Friday, September 08, 2006

Can the use of labels dehumanize?

Never mind the fact that the labels "liberal" and "conservative" are usually very vague, and that both liberals and conservatives are generally adherents to philosophical/classical liberalism in their worldview.

Does the use of such labels lead to an "us versus them" mentality? One would seem to think so, listening to talk radio. Of course, if there were true community, the danger of "polarization" would be less, since one would have to live with one's neighbors and depend on them, so that disagreements about first principles would be tempered by civility and civic friendship.

As Christians, we have to shrug off such worldly thinking; being called to live our lives in charity and service of neighbor, while we must be aware of others' (as well as our own) moral qualities and moral positions, such differences should not be an excuse for not acting with charity towards them. To them we are especially called to show charity and to be concerned with their good, striving to bring them to God when possible.

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