As I expressed in a previous post, I believe the words “bigot” and “judgmental” have become seriously overused. These words are often used against anyone with whom a person simply disagrees.
On the other hand, as with the word “racist” there are times when there is no better word to describe a person who lacks understanding and is grossly intolerant. While a person who simply feels more comfortable among people who share his ethnicity is not necessarily a racist, one who has an ignorant antipathy toward those unlike himself certainly deserves that label.
This principle can be applied to the term “bigot.” There are occasions when people absolutely deserve this label. This couldn’t be more true than in the case of Texas vs. the Fundamentalist LDS church.
If I were an unbiased observer, detached from the culture and mores of 21st century America, looking down at our mainstream American culture on one hand, and the FLDS church on the other, I would be hard pressed to condemn the values and behaviors of that church as compared to the values and behaviors of our mainstream culture. Texas law enforcement, family services, and the legal system are clearly the aggressors. Further, it is somewhat disingenuous that a culture as corrupt as ours has the audacity to judge the culture of a religious body in a nation that purports “freedom of religion.” It is not as if this is a group of terrorists threatening the existence of this nation. This body is, in fact totally opposite – exhibiting a meekness rivaling that of the Amish.
Texas family services and the other accusers say the poor women have been brainwashed. By whom? The leaders of their church? Is this any less true of devout believers in virtually any religion? So, are the men of the church, their leaders, brainwashed, too? Or are they teaching what they teach just for the sex? - this is what our perverted culture would lead us to believe. Or do they teach what they believe based on their faith? Students of polygamist cultures will attest that having multiple wives is no picnic. The practice has a sustaining purpose and comes with a great deal of responsibility and difficulty. Ask any serial polygamist of our mainstream culture if this isn’t true!
At the time of this posting, there is some evidence that the anonymous "16-year-old girl" who filed the accusation was a hoax. If this is true, it becomes even more clear that there have been aggregious civil rights violations with the purpose of sticking the nose of the the fox in the hen house door. The state of Texas is going to have to float a huge bond issue to fund this legal debacle.
This is a situation where the prevailing culture lacks understanding (ignorance) and lacks tolerance (prejudice) of a religious group and seeks to disrupt and eliminate their religious system. This is fundamentalist bigotry.