preaching is also when someone can't have a normal conversation without constant praise of their god.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 1:01 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • explaining: "I believe ____ b/c ____."
    "cool, I believe _______ b/c ________."
    preaching: "I believe ______ b/c _____."
    "i didn't ask, but that's nice..."
    " and its the only right one b/c ________ and ________ and ________."
    proselytizing: "i believe ____ and if you dont believe it ____ will happen to you! you should believe it!"
    "please go away..."
    "but if you dont come to my church you will go to hell!"
    throat shoving: "believe the way i do or else! if you dont believe what i do you are stupid, immoral, have no values, worship Satan, aren't a good Republican/American/human being, etc."

    Answer by okmanders at 8:48 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • Explaining implies that a person has asked a question and is being given an answer.

    Preaching implies that someone is talking about his or her beliefs, and the listener has a choice to stick around or walk away.

    Proselytizing implies more pressure on the listener than preaching.

    Shoving religion down someone's throat implies that the speaker continues to push aggressively after the listenr has asked him or her to stop.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:53 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • The person has to ask and be interested. If they don't ask, they probably aren't interested.

    Answer by staciandababy at 1:02 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • My personal opinion is the best explanation, or "sermon" for any religion is the way a person lives. I will be much more interested in a belief system that differs from my own if I see a person living a lifestyle I can admire. All the other efforts to "convert" would be better spent improving your own life so a person might say to themselves "I want a piece of that"....whatever THAT is.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 1:46 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • IMO you are explaining if someone outright asks, or if you're engaged in a discussion where everyone is sharing equally. You are preaching if you are addressing an audience who isn't interested, or with the intention of changing peoples' minds, or if you are assuming a position of authority or superiority over the others you are engaging with.. It's the difference between "I believe this" and "this is why YOU must/should believe this"

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 3:54 PM on Feb. 24, 2013