I have become increasingly aware and upset by the labels that we place upon our fellow humans. We do it everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. We do it in our churches. We label people by the denomination of the church they attend. People are not Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or any other denomination which you choose to mention. They are members of a particular church with specific views that determine the denomination. Instead of labeling each other with these terms, we should be simply saying that anyone who professes belief in Jesus as their Savior is a Christian — that’s the only label which we need to use.

We do it in our schools, which result in cliques and, even worse, animosity toward others. If we go back to Columbine, we see two young men who were rejected by others because of who they were and the labels imposed upon them. We call a person a “jock,” a “nerd,” a “geek” or any of a number of other labels because of the activities they are involved in. Instead we need only one label — they are all students.

Finally, look at the labels we are using politically. The two words I have come to detest are conservative and liberal. To label people with these terms leads to immediate division. A person can hold conservative views or liberal views or moderate views, but that doesn’t make them any less a citizen of this country. I wonder what would happen in Washington, D.C., if there wasn’t an aisle dividing the two parties. What if they sat beside each other and learned from each other? Would it make a difference? I believe it would, but it starts with each of us.

Terry Fleenor

Abingdon, Virginia

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