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Posted by: Cold-Dodger ( )
Date: October 13, 2021 07:09PM

to see if you fit definition.

I remember once being afraid to look up that word when I was fighting with some liberals on Facebook over gay marriage over a decade ago, back when Facebook was the Wild West version of itself. Back when it was fun. I intended know ill will against homosexuals and I had no reason to like or dislike them personally, but my church said Bla Bla Bla. Soooo — I opposed the arguments being made in favor of their tolerance by mainstream American society and I verily did believe that doing so would bring about America’s ruin just as Sodom and Gamora were destroyed. I couldn’t find the logical materialistic principle that would cause it to happen, so I couldn’t win the argument. But privately I thought it would happen magically with fire from heaven or something — it would happen one way or another, but they did not accept that sort of logic. It’s a good thing I didn’t discover Jordan B Peterson sooner, or perhaps I never would have experimented with atheism and leftism when I did. I had no further arguments to make and they called me a bigot because I flatly refused to grant them their arguments, because I had already made up my mind and was working backwards from my conclusions.

But I didn’t hate gay people! I just didn’t care what what their point of view was because I already knew everything I needed to know (I thought). Turns out that’s what bigotry is, though. Bigotry has become a synonym for some forms of forbidden hatred, but that’s not what that means. Call someone a homophobe or a transphobe if that’s what you’re trying to communicate to them. You could be the most evil man in the universe and yet not be a bigot because you open your mind to the points of view of the people whose faces you grind with with your boot. Bigotry is neither moral nor immoral: it is amoral. When someone is bigoted, they are damning their moral progression to what they knew when they closed their mind to new input. Some of the best people we’ve known in the world were bigots. Some of the worst people we’ve known in the world were actually very open-minded.

Morality comes down to how human beings treat one another. Bigotry is when they don’t consider each other’s differences like maybe they should to truly get along. An argument can be made that bigotry is immoral, which is an axiom I operate under. I always did. But at the time I didn’t realize that’s what bigotry was and at the time I had not yet expanded my conception of that axiom to encompass “sinners.” I did eventually look it up and thought to myself that their refusal to consider my God’s feelings was a sort of bigotry too. I don’t think that’s right, though, because God’s never around and is for all intents and purposes only an imaginary being who is real only in the examples of his disciples. I think about this stuff all the time.

My father is a bigot, even if he’s a good man to the majority of the people on his life. I’ve suffered from his bigotry more than most, though. I was a neurodivergent kid in the house of an anti-mainstream-medicine quack and I went undiagnosed for years and years and years and had nothing but Mormon lectures, priesthood blessings, chiropractic adjustments, anti-vax prejudices, and other snake oils to help figure myself out. I did not have a happy childhood, even though I should have by all appearances. That’s what suffering silently under the hand of bigotry looks like. This is actually how I came around on the gay issue, especially since my father’s bigotry had traumatized me in the psycho-sexual department with my dad also being my bishop.

I’ve been jumping through hoops in vain trying to win his attention and approval again. There’s only one thing he wants from me: my Mormon testimony to reignite. And he won’t listen to anything I have to say, literally he won’t listen to anything I have to say, in my own defense on that point. He and my mother who has sworn to obey him as God and the siblings whom he still controls with his patriarchal scepter are all agreed that I have my beliefs and they have theirs and I just need to learn that that’s ok. They project the bigot ball into my court and pronounce the game finished and wash their hands of their me before I can spike it back in any way. As illuminating of the human condition as all this drama has been, it’s still hard to deal with their bigotry. Like me, I doubt they’ve even looked it up. They think it means hatred of someone’s beliefs. No, it just means a refusal to hear them out. You can hear someone out and still hate their points without being a bigot. At least that way they know you heard them so maybe their ideas are just bad, or else they’d have gotten a human reaction from you, right? Or maybe you just hate them and are sworn to oppose any idea they come up with because of who they are. I guess that’s bigotry. But wow. Who operates like that? Only Mormons, and only because they think everyone else operates like that towards them. That’s how closely they align their very identity with what they believe: they take it as a personal affront when people reject them. It doesn’t matter how ad nauseum they try to explain they just do t subscribe to the Mormon proposition, a set of ideas they don’t buy.

When I was an Elder, I made an effort to understand why people rejected our ideas. I guess that’s how I eventually found my way to this board. I learned things, because while the church had given me bigoted impulses my natural impulses were to connect with people and try to understand why people do the people things they do. The opposite of bigotry is the ability to have healthy debates about controversial subjects and keep your outrage specific to the nuances of the subject but yet you know how to concede an argument when your opponent has the evidence. Standing your ground on appeal to emotional grounds is still not bigotry, because you heard them out. Humans want to change other humans’ minds. It’s why we evolved language. Failure to change a mind is on you. You have to evolve tact and a set of charismatic appeal besides having your facts in a row. You might still fail to persuade them, but if they heard you out that far they are not bigots. Do not call them bigots if they aren’t bigots. Words mean things unless we start using them in ways to mean something else. Do not call people bigots unless they refuse to hear anyone’s opinions but their own. Learn to be pleasantly disagreeable and SHOW YOUR FACTS. If they won’t even let you show your facts to them, then they’re the bigots no matter how they try to turn that word around on you. There’s no such thing as an evil fact. Knowing things which are true is not immoral, and you have to let people show you stuff you never saw before for you to figure out whether or not it has merit. You can look at it and not agree with it, fine. But bigotry is the refusal to look just because you don’t want to be persuaded. You don’t think it’s possible to persuade you otherwise, but just in case you’re not gonna give the devil stage time anyway. That’s bigotry, and it’s the disease of our hyperpartisan era.

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