We have a big problem in America today called “labeling.” It has caused an increase in hatred among us and has divided our nation, our state, and even our families. It has gridlocked our government to the point that many politicians spend their time fighting each other rather than working cooperatively for the good of all people.
When we label people with such names as left-wingers or right-wingers, city slickers or rednecks, baby killer or pro-lifer N—- or honky, nerds or dummies, socialists, commies, fags, wetbacks, etc., we dehumanize them. Once dehumanized, they can be hated. Once hated, they can be discriminated against, persecuted, attacked, and even killed. If you were to read the Denver newspaper back in the day when Indians were still around, you would find they were referred to as “rats” or “vermin.” To kill an Indian in those days was a way of improving society and advancing civilization. During World War II, the Japanese people were referred to as “Japs” or “Nips.” The Germans were referred to as “Heinies” or “krouts.” It is much easier to kill a Jap or a krout than a human being from Japan or Germany is.
We need to stop labeling each other, and stop listening to labeling, hate-mongers. All of us are human beings created in the image of God, and with far more in common than we have differences. As someone has said, “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it doesn’t behoove any of us to criticize the rest of us.”
Even more importantly, Jesus Christ teaches us the second greatest commandment is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you are labeling, you are not loving.
Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People For the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org