This was the question that was posed to me by James Ross, a visitor to my Employee of 1800Flowers.com thread, when I accused him of bigotry. It’s a fair question. I thought I’d repost my answer to the atheosphere, which is…
… I suppose that depends on what they believe in. If they believe blasphemy is a â€œsinâ€ that deserves death, then yes. If they believe that atheists, non-believers, or those that believe in cults different than their own have not the right to be free of their spam/proselytizing, then yes. If they believe that people different than they donâ€™t deserve equal rights (i.e. different races, genders, sexual preferences), then yes. If they believe that their superstitions should be unquestioned and respected even if done in public and forced upon the public (which is where the communion Cook attended took place), then yes.
If they believe that scientific knowledge must be suppressed and avoided in public schools because it threatens their superstitions, then yes.
If they accept only supernatural terms to explain the world and seek to impose these superstitions on the rest of society, then yes.
If they believe that those who donâ€™t accept their superstitions or have superstitions different than their own are immoral or unjust because of this, then yes.
If they believe that criticizing religion, theirâ€™s or anyone elseâ€™s, should be a taboo; if they believe that non-believers should remain silent while their superstitions are codified in local, state, and federal governments; if they believe it’s okay to defend anyone who threatens bodily harm to a critic -be it in jest or not, then yes -they are bigots in the truest sense of the word.
(n) bigot (a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own)
And because Iâ€™m big enough to recognize some of my own intolerance (I canâ€™t stand assholes, for instance), Iâ€™m also willing to admit, freely, that Iâ€™m open to change. Iâ€™m willing to enhance, improve, revise, or even completely turn around any opinion that I hold.
I only require a modicum of evidence.