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The type of people that make me angriest are closed minded bigots who make brainless assumptions about people or things, and it just so happens to be that I live with three of these people. My mom and dad aren't that bad and are only closed minded on a certain level, but my little brother is pretty bad.

He's sexist, elitist, somewhat racist, manipulative, and just brainless. He's what I'd like to call an unhealthy INTJ, yet I love him so much. I want him to stop judging people and classifying each and everyone of them as something bad. He and I were just talking about homosexuals, to whom he believes aren't "right" and "proper". I noticed that he kept using the words "not proper" when describing them. That, and "do you think God would want a man to marry a man?". When I asked him for a legitimate reason for why they shouldn't be treated as our equals, he just kept saying "it isn't proper". It got me so pissed.... I told him that he really just needs to get to know someone like that before he judges them, but he ends up saying "no... there's no way.. it just isn't right".

I remember, at his age, I wasn't exactly quite comfortable with homosexuals, but at least I kept in mind that they're people too, it's their own life, and that it's not like they were doing anything to hurt anyone. When I tell him this, he'll come up with some stupid come back like "it's hurting my eyes". So. Fucking. UGHHH

How do you deal with people like this? I always get so mad and sometimes end up raising my voice without even noticing it.
 
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I've been comfortable with alternate forms of sexuality and other races for as long as I can remember. In my childhood, even, I don't think I made an issue of it, because I didn't recognise it as an issue - so I think it's a little unfair to say it's purely an age-related phenomenon. Other peoples' inability to articulate their thoughts and feelings on the matter only further served to reinforce my views.

Personally, I always ask them thought-provoking questions, or questions designed to get them to evaluate their thoughts or feelings. "What does it mean to be 'proper'? Why is the lack of such 'propriety' a bad thing? Does it bring harm to yourself as an individual, your friends and family, or the human race?" And so on and so forth. However, I noted that he brought up the issue of God, and I don't mean to be insulting or contentious when I say this, but I find those with conservative religious beliefs are almost impossible to reason with. The best thing that can happen is that they are able to explain their stance to me in detail, or - unlikely - they are eventually led to change their own. In the absence of any constructive conversation I just dismiss them as narrow-minded and think that perhaps one day they will either be able to explain themselves or they will have refined their worldviews. Or perhaps not, I certainly don't bank on it happening based off some of the people I've known.

Though sometimes I have to simply stop talking or walk away from the person in question if they are really pissing me off because nobody wants to deal with that kind of irritation and insofar as the conversation is like banging one's head against a brick wall, that irritation will multiply continually and exponentially. It particularly sucks that these people are so close to you, and I don't know what to say in that situation. I know for me personally, it would become an obstacle in our relationship and make me more distant from them, and I'm not sure what to do about that...
 

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Bigots are an ugly part of society. Sometimes you'll come across someone who's genuinely interested in widening his or her horizons who will present you a case and think with you. But this is rarer than not. Mostly it's people with unresearched, baseless beliefs and vices. It's by not caring to take these people seriously that I own them.

About you and your brother, I don't think you realise how much of a crucial element you are being right now in his development. I'm assuming he's a teenager who's forming interest and opinions on the society he lives in. When he might have simply listened and tucked topics away in his brain, now he's willing to look for arguments about them.

Much like with bigots, you need to not lose your cool. Because let me tell you, as a teenager, I know I've most readily refused the beliefs of my older sister just so to get ahold of a twisted sense of identity that would set me apart from hers. It's completely irrational and your brother likely doesn't realise he does it either. Keep yourself firm in your beliefs and never take his to heart. He'll shape up when he's past this silly sibling rivalry.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been comfortable with alternate forms of sexuality and other races for as long as I can remember. In my childhood, even, I don't think I made an issue of it, because I didn't recognise it as an issue - so I think it's a little unfair to say it's purely an age-related phenomenon.
That's a great thing, and I wish I was the same way, but I the fact is I wasn't and there are many reasons for that. Some of the reasons being the media and my upbringing. It's funny, because I remember that during that time, I was also uncomfortable seeing heterosexual people kiss in real life. Not because I think kissing is some sort of sin, but it's because I haven't seen it a lot in real life. I was only comfortable with seeing heterosexual cartoon characters kiss. I was aware that there were homosexuals out there, but I'd never really seen any form of homosexual relationship, neither on television or real life. It was alien to me. And on some level, I was brought up to think that these people were strange. I couldn't pin-point what the problem was, I was just told it was "wrong". It was only until I met one of my great friends, who just so happens to be homosexual, that I've become completely comfortable with the whole thing.
 

