The best place to start with the question “what is a bigot?” would be the dictionary. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says:
Bigot: a person who is 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
But the reality is that it’s more than a definition. Sometimes it’s used to brand those who are ignorant and that I disagree with. If I meet a Roman Catholic or a Mormon and they were to tell me that same-sex marriage is against their beliefs I would not immediately brand them as anything. But if I’m told this by one of their Bishops then I have to go whoa, this person is a bigot.
What’s the difference? The difference is one is paid to teach their flock, needs to be a professional and should simply know better. The member of the parish or congregation is listening to those who are supposed to know stuff and accepts what they hear as fact. Seriously, it takes no time at all to learn about homosexuality in the real world outside the Bible with the internet today. Even within the Bible frequently there are alternate interpretations as to what is written. To be involved in the church leadership and still remain ignorant of homosexuality is foolish. If you are a church leader, ignorant of homosexuality and spout off about it like you knew something then you are a bigot.
Please don’t misunderstand me when I said I wouldn’t brand anyone a bigot who went to church and was told false information. If they open their mouth on the subject and are subsequently corrected on their information and still still beak off about the horrors of homosexuality or transsexuality then I’ll still be willing to wave the bigot brand in their direction.
I suppose I could write about this subject more but it’s discouraging how so many people can make up their minds about someone based on false information and, even when told it’s false, they will not accept the new information or even check the information their opinion is base on. If it means I might use the bigot brand unjustly you can be sure that I will listen to new information and set it right.