Saturday, February 21

on "bigot" and "hate" and practicing peace

The words "hate" and "bigot" seem to get tossed around freely. Personally, I don't think using them is good for anything (other than for expressing anger, which has been shown to generally make people even more angry, and thus more divided), and hurts the user more than anyone.

For those of you who don't care, and are going to continue to call people hateful or bigoted, are you at least using the terms accurately?

  • "obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of one's own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions"
  • "feel intense or passionate dislike for someone"
  • "have a strong aversion to something"
Perhaps the words are being used accurately. I suppose under the definitions above, many of those who are against gay marriage (for example) could correctly be called bigoted or hateful. At the same time, however, it seems that many of those on the other side are often bigoted and hateful in response. What to do? Where is this cycle taking us?

Whatever side you may be on, whatever your opinions may be on any number of issues, how do you stand up for them, and work for what you believe is right, without resorting to the same aggressive and self-poisoning modi operandi that your so-called enemies use? 

On a related note, how can we condemn war and international aggression when we can't even curb it in ourselves? I believe we must first practice peace within and around ourselves. We must find a way to express ourselves in productive ways. Or not.


  1. There's been a couple of General Conference talks the past 2 or 3 years instructing members how to conduct themselves in political discourse. Sometimes I feel they are falling on deaf ears. Personally, I think contention is already tearing us apart.

  2. I don't know if you say this when I posted it last November, but you might be interested:

    The follow-up post exactly one week later addresses the same general topic.

  3. Thanks for pointing out that post again, it is a great one, and very relevant here. Some good comments too. One of the comments really illustrated my post and yours, e.g. that many people feel that if the other side's actions are egregious enough, than reviling, aggression, or returning hate with hate is somehow justified or acceptable. I've heard it a lot and it makes me sad.


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