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ny lil bro is the same way, his dad influenced his beliefs greatly with his chauvanist ways and his homophobic comments. My advice ur brother will grow and go out in the world and get his own opinions of things just give him time and not get upset about it.
 
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people arent going to regard me well when they hear this, but, frankly...

combining my relatively "wilting violet" persona (or, if you want to be generous, call it "sit back, be quiet, and wait for a proper opportunity"... that was kinda long) with the fact that i've had to work with bigots of all sorts of stripes (though none of the violent variety) for a good number of years now, i'm often quiet about it unless someone asks my specific opinion.

normally they're just happy to spout off crap and assume everyone believes them, of course. i remember one instance where someone who was *quite* homophobic actually bothered to ask me my opinion (obviously just expecting me to say "yeah, me too!"), i flatly told him i have no problem with homosexuality, that i think it's fine. quite the shocked look on his face :proud:

bigotry is a difficult thing, i think, and i dont really know that going and verbally bashing someone over the head is going to work often... it's often said that you cant really convince someone about something, unless they're ready to be convinced. more often than not, if you just go totally counter to a bigoted opinion, you wont change their mind, and they'll just start to hate you more. personally, i believe in a slow and subtle approach - be honest about your views, if they take you to task for it, calmly express why they're wrong. information and logic confuses bigotry, gives them something to think about.

... btw, i dont imagine it'd work, but one counter to your brother and his "God doesnt approve of gays" justification of homophobia - i dont know your brother's religious background, but you could always point out that his view is *not* spurred by religion at all. some people like to use God to defend their homophobia, but that's disingenuous - all you need to do to see how wrong this is is to look at how much they follow the OTHER rules of their religion... i can pretty well guarantee they ignore a lot. if you're from a christian background, this is super easy - just ask him if he follows the couple hundred or so other commandments that God laid down after the ten commandments (yes, there are a few hundred or so more, forget the exact number). that's where we get stuff like eating kosher from, not to mention commands to kill witches, soothsayers, that sort of folk... commands about what women have to do when they're having their period, commands about specific clothes they must wear. compare these direct commandments from God against the odd little "no gays" quote in the bible, and watch your brother sputter.

and if he is christian, point out how jesus reduced all the commandments to "love one another" and ask him how well he's following that one?

and if he REALLY wants to attack homosexuality due to it being supposedly "unnatural," point out that wearing pants isnt natural either (when was the last time you saw an animal wearing clothes that a human didnt make them wear?). nor are most of the great achievements of human civilisation.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bigotry is a difficult thing, i think, and i dont really know that going and verbally bashing someone over the head is going to work often... it's often said that you cant really convince someone about something, unless they're ready to be convinced. more often than not, if you just go totally counter to a bigoted opinion, you wont change their mind, and they'll just start to hate you more. personally, i believe in a slow and subtle approach - be honest about your views, if they take you to task for it, calmly express why they're wrong. information and logic confuses bigotry, gives them something to think about.

... btw, i dont imagine it'd work, but one counter to your brother and his "God doesnt approve of gays" justification of homophobia - i dont know your brother's religious background, but you could always point out that his view is *not* spurred by religion at all. some people like to use God to defend their homophobia, but that's disingenuous - all you need to do to see how wrong this is is to look at how much they follow the OTHER rules of their religion... i can pretty well guarantee they ignore a lot. if you're from a christian background, this is super easy - just ask him if he follows the couple hundred or so other commandments that God laid down after the ten commandments (yes, there are a few hundred or so more, forget the exact number). that's where we get stuff like eating kosher from, not to mention commands to kill witches, soothsayers, that sort of folk... commands about what women have to do when they're having their period, commands about specific clothes they must wear. compare these direct commandments from God against the odd little "no gays" quote in the bible, and watch your brother sputter.

and if he is christian, point out how jesus reduced all the commandments to "love one another" and ask him how well he's following that one?

and if he REALLY wants to attack homosexuality due to it being supposedly "unnatural," point out that wearing pants isnt natural either (when was the last time you saw an animal wearing clothes that a human didnt make them wear?). nor are most of the great achievements of human civilisation.
The funny thing is, he's not even a devout Christian. In fact, he can't even respect our own mother, despite having tried to tell him before that the so-and-so commandment says that you should treat your parents with respect. I'd make a better Christian than him, and I'm agnostic/atheist.

