Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Homophobia or Bigotry

Some of the definitions given for ‘homophobia’ in various dictionaries are: “an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people”, “unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality”, and “intense hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality”. Today this is, in many instances, not the way that the word is actually used.

I think it is clear that today the word ‘homophobia’ has been hijacked. It is now used quite frequently to describe any person who does not share a homosexual’s point of view on the subject. This is why I wrote in my post about Desmond Tutu - “Is Tutu Wrong About Homophobia” - that I may agree with him. Whether I do depends entirely on whether he was using the word ‘homophobia’ strictly according to its true meaning or not.

One is clearly not homophobic just because one believes that homosexual acts are immoral. It requires far more before one can even begin to be considered homophobic.

Anyone who does use the word so broadly is, in my opinion, doing so because they want to silence those with differing opinions. It shows that they probably have no interest in engaging in debate on the subject. Forcing conforming opinions is the only objective for them. It seems clear that they do not accept that not everyone in the world has to agree with them.

This, in closing, then brings me naturally to the definition of a ‘bigot’: “having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one's own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others”.

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