“Extreme” Labeling: A Rare Rant…

I am so tired of labels….

For the past month or so, the mainstream media and other “internet personalities” have exhausted all their energies in slapping various labels on people, depending on the controversy. First came the election. That means, if you were one of the “nut jobs” that voted for the president-elect, you were labeled any number of things, but not limited to misogynistic, homophobic, racist, white-supremacist, and of course, a jerk! On top of that, if you even hinted at the idea that you made what you considered either an informed or intelligent, well thought-out decision, then you were labeled someone who had to ignore a laundry list of atrocities in order to cast your vote. That’s more than 62 million people you are belittling and berating as ignorant.

Can we just stop right now? Please?

It won’t stop though. It won’t stop because that is the current tool used by those that feel disenfranchised. The ones that lost the election. I have little doubt, if the roles were reversed, the same would happen. It might happen quietly, and with less rioting, but it would happen. I’m not in a box. I made my decision without being a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, white-supremacist jerk. But, that’s not what this is about. It’s about “Extreme Labeling”! Hey, let’s really call it out for what it is, its name-calling! You know, it’s the same thing some of those bullies out there in the world do. I guess we’re all more like the president-elect than we care to admit. If there is any way to make someone feel small and marginalized, well, we can hit it out of the park with our words every time! Wherever that “moral high ground” exists? No one lives there anymore. The houses are boarded up, and the streets are desolate. All the signs say “KEEP AWAY”and have skull and crossbones painted on them.

And just so you know this isn’t about politics, I haven’t forgotten you my fellow Christians. For the sake of any cause some of you deem righteous, you toss labels around like people toss cookies after a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl. You justify your own self-worth by tossing any one that strongly disagrees with you into the same camp you’re opposing. It really doesn’t matter if it’s for the right reason. This is not about the cause, but the effect(on others), and it flat-out sucks. I’ve lost budding friendships because they’ve decided, I’m an “enabler”. No private conversation. No past consideration for the number of different issues we’ve conversed about. “That guy, right there, SUCKS, because he’s doing something that I don’t like, so I’m going to call him out publicly on it.” Root around my brain and you’d find something very different. Maybe I had reason to think the thoughts I did. I have a past just like everyone else. At times, it was pretty crappy too. It’s amazing how anyone can resort to this bully tactics in a heartbeat. it’s more amazing when Christians do it for the sake of righteousness.

I know what’s coming now. It’s already fomenting in your heads. “Who the hell is this guy? What a self-righteous piece of –!” “He’s doing the same thing he’s whining on about others doing!” Yup… I am. I am, because I’ve done all of it, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’ll probably do it again. I think I’ve gotten better, but I still miss the mark. I have whined and complained about past elections, and put people in the same boxes as people are now putting me in. I have accused Christians of falling into one camp or the other, and frankly it didn’t matter whether it was true. In both cases, my attitude was the problem. I was close-minded in my delivery, and downright mean. Even if I held the high ground, I wouldn’t stoop low enough to help anyone up, or even simply come down a bit to speak to people eye to eye. Yeah, I still do it. I think (the operative word is “think”) I do a better job of catching myself now. At least, I want to.

Anyway, that’s my rant and It’s how I feel. I’m tired of cable news, reporters and others trying to explain away a vote by placing people in camps. I’m tired of Christians saying if you’re against us, then you probably look like the thing we’re against. I tell you what, I’m gonna keep trying to grow the hell up and get over myself. Maybe you can join me. Somewhere in the middle of it all is the grace to do it and the grace to forgive when I don’t.

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