Dear People who use Words,
I witnessed Heather Barwick get called a bigot today. It got me thinking. If she is a bigot, then I am like an ultra-bigot. She simply wrote an open letter about her experience being raised by lesbians, and she wrote about why she believes that traditional marriage is ideal and necessary. The letter was very tolerant and treated both sides of the issue with respect.
By the way, I share my opinions all the time about controversial issues. I guess I belong in bigotry prison or something. Have they instituted flogging yet or folks like me who dare to have an opinion that doesn’t fall in line with the progressive ideology?
Heather’s letter was not condescending to any opposing point of view, thus my bewilderment. How is she a bigot?
Let’s Define Bigot
A bigot is a person who is intolerant of those who have different opinions.
So let’s reexamine this. If this person wrote a very tolerant open letter without demeaning those with an opposing point of view, does that make her a bigot?
What about the person (who also happens to be female) who called her a bigot for sharing her opinion. What is she? Is it possible that the person exemplifying bigotry is the very person that is accusing Heather Barwick of being a bigot? Umm…yes.
Isn’t this person being “intolerant of those who have different opinions?” I respect her right to call people whatever name she wants, but I’ve got to say that calling someone a bigot simply because you don’t like their opinion is, by definition, bigotry. Wouldn’t this make her both a bigot and a hypocrite? One can only wonder.
Let’s face it. We live in a well-connected world. Never before have such a variety of opposing opinions and cultures been smashed together into one “tiny” space we call social media. So, in the likely eventuality that we’ll come across someone with a different point of view, let’s give a few examples of what is NOT bigotry and what IS bigotry so we’ll know it when we see it.
Not bigotry: “Marriage should continue to be a union of one man and one woman.”
Bigotry: “You are a bigot and intolerant if you believe that marriage should continue to be a union of one man and one woman.”
Not bigotry: “I believe that gays and lesbians should be free to get married if they choose.”
Bigotry: “You are an evil satanist if you believe that gays and lesbians should be free to get married if they choose.”
Not bigotry: “I disagree with your point of view. I strongly believe in God’s definition of marriage. I believe that gay marriage is a threat to the institution of the family, and I will continue to oppose it.”
Bigotry: “I disagree with your point of view, and I believe that you should go to jail or be killed for being so stupid. I strongly believe in God’s definition of marriage; because I believe that gay marriage is a threat to the institution of the family, no one should be free to state an alternate point of view.”
Not bigotry: “I disagree with your point of view. I strongly believe that men should be able to marry men, and I believe that women should be free to marry women.”
Bigotry: “I disagree with your point of view, and you should be flogged for being such a holier-than-thou jerk. People like you are the reason our society has so many problems, so you should be silenced.”
Let’s get it straight. Let’s say someone is being bigoted if they are actually being bigoted. The world is confusing enough already. Up is down, good is evil, and people put peanut butter on their pancakes. There is no need for us to confuse the world even more by calling a tolerantly shared opinion bigotry.