Recently, someone using the alias of "Pickle" posted an anonymous opinion on my blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at     In response to my essay entitled Cauldron of Bigotry, in which I attacked the Christian conservatives and Evangelicals for their continued campaign of hatred and bigotry against gays, "Pickle" wrote:

  "I don't see how you're going to get anywhere, saying things in the way you've said them. You've accused others of being bigots, but you come across as being more of a bigot than many of your opponents."

  "Pickle", thank you for your commentary.   My blog is about the advancement of civil liberties and intellectual freedom, and I welcome virtually all opinions.     After pondering "Pickles"'s assertion briefly,  I decided to look up the definition of bigot.    Here is what I found at  

"One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

Based on this definition, I reached several conclusions to "Pickle"'s assertion:  

I could be misconstrued as a bigot because I am strongly partial to those who support civil liberties and human rights (my principal cause); gays; racial minorities; people who believe in intellectual freedom; the disabled; the poor; the working class (of which my wife and I are a part); intellectuals (again, a group of which I am a part); atheists; agnostics; pagans; moderate and progressive people of virtually all faiths (including Christianity); people of honesty and integrity (another group to which I belong); Jews; the scientific community; the ACLU (to which I belong); our Constitution; the mental health community; educators; and authors and writers (of which I am one).    In point of fact, I am strongly partial to many groups, religions, and races, most of which are not my own.   Admittedly, I approach my activism with a passion, and sometimes a passionate anger, but if a critical thinking  person with a social conscience takes a penetrating look at the circumstances that exist in America today, and does not feel anger, I would advise them to check their pulse and seek immediate medical attention.    Despite my zealousness on issues pertaining to social justice, my support of a diverse group of peoples, causes, and religions that vary greatly from my WASP, middle class roots clearly demonstrates that I fail to qualify as a bigot under the first part of the definition.  

Looking at the second part of the definition of a bigot, that of intolerance of differing viewpoints, I admit that I come closer to bigotry.   However, if I fit this aspect of the definition of a bigot because I am intolerant of hate-mongers (like Fred Phelps); people who choose to remain ignorant; those who work to suppress the rights of other human beings; torturers and abusers; tyrants; conservative Christians who devote their energy and money to imposing their narrow beliefs on the rest of America through "schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community (Alexander Hamilton); those who reject the findings of the scientific and medical communities; charlatans and cheap propagandists; oppressive corporations like Wal-Mart; chronic pedophiles and child pornographers; child abusers; and war mongers intent on dominating rather than harmonizing, and on feeding the military industrial complex instead of the people, then I would consider that fit to be a badge of honor.    However, since the common thread amongst those I oppose is that they are people or groups who are hostile to human rights, and the truth, I fail to meet the second part of the definition of bigotry either.     I feel proud to zealously oppose the groups that I mentioned, and consider it to be a moral imperative that a decent human being do so.    

My intolerance extends to a narrow band of types of individuals (who unfortunately may represent a large number of people).     There are many differing viewpoints to which I am very tolerant.     I even recognize the rights of the Kansas bigots whom I lambasted in "Cauldron of Bigotry" to hold their beliefs and opinions.    However, I am very intolerant of their actions to impose their twisted beliefs upon the rest of us,  and will continue to challenge them through my writing, and my work with the ACLU.  

Spirituality and religion are a matter of personal choice, and do not belong in our secular government or public schools.    My wife and I teach our children about spirituality at home.    We leave their intellectual education to the schools.   One of the great things about America is that the Establishment Clause forbids the institution of a national religion, which protects the rights of individuals to worship, or not, as they see fit.    It also protects both the government and churches from undue influence over one another.    The Christian conservative movement, which is so strong in Kansas, cannot seem to grasp this point as they attempt to sneak the teaching of Creationism into the public schools under the guise of the "theory" of Intelligent Design as a legitimate alternative to Evolution, continue the suppression of gay rights with the impending vote (on April 5) on the amendment to the Kansas constitution to ban gay marriage, and propel men like US Senator Sam Brownback into office, who ardently supports the Constitution Restoration Act, a piece of legislation which would move us several steps closer to living in a theocracy.     

I hate to disappoint "Pickle", and others like them, but I am not a bigot.    I am a zealot for my cause, and as one can clearly see, I do not qualify for either part of the definition of a bigot.     In contrast, those whom I wrote about in "Cauldron of Bigotry" have devoted themselves to furthering the suppression of the civil rights of gays (who represent 5% of our population), and to forcing their narrow religious viewpoints on the rest of us through the public schools and state and federal legislation.     My knowledge and experience pertaining to the Christian conservatives in America demonstrate to me that they are both strongly partial to their religion (and heterosexuality), and are very intolerant of those who disagree with them.    Their intolerance is so strong that they invest tremendous monies and energies into denying peoples' human rights.     Sounds like the personification of bigotry to me.....