Drop the Labels: July 24, 2016

Drop the Label

Where did labels come from? Where did the labels Christian, Muslim, African-American, gay, straight, fat, skinny, rich and poor come from? Were we born with a label? Is it necessary to label people? Labels are often used to identify, differentiate, and separate, often with the intent to disconnect us from the one source. According to Scott Dorsey, “we are all essentially the same but we find comfort and security being associated with a group, especially when we are fearful and vulnerable, and do not feel grounded in our own skin.”

It has always been a mystery to me how a devout gay Catholic could stand by his or her faith, knowing that the Catholic faith teaches strongly against the gay lifestyle. How can someone who calls themselves a devout Christian, lie, cheat, steal, gossip, create drama, abuse their bodies, or have hatred in their heart toward others when it goes against the teachings of the Christian faith? How can the rich look down on someone they have labeled poor? How can an African-American who has been the victim of racism and prejudice, continue to hold onto their own prejudice ideas and thoughts about other groups of people? This gives very little meaning to labels when I think of them in this context. I see them often being used to judge others who associate with a different label.

It is my belief that labels are man made. God has nothing to do with labels. Man came up with the name Christian. Man came up with the name Muslim. Man came up with the names gay and straight. Labels serve mainly to divide us. When we label ourselves a certain thing, we immediately set ourselves apart from others who are not that thing. What would happen if we all starting seeing every human as part of God’s creation? Not a Muslim, not a gay man, not a Catholic, not a transgender, not a black man, not a Buddhist, but a human that is part of the one Divine source. It would change the way we feel about others and create more love and togetherness.

There is so much hate in our world right now. Even here in our country with the current presidential election, there is much hate and name calling using many labels. The name calling and labeling by the presidential candidates alone is disturbing to me. What is more disturbing is seeing the re-posting of all the hate filled comments on Facebook. More than ever, I believe it is a time for us all to practice loving behaviors and stop supporting the hatred. Stop posting the hatred and division on Facebook and other social media.

I make a commitment to pause and ask myself, do my actions support love and inclusion or do they promote hatred and division in anyway? Am I part of the solution or do I contribute to the problem? I commit to see ALL beings as a beautiful part of God. I make a commitment to only allow love to dwell in me. No thoughts of division. I challenge you today to describe yourself without a using a particular group or label. Or describe a friend without using their skin color, sexual preference, or religion. See them only as your friend and not their label or sub-group. What are your thoughts when you see a Muslim? Do you see the label or the person? What are your thoughts when you see someone of a different race? Do you see their race or do you see the person that God created? One by one we can make a difference in our world by simply dropping the labels and being an example of loving kindness toward all.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read my Weekly Sunday Blog.   I look forward to your thoughts and feedback and appreciate you taking the time to reply. See you all next Sunday.

Peace and blessings

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