As defined by Collins English Dictionary, a bigot is "a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics, or race."
In contemporary culture, those who claim to tolerate everything are intolerant of ideas that come from perspectives other than their own, especially when those ideas are rooted in conservative politics or evangelical faith.
Though Antisemitism and anti-Catholic bigotry sadly are still with us, the new and "accepted" bigotry among some on the left is for those who call themselves -- or are sometimes mislabeled by people who don't know the difference between born again and born yesterday -- evangelical Christians.
With two evangelicals running for president, the opening salvo in what is likely to be a God vs. government battle has already been launched.
A June 22 article in Rolling Stone magazine gives bigots permission for more bigotry. The illustration by Victor Juhasz, which accompanies it, reveals where the writer is headed. Michele Bachmann is dressed as Joan of Arc with a Bible in one hand, a bloody sword in the other, a cross on her chest, and the "finger of God" pointing at her from heaven. In the background, people are being burned at the stake. Father Charles Coughlin at his worst would have had trouble topping this on his bigoted radio broadcasts in the 1930s.
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi says Bachmann is "a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions." One of many examples he cites is her assertion that China is "plotting to replace the dollar bill."
Recently, China's official Xinhua News Agency editorialized in favor of a new global reserve currency, replacing the dollar. Don't look for a retraction.
There's plenty more in "Michele Bachmann's Holy War" on which the bigots can feast. This is the argument of anyone who has little or no faith in God. They attack people who believe the Supreme Being does not sit in the Oval Office.
The secular left is also going after Rick Perry's faith. Writing in The New York Times, Timothy Egan refers to the Texas governor as a "biblical bully" and asks, if "God is ignoring Rick Perry?"
Ideas that come from the minds of secular liberals are considered right and good, no matter their track record. Ideas from conservatives, be they secular or especially evangelical, are "bat sh-t crazy," according to Taibbi's scatology.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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