In a comment on last week’s Dove Awards coverage, a poster criticized the Southern Gospel segment – and the Perrys’ song “If You Knew Him” in particular – as “bigot music” (direct quote).
While I frequently approve posts on this site with which I completely disagree, comments employing slurs or personal attacks are not constructive in any way and will not be approved. Partially since the poster left an invalid email address, and partially since this subject is of wider relevance, let’s address it here.
Let’s define just what a bigot is. According to Merriam-Webster, a bigot is: “A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”
Since intolerance is a key part of that definition, its definition is: “Unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters.”
As defined by the dictionary, tolerance (and thus the lack of bigotry) means that someone is entitled to express their opinion, under the laws of this country, even if that opinion is incorrect.
(And, in fact, the view that other religions can get you to God is incorrect, as Jesus stated in John 14:6.)
I am aware that some individuals have attempted to redefine tolerance as recognizing that all views are equally valid. However, it is impossible to be completely tolerant under that definition. Let me prove this: The claims of Christianity are mutually exclusive. Either Jesus is (as He said) the only way to God, or He is not. If someone says that He is not, then they are saying that our views are not valid as theirs, and they are being intolerant by their own definition.