It was Soren Kierkegaard who said, “Once you label me you negate me.”
After my previous post I find this to be true. I was negated, and no matter what I said, would have said, or what my friends expressed, I was rendered ineffective and untrue because my way of thinking did not line-up with the person making comments. This is how he described me:
“…it is clear to me that you are a Leftist at best and most likely a radical Leftist who has disguised himself as a Christian for the purpose of advancing his ‘Progressive’ political agenda.”
Wow! “…disguised himself as a Christian…” There is more he wrote, but that really struck a chord. See, my previous blog post is one explaining why I was very disheartened with the way American Christianity and Politics have become interwoven in many ways. After that, the person I don’t know took the liberty to exercise his freedom of speech by attacking my character and labeling me. (I’ve unapproved all comments to that post at the moment. They cannot be seen.)
Those who know me understand that I have no problem with an opposing view. It brings a different perspective to the table and could enlighten us to see things from a different angle. However, if I’m called out by someone I don’t know and my character is attacked, it reaches a different level of discussion. The name calling and labeling doesn’t help either.
Let give you a tidbit of background on myself: I served our country in the Air Force for 22 years by defending the interests of this nation. That included defending the right for everyone to speak their minds through free speech. While I don’t agree with all that is considered free speech, I didn’t sign up to defend the right to defamation.
Sadly, this person dominated the comment section contending for conservatism, patriotism and fallacious ideologies. He questioned why I had certain links on my blog, like Sojourners and Patheos, and said I should have conservative links as well. Oh, but he did acknowledge that it was my blog and I can do what I want. The irony in all this is that I have friends who consider themselves to be conservative, and even they would be appalled at this person’s comments. I also have friends who consider themselves liberal, and they too would be appalled. They, in particular, might be offended that I was bunched in with them and called a “leftist” because they are way more left than I am philosophically. Yet in the midst of all those differences we have this in common…we want what’s best for our communities, cities, the country and the world. For many of us it is Jesus whom we have in common. There is no denying that from our life experiences and how He has transformed us. We each approach life and humanity differently, but many of us do our best to follow Jesus the Christ who came to set the world free from the curse of sin, and break the oppression of legalistic and tyrannical leaders. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, which is to offer humanity a way of reconciliation and redemption back to Himself. He did it because he loved to the point of death so we can live out our lives for others, for the sake of Christ and his kingdom.
May the gospel of Jesus ruin us all. May we heed the message of the Lord throughout scripture to care for the poor, needy, hungry, broken, marginalized and abused. May the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12 be true in us that humanity might get a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
“For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James 2:13 (ESV)