I'm really at the point where I feel like nothing I say will make a difference. I've talked to him numerous times, speaking calmly and logically, but he seems like he won't even consider what I'm saying. It sucks.
 

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and if he REALLY wants to attack homosexuality due to it being supposedly "unnatural," point out that wearing pants isnt natural either (when was the last time you saw an animal wearing clothes that a human didnt make them wear?). nor are most of the great achievements of human civilisation.
More interestingly still, despite its perception as such, homosexuality is not an unnatural phenomenon even when we must consider the definition of 'natural' to mean 'spontaneously occurring in other species of animals'.
 
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I tend not to express my opinions blatantly in conversations, but I won't hide the threads of conversation that imply things like my support for the homosexual/bisexual/transsexual/transgender population. I tend to go with peaceful disagreement with bigotry. When you serve your opinions that way, they demonize themselves if they reply with anger and frustration. It can perpetuate a conversation, too, if the person wants to know more. If it bothers them too much, they can leave. It's happened. I'm not going to chase them down with pamphlets, but maybe they'll think on it later.

In Oklahoma, bigotry is a strange issue to tangle with. I openly despise a lot of the bills being pushed through our new Republican-dominant government. It has nothing to do with them being Republican, but rather, the specific ideologies they cling to and the fact we are ruled by these ideologies for the next 4 years. I'm scared. People like Sally Kern--who has a nasty habit of claiming homosexuals are worse than terrorists, non-whites are lazy, and women don't work as hard as men (on accident, she swears)--breach my limits of common decency. I have high tolerance for beliefs that conflict with mine, befriending sexists, racists, homophobes, and more, but when it's publicly exhibited and most of the outrage is from outside of our state, I'm disappointed. Doesn't it bother more people that's what people hear about us?

I'll never agree with a plethora of Oklahomans, but as a state, we have a lot to offer. The people are genuinely nice and polite (with exceptions being pushed aside), we have tons of charities, there's some beautiful forests around here, we have a great art and music community, and there's some fantastic, affordable education opportunities. Why are my out-of-state friends surprised to hear those things? It's awful. I'm not saying we should be throwing the loud-mouth bigots into a lake, but we should show off what good people we have. Come on.

... I'm not totally innocent. I have yelled at some people, but I regret it. My dad struggles with the same thing. We try to support each other in the fight for our brand of good.
 

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I had a dream last night that reminded me of a book called the Final Quest by Rick Joyner.

Those leaving the garden of eden located on the top of a mountain, were cloaked in armor of righteousness, shining with God's own light.

They descended the mountain in all their magnificence to attack the incomind horde that was infested with the seven deadly sins and shooting arrows of lust, pride, sloth, etc...

Only, those descending's light was so bright, they blinded themselves, and could not see the enemy lying close by in waiting setting a trap.

And they were slaughtered in their self righteous light.

There was one who received the shroud of humility, a plain shroud, to put over the shield, so that they might see, letting God's light be within, and their humility be out.

There is a difference in trying to Be God, and trying to Follow God.

It is very natural to become disgusted, but it is how we respond to that disgust that shows our worth.

Around every demon, there is a child of god being duped. But are we so Wise as God to truly see which one is which, at the first instant?

Are we to then classify whole groups of people, as demonic, simply because they sin in their lives, according to the bible?

How silly that is, to cast stones, as sinners.

Besides all that :), you can always learn the language of the bible. For example, when Peter had the vision that those who were unclean, are now clean.

Sometimes, visions take centuries to understand. Perhaps only now are we learning to understand Peter's vision completely.

What you can't do is try to discredit the bible to someone who relies on it.

It took years for me to accept that other religions could get to heaven, for example.

Its a long process, and in the short term, try to use their language, for example using the words I did at the beginning.

Good luck to you. Nothing could be a harder task in my mind.
 

