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From the monthly archives: December 2009

Doesn’t it always fascinate you how the right likes to talk a good game about how horrible that dreaded “political correctness” is, but yet, when they tables are turned, they get so royally and fantastically butthurt that they become compelled to rush out and issue press releases, object strenuously, pound on tables and generally bleat to anyone who will listen?

Whereas liberals get all politically correct about saying words like “negro”, “bitch”, “honey”, “darkie” and “macaca”, rightwingers have their own dreaded “politically correct” words they want you to avoid, i.e., “bigot”, “racist”, “homophobe”, “misogynist” and others.

I’ll take on the word bigot today because Sully posted up some fetid concern trolling about how people need to be more sensitive about using the word bigot, even when it clearly applies:

Many people who don’t support same-sex marriage are not bigots, and it does not help us to use the epithet promiscuously. John tries to tease out a more helpful definition of “bigot” than dictionaries provide, and moves the ball downfield a bit. But he sets himself a hard task.

That struck home for me when a rabbi (whose name I did not catch) testified against the New Jersey bill, and asked the legislators to think about the fate of an “innocent lonely child” who is adopted by a same-sex married couple. His testimony is at the 8:18 mark in Blue Jersey’s live blog.

The unadorned words do not capture the rabbi’s deep, fearful concern for this hypothetical child. I obviously can’t speak about what moved this man. But listening to him, it is tragically clear that there is no room at all in his world for the simple possibility that such a child might not be lonely in a loving home headed by a gay couple, or that the child could thrive and have a wonderful life.

The irony is that by eliminating such a possibility from his imagination, he may be preventing some real child that tangible benefit. It is this moral editing – this internal censorship of good possibilities – that exempts some people from being called bigots.

Now let’s consider the many germane definitions of the word bigot:
  • Wikipedia: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.
  • Mirriam-Webster: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
  • American Heritage Dictionary: one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
After reading all that, I really don’t see how you can make the argument that the rabbi in the anecdote isn’t a bigot.

Is he “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”? Check.

Is he a person “who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ”? Double-check.

I mean, I know people don’t like to call nice little rabbis who speak with conviction and a cute accent a BIGOT but, for fuxake, the guy is a freaking bigot.

I really don’t care much about why someone is a bigot, just being a bigot is good enough for me.

Is a bigot less of a bigot because he fervently believes that homosexuals must be eliminated because they harbor evil alien viruses that will kill us all? Nope, still a bigot.

Is a bigot less of a bigot because he stridently wants to protect the children (!!!) from some unnameable qualities about the gays that make them unable to parent effectively. Nope, still a bigot.

by Vaneeza

I am among the many Pakistanis who are against the commercial mullahs in Pakistan running the religion business. Most of them misguide people with their own twisted interpretation of concept of jihad in Islam. They have the opportunity to play a significant role in urging people to do things to improve their quality of life make Pakistan a better society but instead they choose to misguide people into believing in extremist ideology. People listen to them so much here.

If only these mullahs would urge people to put their daughters in school , be honest in their dealings with each other, fight corruption, respect women and other positive things — our country would improve so much! Many people including me believe that they are also not doing enough to condemn the acts of terrorism that the Taliban are committing in the name of Islam and jihad.

Therefore, when I saw the news on TV that a well-known Pakistani religious leader, Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, had issued a Fatwa against terrorism and had condemned all actions of killing innocent civilians in the name of Islam, this came as a pleasant surprise. Here is an excerpt of his speech:

The armed strife and disruption by the terrorists, the carnage and slaughtering of people, the suicide bombing against the innocent and peaceful communities, and explosions in the mosques, shrines, educational institutions, business streets, government institutions and buildings, trade centers, the defense training centers, embassies, transports, and places of the civil society have become a daily routine. These people mix up the brutal killing of the hundreds and thousands of people and the activities of butchery and slaughter of humanity with JIHAD, and make, in this way, topsy-turvy the entire Islamic concept of JIHAD. This is causing great ambiguity, doubt and perversion to the youths, in particular, and the simple and clean-hearted Muslims, in general.

Despite the fact that the Muslims get persecuted at the hands of foreign non-Muslims powers, and Muslim governments remain silent over it, still no group of Islamic state can individually be allowed to wage an armed struggle against the oppression in the name of Jihad, and massacre the innocent people, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, through suicide bombing as a reaction, leave alone committing terrorism against Muslims in business streets, mosques and homes on the pretext of oppression by non-Muslims. Calling such an act Jihad is sheer ignorance and straying from the right path.

Hopefully other Muslim leaders and scholars will follow his lead, condemn acts of terrorism and guide people towards being better, more peaceful human beings.

Percentage of Americans who believe in a God or universal spirit: 92
Percentage of Americans who believe in miracles: 80
Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans with favorable opinion of Palin: 46  
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

And:

Great. It’s the most hyped and widely covered aspect of the current health debate, marginalizing more substantive reforms, has amassed 57 percent support—yet only 1 in 4 can explain it, fewer than believe in ghosts and UFOs.

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” —Bertrand Russell

Gherald filed this under: , ,  

Percentage of Americans who believe in a God or universal spirit: 92
Percentage of Americans who believe in miracles: 80
Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans with favorable opinion of Palin: 46  
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

And:

Great. It’s the most hyped and widely covered aspect of the current health debate, marginalizing more substantive reforms, has amassed 57 percent support—yet only 1 in 4 can explain it, fewer than believe in ghosts and UFOs.

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” —Bertrand Russell

Gherald filed this under: , ,  

Percentage of Americans who believe in a God or universal spirit: 92
Percentage of Americans who believe in miracles: 80
Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans with favorable opinion of Palin: 46  
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

And:

Great. It’s the most hyped and widely covered aspect of the current health debate, marginalizing more substantive reforms, has amassed 57 percent support—yet only 1 in 4 can explain it, fewer than believe in ghosts and UFOs.

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” —Bertrand Russell

Gherald filed this under: , ,  

Percentage of Americans who believe in a God or universal spirit: 92
Percentage of Americans who believe in miracles: 80
Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans with favorable opinion of Palin: 46  
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

And:

Great. It’s the most hyped and widely covered aspect of the current health debate, marginalizing more substantive reforms, has amassed 57 percent support—yet only 1 in 4 can explain it, fewer than believe in ghosts and UFOs.

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” —Bertrand Russell

Gherald filed this under: , ,  

Percentage of Americans who believe in a God or universal spirit: 92
Percentage of Americans who believe in miracles: 80
Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55
Percentage of Americans with favorable opinion of Palin: 46  
Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39
Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36
Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34
Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

And:

Great. It’s the most hyped and widely covered aspect of the current health debate, marginalizing more substantive reforms, has amassed 57 percent support—yet only 1 in 4 can explain it, fewer than believe in ghosts and UFOs.

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” —Bertrand Russell

Gherald filed this under: , ,