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Tell All: Duck Dynasty haters are intolerant
Pro-gay forces want Phil Robertson silenced

Dear Tell All: You use the word "bigot" liberally, most recently in reference to Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty ("Don't Condemn Duck Dynasty," 1/16/2014). I wonder if you know what it means. According to Webster's, a bigot is "one obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices." You do realize that you've taken the stance that Robertson should be banished from the airwaves, essentially, because you disagree with him? Phil, like the vast majority of Christendom, believes that homosexuality is a sin. So what? If you disagree with him, argue the point. Don't demand that he be silenced.

I find your ideas objectionable and your attitude pompous, dismissive and pandering. But I'd never dream of writing Isthmus and demanding that you be fired. 'Cause I'm not a bigot. I tolerate people I disagree with, and I'd like to think that, more often than not, that tolerance is reciprocated. That's how a free society works. When it comes to people like you, the people who preach "tolerance" the most, it never ceases to amaze me how feeble your understanding of that word is.

Semantically Yours

Dear Semantically: My dictionary defines "bigot" as "a person who hates or refuses to accept the member of a particular group." That fits with Phil Robertson's openly expressed hatred of gay people in his recent interview with GQ. In response to such hatred, you say, "So what?" I suspect you wouldn't be so cavalier if you were the one denied civil rights just because of who you are.

You suggest that those who disagree with Robertson are intolerant. Are you truly demanding that an oppressed group tolerate the views of those who would oppress them? Should African Americans (another Robertson target) have been tolerant of Southerners subjecting them to Jim Crow laws? Sorry, Semantically, but that doesn't make much sense.

My column said nothing about silencing Robertson or banishing him from the airwaves. What I said was that the outraged response to his comments was appropriate. Since TV networks frown on bigotry (yes, bigotry), Robertson and his ilk will ultimately get themselves banished from the airwaves without any help from me.

Do you have a question about life or love in Madison? Write Tell All, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or email

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