It’s a noun meaning a person who is bigoted. It originated in the 16th century and, back then, it meant specifically a superstitious religious hypocrite.
What’s “bigoted”? Glad you asked. It’s an adjective meaning, “having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others” (both definitions taken from New Oxford American Dictionary).
Interesting how it started out referring to religious hypocrites. Especially with the Chick-fil-A incident recently. Those who oppose gay marriage call the Chick-fil-A boycotters “bigots,” some even going so far as to assert the boycotters are somehow the worse party.
Let’s dissect this using the definition above.
- “…obstinate beliefs in the superiority of one’s own opinions…” Okay, that could be applied to both parties. One side seeks to deny a group of people certain rights based on their religious beliefs while the other seeks to object. Both sides believe their viewpoints to be superior.
- “…prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others…” The key word here is “prejudiced” and it can’t be ignored if you wish to be taken at all seriously as an intelligent human being making a sound argument. Prejudice is a “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” Considering this, I assert the following:
- It is unreasonable (and illegal) to demand everyone share your religious viewpoints.
- Nobody alive has direct experience of God’s will save for a book written thousands of years ago by human beings (“divine” inspiration or no), so it’s not possible to “have experience” with knowing homosexuals are damned to hell beyond a book of fairytales.
- Prejudice literally involves “judging”, which the afore-mentioned book of fairytales admonishes in multiple places.
- Point c above covers the original meaning of “bigot” (specifically, “religious hypocrite”) as outlined above.
Bigotry is a prejudiced, obstinate belief that you’re right and everyone who opposes you is wrong.
Bigotry is not standing up against prejudiced, obstinant beliefs. Especially when the opposing side is telling you that you can keep your religious beliefs; you just can’t make laws that deny others rights based on those beliefs.
No sane person wants to marry a horse, dog, sheep, or other animal. Nobody is demanding the church change its beliefs and bless homosexual unions. Nobody is suddenly going to have more “power” than they had before.
If you support Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy, that’s fine. If you seek to take away my rights because your religious beliefs say I’m going to hell for some reason or another, I’ll see you there because a) all sins are equal unless and b) judging is a sin, and c) unless you’re willing to say the Bible is wrong, points a and b cannot be false, therefore you’re also going to hell for judging just as I’m going to hell for sucking dick.
Call me a liar and you call the Bible a book of fairy tales. Won’t do it? Fine: you need to adjust your views because your soul is in just as much jeopardy as mine. Don’t worry though, heaven sounds boring anyway.