Bigot (noun): “A person who regards members of a group (race, ethnic background, gender, colour, etc) with hatred and intolerance."
The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools system has a trustee who was moved by “the Holy Spirit” to equate gays with Nazis. Does she know what the Nazis did in the Second World War? To Jews? To non-Jews such as gays, gypsies, mentally and physically handicapped people, Russians, Poles, Czechs, Yugoslavians, Hungarians, Dutch, etc.?
Politicians and religious leaders who spread conspiracy theories may influence gullible people to hate other people and even commit acts of violence.
We’re seeing that very situation in Canada and in the U.S. against Jews and Muslims today because of the new war in the Middle East. As a matter of fact, we have seen a dramatic increase in violence against women, blacks, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, Asians, migrants, and immigrants since The Duck came to power in 2016 (FBI, RCMP, Homeland Security statistics). His words even inspired an insurrection on Jan. 6. Words matter.
I also have concerns when people use their religious beliefs to justify their actions against other people. For examples, the separation of people (segregation; apartheid). Putting Japanese Americans into concentration camps during the Second World War.
Segregation was used in some American schools to prevent certain children (Jews, Hispanics, and Indigenous children) from attending schools with white children. When the segregationists lost their case in court (the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown vs Board of Education, 1954) some religious folks created private schools to exclude non-white, non-Christian children from attending their schools.
Over the past 2,000-plus years, religious fanatics (zealots) have used their beliefs to justify all kinds of inhumane treatment against other people: slavery; the Crusades; the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe; pogroms against Jews and Muslims in Europe and Russia; massacre of native peoples in North America; massacre of Asians in Wyoming in the late 1800s; the massacre of blacks in the Tulsa Massacre of 1921; the murder and rape of blacks in the southern US by the KKK; sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; ethnic and religious violence in the former country of Yugoslavia; Muslims vs Muslims (Shias vs Sunnis; Saudi Arabia vs Iran) in Africa and in the Middle East.
Some folks now want to control what goes on in the public schools and in society in general. Witness the situation in the U.S. today: banning the discussion of bigotry, racism and persecution of women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jew, Muslims, Indigenous peoples/Indians, migrants, immigrants, gays, et.c; banning books in schools and libraries; re-drawing political boundaries to prevent non-whites from achieving political equality with whites (gerrymandering); re-introducing Jim Crow laws to prevent or to restrict non-whites from voting in the “red states.”
Persecuting gays is the “flavour of the day” for bigots. Sadly, other people have been “targeted” in the past by haters. For examples, Irish Catholics in the 1860s; Mormons in the 1870s and 1880s; Native Americans/Indians from the late 1400s to the present; Asians in the 1860s to the early 1900s and again during the Second World War; against women (the Suffrage Movement) because they wanted the right to vote and to get an education; they wanted the right to work outside of the home; they wanted the right to get a divorce; they wanted the right to prevent pregnancy (the pill); they wanted the right to say no, and they wanted the right to control their own bodies.
Today, Jews, Muslims and gays are the targets for haters.
Question: Who will become the next target for the haters?
Sadly, when times are “tough," bigots and racists (haters) will always find someone to blame for society’s problems, for their problems, or for their failures.