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January 09, 2006

Bigotry (bə-guh-tree): See irony

A recent post caught the interest of The Political Noise concerning social conservatism. His thoughts:
Why is social conservatism so important? To me it just seems like repression and bigotry.
I generally avoid strong sarcasm in my posts, but I do not restrict myself as much in commenting, and made no exception with my comment. My main point was questioning the use of the term bigot. He took offense to this, noting his use of the word "seems". Well, I am sure he must also know the meaning of "bigot", but apparently thought it did not carry the strength of the word "seems".

This is not uncommon either. I know someone who has posted to a message board, questioning "the gay cowboy movie" (yes, I know the title of it, that is not the point) because of its glorification of homosexual behavior and adultery (one of the cowboys is married with children in the film). This person was labeled as a bigot, and many said it was simply a movie telling a love story and a work of art (much as The Motorcycle Diaries was; does the label of art automatically make something undeserving of criticism?). But what does bigotry mean?

According to dictionary.com, the following definition is offered.
bigot, n : a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
Well, I'll be. This does sound quite harsh. In fact, it sounds like it greatly defines those who are using the term. Hmm, interesting.

Calling someone a bigot is irony, hypocrisy, and even bigotry itself. Many liberals will imply that there is no right or wrong, but then state that conservatism is wrong. It does not say much about the person using the term, other than a hypocritical self-righteousness.

It also is very harsh, or in simpler terms, "dem's fightin' words". Why should anyone using the word "bigotry" towards another expect a nice response? Now, I could have been harsher, and in retrospect, I do think that I could have been a little more mannerly, but respect is a two-way street after all.

Of course, we could see how effective the use of the word "bigot" is; anyone here know someone who changed their social philosophy when he or she was implied to be a bigot?