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Unfortunately, this might simply be the person that he is. He might be beyond change because these are the things he thinks are true.

Sorry
 

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people arent going to regard me well when they hear this, but, frankly...

combining my relatively "wilting violet" persona (or, if you want to be generous, call it "sit back, be quiet, and wait for a proper opportunity"... that was kinda long) with the fact that i've had to work with bigots of all sorts of stripes (though none of the violent variety) for a good number of years now, i'm often quiet about it unless someone asks my specific opinion.

normally they're just happy to spout off crap and assume everyone believes them, of course. i remember one instance where someone who was *quite* homophobic actually bothered to ask me my opinion (obviously just expecting me to say "yeah, me too!"), i flatly told him i have no problem with homosexuality, that i think it's fine. quite the shocked look on his face :proud:

bigotry is a difficult thing, i think, and i dont really know that going and verbally bashing someone over the head is going to work often... it's often said that you cant really convince someone about something, unless they're ready to be convinced. more often than not, if you just go totally counter to a bigoted opinion, you wont change their mind, and they'll just start to hate you more. personally, i believe in a slow and subtle approach - be honest about your views, if they take you to task for it, calmly express why they're wrong. information and logic confuses bigotry, gives them something to think about.

... btw, i dont imagine it'd work, but one counter to your brother and his "God doesnt approve of gays" justification of homophobia - i dont know your brother's religious background, but you could always point out that his view is *not* spurred by religion at all. some people like to use God to defend their homophobia, but that's disingenuous - all you need to do to see how wrong this is is to look at how much they follow the OTHER rules of their religion... i can pretty well guarantee they ignore a lot. if you're from a christian background, this is super easy - just ask him if he follows the couple hundred or so other commandments that God laid down after the ten commandments (yes, there are a few hundred or so more, forget the exact number). that's where we get stuff like eating kosher from, not to mention commands to kill witches, soothsayers, that sort of folk... commands about what women have to do when they're having their period, commands about specific clothes they must wear. compare these direct commandments from God against the odd little "no gays" quote in the bible, and watch your brother sputter.

and if he is christian, point out how jesus reduced all the commandments to "love one another" and ask him how well he's following that one?

and if he REALLY wants to attack homosexuality due to it being supposedly "unnatural," point out that wearing pants isnt natural either (when was the last time you saw an animal wearing clothes that a human didnt make them wear?). nor are most of the great achievements of human civilisation.
I tend not to express my opinions blatantly in conversations, but I won't hide the threads of conversation that imply things like my support for the homosexual/bisexual/transsexual/transgender population. I tend to go with peaceful disagreement with bigotry. When you serve your opinions that way, they demonize themselves if they reply with anger and frustration. It can perpetuate a conversation, too, if the person wants to know more. If it bothers them too much, they can leave. It's happened. I'm not going to chase them down with pamphlets, but maybe they'll think on it later.

In Oklahoma, bigotry is a strange issue to tangle with. I openly despise a lot of the bills being pushed through our new Republican-dominant government. It has nothing to do with them being Republican, but rather, the specific ideologies they cling to and the fact we are ruled by these ideologies for the next 4 years. I'm scared. People like Sally Kern--who has a nasty habit of claiming homosexuals are worse than terrorists, non-whites are lazy, and women don't work as hard as men (on accident, she swears)--breach my limits of common decency. I have high tolerance for beliefs that conflict with mine, befriending sexists, racists, homophobes, and more, but when it's publicly exhibited and most of the outrage is from outside of our state, I'm disappointed. Doesn't it bother more people that's what people hear about us?

I'll never agree with a plethora of Oklahomans, but as a state, we have a lot to offer. The people are genuinely nice and polite (with exceptions being pushed aside), we have tons of charities, there's some beautiful forests around here, we have a great art and music community, and there's some fantastic, affordable education opportunities. Why are my out-of-state friends surprised to hear those things? It's awful. I'm not saying we should be throwing the loud-mouth bigots into a lake, but we should show off what good people we have. Come on.

