I frequently encourage people to define themselves – to state who they are with some sort of adjective that describes their position on any given subject; atheist, theist, Christian, Muslim, Humanist, pro-life, pro-choice, straight, gay, liberal, conservative, ad nauseum. We call these adjectives labels.

For reasons that I’m not fully sure I understand many people seem very resistant to being labeled. Perhaps the aversion to labels comes from holding negative associations with others that share a certain label with the objector (which is understandable sometimes) , or perhaps it’s the desire to be free to change one’s position without being accused of flippancy. I remember doing all that I could to remove myself from the label of Christian during the death throes of my time as a believer, and so I told people not to even call me a Christian anymore as it was just too embarrassing a term. I couldn’t handle being associated with the homophobic, racist, ignoramus that were most easily visible and most widely associated with the word – and so I asked to have the label removed, the fact remained that I still believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ – so I was still a Christian, label or no label.
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