Thursday, November 10, 2005

The value of a label

I was listening to Governor Warner on the C-Span weekly Q & A and he was asked, "Now all three of [Warner's political influences] are – I don‘t want to overdue this, but they‘re all three liberal, at a very least, Democrats from Connecticut. You are known as a centrist in Virginia. Your father was a Republican, you mother an independent. Where did you – when did you become a Democrat?"

After some cursory comments about the value of family, Warner immediately took the question and made a strong move to the middle/centrist position by saying, "It‘s one of the challenges I think the Democratic Party has right now to move and shift this debate from the traditional framing, liberal versus conservative, left versus right, to a framing that‘s more future versus past."

This minor part of the discussion got me thinking about some posting that we've been doing at Page 132. gurufrisbee asked about the term liberal and I felt the need to define the term right-wing extremist. So if we are expending all this hot air, I think it does beg the question...

What is the value of labels? Can one use a label in a positive manner or only as a way to divide "us" from "them"? If so, when Christians label someone are they sinning?