Want to be a bigot?


I can still remember as a schoolboy listening to a recording with my parents made by a recovering alcoholic. At that time my father was spending some of his time counselling this group, and the speaker’s message was the need for tolerance.
To highlight the difficulty of maintaining a tolerant attitude, she mentioned some of what she had had to put up with in her life, and then made the statement / confession: “I look down on people who look down on people.”
The reason I’ve been thinking of this is because of the current debate on the word ‘bigot’. A free on-line dictionary defines a bigot as a person who is extremely intolerant of another’s creed, belief or opinion.
Maybe now is the time to remember stories of stones and glass houses, or perhaps just for us all to ask ourselves who do we look down upon, of whom are we intolerant?
Bigot strikes me as a lousy word to hang one’s hat on, although if worked into a political slogan it might have legs.
Without question to be without bigotry is a worthy aspirational goal in anyone’s life, but holier-than-thou usually does more harm than good.


  1. If truth be known, there would hardly be a human being who isn’t to some extent “intolerant of another’s creed, belief or opinion.” therefore, it’s possible that most of us are bigots. It’s an ugly sounding word whatever it means, like prostitute, and like that other overused word, racism, is often used as a misnomer by people who have no idea what it means.


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