I Feel Like I'm Walking A Fine Line Between Conscientiousness And Bigotry - Your Thoughts?

Where is the line between being a conscientious consumer and being a bigot?

Here’s what prompted this discussion: one of the YouTube channels I watch is that of a scientist who does cool and thought-provoking experiments in his garage. However, in looking at his personal website, I see that he’s an apologist for theism (to the point that he’s writing a book about how science and theism can co-exist). He also speaks lovingly of his religious sect, a sect which turns a blind eye to child abuse, bullies people who speak against it, and which controls at least one legislative body to the point that it (the legislative body) is a sort of theocratic extension of his sect.

I’ve thought about deleting the guy, in the belief that whatever money he gets from my watching his videos (fractions of a cent per month) may wind up in the collection plates of his sect on Sunday mornings. And I want no part of that.

On the other hand, I feel like my attitude is not unlike that of the “Irish Need Not Apply” attitudes of the USA in ~1880.

So if you refuse to do business with someone, however indirectly, because you don’t like what they believe in, does that make you a bigot? Or does it make you an informed and conscientious consumer?

You have limited time on this Earth, use it however you like. Some people might spend some of their time calling you a bigot, and since this isn’t math or physics, there is no way to actually prove the charge, and it’s up to you whether or not you spend your time caring.

I think it just depends on whether religion has anything to do with whatever you are consuming or not. If you refuse to watch movies with actors of certain religions, or buy food from cooks of a certain faith, that could be bigoted. If you are bothered by Inn n Out sticking bible quotes on their packaging, that’s not bigoted - they made their religion part of the equation by shoving it on you. For what it’s worth, I don’t particularly care and still eat there, but if you do care, that’s fine. Same goes for your science YouTuber. You’re looking for scientific content, not religious propaganda. You’re fine dropping him because HE made religion part of the equation, not you. On the other hand, if he wasn’t writing a book about theism and science, but you found out he goes to church and decided to dump his channel based on that, then that’s a bit bigoted.

I’d personally be more disturbed about the sect association than the rest of it; merely trying to reconcile theism and science isn’t anything to get too wound up over. There’s nothing that says that a good scientist has to be an atheist.

But I would have a problem with helping anyone earn money for a sect like you describe, scientist or not.

If I like a product, I really couldn’t care less about where the profits go. Don’t think about it one bit.

I’m sure plenty of my money has indirectly gone to snorting coke off hooker’s asses and other probably less savory activities, and I’m totally okay with that.

What legislative body do the Unitarians control? :confused:

Yes, who are you talking about OP?

Mormons would be my guess. He’s talking about Sundays, so that’s a Christian only holy day for them and their off-shoots. I guess he could be talking about a generic Christianity, but then he wouldn’t say ‘at least one.’ He’d probably say ‘They control everything.’ Saying a specific branch of Christianity is pretty weird in the Protestant world since they bounce around all over the place and I can’t think of a Catholic controlled legislative body off-hand although they do control the Supreme Court. So that basically points me to Mormonism and their control of the Utah legislature.

There’s my money anyway.


OK the mystery is solved. No way to guess nowadays how much people exaggerate though. I could see somebody (ridiculously) claiming Catholicism ‘controls’ whatever. A lot of people in Utah belong to LDS. It’s natural that LDS sensibilities play a big role in politics (and note I’m neither LDS nor particularly pro, I went to high school in one of the towns that a main LDS colony in the NY area and I had Mormon friends but found Mormons sometimes clannish and hypocritical, and when they rebelled against their upbringing, whew, watch out, crazytown).

But, as the first response said, up to you whether you don’t want to consume Youtube content based on the guy’s religion, at least you’re admitting it. At a certain level bigotry becomes other people’s problem, but as a society I think we’ve now gone well overboard looking for bigots and supposed bigots under every bed, making all kinds of social and political disagreements into ‘bigotry’ to avoid really discussing them while establishing phony ‘moral high ground’ for certain political opinions.

Not watching a YouTube channel because some guy who “does cool thought provoking experiments” might get a few pennies and might tithe a small percentage of that to an organizations who might use an even smaller percentage of that to donate toward a cause I don’t agree with seems a little over the top.

Seems a lot like not wanting to pay taxes because you once saw a lady buy a T-bone with her food stamps.

I think you’re discussing prejudice, not bigotry. And I think the fact that you’re asking the question comes close to proving that prejudice is not affecting your decision.

Is this the ‘is it bigoted to be bigoted against bigots and bigotry’ question?

Well, if you’re talking about Mormons, I can tell you just about every cent he tithes is going to towards buying properties, buildings, companies, other investments, and generally being hoarded. The LDS church is a corporation with some relious trappings. My wife worked in the church office building and it isn’t called “The Corporation of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints” for nothing. Virtually none of it is going to the poor, that would come from fast offerings, a different set of books. Very little of it goes towards prosetylizing, members do that for free, and the missionaries pay for it out of their own pockets.

I’m a former Mormon. I have wasted countless hours, 2 full years of my life, and a ton of money on that church. If anybody has reason to hate the church, I do. I hold nothing against the members though. They are mostly good people but not my cup of tea anymore.

However, I wouldn’t give 2 thoughts about watching a Mormon’s YouTube video that was well produced, interesting, and had some redeeming value, because a couple cents might go into Church coffers. That is just so quaint to me in the larger scheme its laughable.

No bigotry is involved in what you are describing. Not wanting to fund something you don’t support is fine.

That said, you can just use an ad blocker, if it really bothers you.

Personally, since his show isn’t about it, and the money he gets is really small (fractions of a cent), I wouldn’t worry about it.

One of my favorite fantasy writers is, to the best of my knowledge, a practicing Mormon. Does it bother me? Not really. I may not agree with his religion, but he doesn’t proselytize in his books and is by all accounts a decent human being. In fact, I think it’s interesting that he’s a Mormon - all writers are informed by their backgrounds, after all, which means he’ll be bringing somethings to his books I won’t often find elsewhere. Besides, familiarity with kooky cosmological systems is actually an advantage for fantasy writers.

It’s easy to find a reason to boycott someone. Everyone on Earth is either part of a group or is affiliated with a group that someone else has grievances against. As a member of a group that seems to attract at unusually large amount of ire, I’m really not in any position to judge anyone else. And hey, if someone is doing something good enough for me to pay money for it, maybe his side deserves to win.

Besides, if I stop reading him I’ll be punishing myself a lot more than I’ll be punishing him. He won’t get his cut of the few dollars I paid on Amazon; I won’t get to enjoy a bunch of pretty terrific books. I’m all in favor of principles, but I don’t intend to shoot myself in the foot.

My favourite SF webcomic creator is a Mormon and a great guy. If he wants to spend any of the money I give him on his church, he’s welcome to. I trust him to not be a dick about it.

On the other hand, Orson Scott Card is a dick, and he’s Mormon, so there’s that…

Really? Not one?

I don’t think not wanting to associate with a religion really qualifies as bigotry.

For the record, I was referring to Brandon Sanderson.