... I'm not totally innocent. I have yelled at some people, but I regret it. My dad struggles with the same thing. We try to support each other in the fight for our brand of good.
These two give EXCELLENT advice. They're pretty much said everything I've wanted to say in regards to education. ALWAYS, ALWAYS call out discriminatory attitudes such as these, and ALWAYS be on the lookout to debunk fallacious myths about race, sexuality, and gender. There is NOTHING logical about racism, sexism, and homophobia, and there is NO scientific basis for any of these things, although these 3 forms of discrimination are VERY real.

However, I'd like to add one more thing: you should join activist organizations to partake in wide-scale agitation. You should look into projects, chapters, and organizations in your local area that deal with issues on discrimination and join them. This will increase awareness of the issues throughout the community and it is PROVEN that this method is effective in implementing REAL social change.
 

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These two give EXCELLENT advice. They're pretty much said everything I've wanted to say in regards to education. ALWAYS, ALWAYS call out discriminatory attitudes such as these, and ALWAYS be on the lookout to debunk fallacious myths about race, sexuality, and gender. There is NOTHING logical about racism, sexism, and homophobia, and there is NO scientific basis for any of these things, although these 3 forms of discrimination are VERY real.

However, I'd like to add one more thing: you should join activist organizations to partake in wide-scale agitation. You should look into projects, chapters, and organizations in your local area that deal with issues on discrimination and join them. This will increase awareness of the issues throughout the community and it is PROVEN that this method is effective in implementing REAL social change.
You apply no type of discrimination about which group to join, just that you should cause agitation?

Is it truly to that point, of war?
 

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You apply no type of discrimination about which group to join, just that you should cause agitation?

Is it truly to that point, of war?
...

Read, very, VERY closely. Stop twisting my message around.

Yes, agitation for agitation's sake is bad. But agitation for good reasons is a VERY EFFECTIVE way of spreading awareness.
 

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...

Read, very, VERY closely. Stop twisting my message around.

Yes, agitation for agitation's sake is bad. But agitation for good reasons is a VERY EFFECTIVE way of spreading awareness.

I'm not twisting your message around, I'm questioning you on what you have said.

What agitation is for good reason, and where is the line drawn?

You said join "a group," but made no further comment upon which groups might cross the line.

It isn't just your message that is important here, but also my message, and what I am trying to say.

I like what you are trying to say, but I have something to add to it, thus my reason for questioning you, thats all.

I can understand why you might have thought I was trying to twist your words though, no worries.
 

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Anyway, yes social change usually happens when people organize. That is true, however, I do seriously question those organizations as well.

Because my goal isn't social change, my goal is to transcend fear.

If a group just creates fear to get their message across, I don't think thats a good group, regardless of the oppression that might happen.

Sometimes being oppressed isn't such a bad thing.

This refers to the morality of the slave and master, and a conversation me and skycloud had recently.

I'll try to dig up the thread, and refer to the conversation over there if you'd like to continue this, but I've got to go for now.

Good stuff
 

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@Souled In You do make a good point. Obviously, use common sense. And obviously, avoid fanatical zealot groups and groups that exist for purely dogmatic reasons.

I can think of an example of a group that might be deceptive: Neo-nazi groups often trick people into joining their group through deceptive sloganeering such as "fighting for the rights of white people."
 

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Cool cool.

Really, it doesn't matter what people believe. If they treat you rudely, they should be told, and if they won't change, you either have to forgive or discard them.
 

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The older I get, the less patience I have with bigotry of all kinds. To me, bigotry shows that a person does not take the time to consider other points of view than his or her own. In fact, I'd say that person *willfully* avoids the consideration of other viewpoints.

I recently bailed on a political group for this reason. These people weren't the racists the media painted them to be, but I had no doubt of their deep sexism. I felt I no longer had anything to contribute to them, considering the limited role they were willing to give to a woman in their movement. This had nothing to do with their political beliefs--but I would say that there is a fair amount of hypocrisy throughout American politics at the moment.

My recent marital problems have brought out another type of bigot--religious bigots who tell me I am a "sinner" because I want to end a marriage. It doesn't even seem to matter to them the reason for wanting a divorce. These people have no ability to see issues in a complex, real-life way. Bigots don't think, they just promote someone else's predigested views. Do they have any idea how much misery they spread with their intolerance?
 

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Try introducing him to Libertarianism. Maybe he just needs a nice, intellectual philosophy to chew on (him being an INTJ and all).
 
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