Offhand, and this ain't a rant, because I'm not presently incensed; it's just one of several things that have been bouncing round in my head. And really, this stuff hasn't been said *recently* -- I'm just seeing the atmosphere heat up again to a place where I can forsee the phrases popping up.
"Respect the office of the President even [if] you can't respect the man."
I do respect the intended values and powers of the office of the President. Holders of that office who betray the trust and honor that my people have placed in it, deserve even less respect than if they were a man on the street with the same bigoted views and slimey politics. If I say "The President is an asswipe," I'm talking about President Bush, not the office of the President of the United States. Trust me, I'm doing him an honor by referring to him as President, and he's doing the office the dishonor by being an asswipe.
"Talking bad about [political party or religious pressure group] as a group is hate speech; how would you like it if I replaced "Christian Coalition" with "gays" in whatever angry thing you just said?"
I wouldn't, because it's not the same. No, it's not. One's bigotry, and one is angry speech directed at a group's stated or apparent goals and ideals, and/or the behavior of individual members who openly represent their groups. The Christian Coalition is a political group; gays are individuals who for the most part only openly represent themselves. You weren't born a member of the CC and you didn't suddenly become one because you fell in love with Pat Robertson and couldn't hide who you truly are inside.
You can choose not to be part of a group that has offensive policies and ideals. You can clarify that you share some ideals with them but not all, and still consider yourself part of that group, so I should please be more specific in my language. If I get pissy when ranting about such groups, it's possible I'm overgeneralising, so feel free to correct me on their values and yours.
But at the end of the day, one thing is about individual traits (being black, gay, female, Allah-worshipping) and the other is about things a self-identified group, usually political, puts out there for the world to comment on. Please don't try to convince me that it's the equivalent of bigotry against people, vs. disgust at ideas, because it's not.