Ω Are You a Bigot?

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Are you a bigot?

If you answer, “No, I’m above that. I love gay people and people of all colors and I want everybody to be happily married and I think people who disagree with me are intolerant,” you crossed the very line which you use to separate yourself from bigots.

So welcome to the club.

You see, it’s a very easy distinction to make: bigots are people who are intolerant to the views of others. That’s the definition from multiple sources. The grandaddy of all dictionaries, the OED, defines bigoted thusly:

having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others [source]

There, you see? The definition isn’t “a bigot is one whose beliefs don’t align with the political establishment” or “a bigot is one whose beliefs aren’t politically correct” (whatever that is) or “a bigot is someone who disagrees with your beliefs.” It’s one who is intolerant of the opinions of others. Note that this isn’t a debate about whose opinion is “right” and “wrong.” It’s just about being intolerant of others’ opinions.

It’s just that simple.

If you look at the crucifixion of Dan Cathy in the media for his support of Christian family values, it’s quite clear that the media are filled with bigots. It’s clear that government is filled with bigots. It’s clear that Facebook is filled with bigots. Not one of us is anything short of a full-blown bigot unless you are truly tolerant of others’ opinions and beliefs. And in that regard, Dan Cathy may be closer to anti-bigot than bigot than you’d like to give him credit for.

The word “bigot” is tossed around with reckless abandon. “Dan Cathy is a bigot!” the posts scream. “I’ll never eat another of their yummy sandwiches again!” (Your loss.)

All this in spite of the fact that Dan Cathy never said he was intolerant of your views. And, in fact, he has stated quite the opposite.

So who’s the bigot? Look in a mirror. See what you see. Are you intolerant of someone else’s views? If so, you might reconsider throwing that first stone.

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