I disagree with many things but I am not scared of them, nor do I hate them. To attach "phobic" to someone should mean a person has an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, situation, or practice.
For example, before 1995 significant heights didn't bother me, but after trimming trees in St. Louis for a full year something changed. I was roped in to a huge sycamore tree trimming the middle level of limbs when an inexplicable fear overcame me. I was suspended about 30 feet in the air, securely roped in with a harness, but something about my perspective changed and I could no longer climb and work at those heights from that day til now. As a hunter I utilize tree stands but I cannot set them higher than 15 feet or I begin to get a panicky feeling I can only describe as a phobia concerning heights. On the ground I have tremendous balance, it's hard to knock me over, but I have a sense I will lose my balance and fall when at heights over 15 feet. It's not logical or rational. The "experts" would say I have Acrophobia, Altophobia, Batophobia, Hypsiphobia or Hyposophobia. Bottom line, I'm scared of heights. I'll admit to being "phobic" as it relates to being way up there.
Not too long ago I received an anonymous post accusing me of being "homophobic". In my mind a proper definition of "homophobia" should be an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of homosexuals or homosexuality, right? Well, that's not me at all. In fact, I have friends I love dearly who are practicing homosexuals. I am not scared of them nor do I hate them, in fact, I love them very much. Further, I'm not scared of homosexual practice in general either. Sex between two people of the same gender doesn't evoke fear, freight, terror, or anything of the sort. Even the concept of two men or two women wanting the right to call their union "marriage" doesn't scare me. I don't become enraged when I hear the idea being proposed and I don't have visions of people I hate or even dislike when the matter is debated in print, on the radio, or on television. I am scared of heights. I am phobic about heights. I am not scared of homosexuality or those who practice it, therefore I am not homophobic no matter how diligently a person would strain to label me as such.
I disagree with a great many things but I do not fear them or hate them. I disagree with worldviews that put man at the center, but I do not fear such a perspective. I disagree with doctrine that insists man is responsible to choose Christ as if salvation rests on mans volition, but I do not fear such a perspective. I disagree with political ideology that sees government as having a widespread role in the lives of the citizens it represents, but I do not fear such an ideology or practice. I disagree with sexual practice that happens outside the bounds of a marriage, but I do not fear pre or extra marital sex. I disagree that marriage can be defined in any way other than between one man and one woman, but I do not fear people wanting to "marry" someone of the same sex or the notion of a person wanting to "marry" their dog for that matter. I'll never think of such unions as marriage, but I'm not scared of the concept or of people who disagree with me. I disagree with a great many things because I think they will lead in a direction that is harmful. In some of the cases I disagree because God calls them sin. I don't fear sin as such. I fear where sin leads. I fear what sin will bring about. But I do not fear sin itself because Jesus has ultimately conquered sin and it's ultimate outcome by His victory on the cross for those in union with Him by faith.
Again, I disagree with a great many things, but I do not fear them. So why call me homophobic?
The label homophobic doesn't really mean what it says. By calling me homophobic I am being accused of ignorantly or hatefully opposing homosexuality. The label is applied in pejorative way to paint me as having an illogical or irrational disagreement with homosexual practice. Of course, I do disagree with homosexual practice (or any pre/extra marital sexual practice), but I maintain a logical and rational reason for my opposition (the subject of a different post). "Homophobic" attempts to paint a person as unthinking, bigoted, and scared of something he or she doesn't agree with. I simply contest such a label doesn't help the dialogue and the effort to understand each other.
Disagreement does not mean phobia therefore it is at least dishonest to label me a homophobe, at worst it's "hate speech" against me.