My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.


what a beautiful God there must be.

My thoughts right now are a jumbled mess of things.

I was going to go shopping, but then I started doing some reading about sweatshops and production, and figured I didn't need to spend that money today. And then I started watching interviews and reading about evangelical responses to abortion, and that got me going thinking about orphans and adoptions. And then I read a very well written blog about fundamentalism and women in the home, and that got me going off in another related direction. And then I read some in a new book recommended to me by a friend - The Purity Myth, and tried to sort out where I sit between extreme feminism, and the conservative church's stance on modesty.

Sorting out where I stand is a hard thing. I am 24 years and 5 months old, and I'm still trying on identities, figuring out what labels to use for myself. I am pretty comfortable with my "liberal" label, often comfortable with the "Christian" label - except when it connotes in the minds of others a foaming at the mouth rabid fundamentalist. I'm pretty okay with the academic label, perfectly happy to be called a nerd (those are two separate things), and I'm proud when convenient of my "Midwestern" label, though most of the time not proud of the "American" label. Labeling oneself is part of what gives us identity because it associates us with a community, claims other parts of a community as part of our identity, and tells people a general idea of how we think and feel. The problem with labels comes when people only pay attention to the label and don't look below the surface, a mistake I myself have made more than once.

There are the even more controversial labels: "feminist," for one. "Activist" for another. "Liberal Democrat" third, even though this last is not one I would even pin on myself, but instead have been called by others.

These are the labels that have preconceived notions others use to vilify. "Feminism" was created so that "unattractive women [could have] easier access to mainstream society," Rush Limbaugh is so famous for saying. "Social Justice Activists" are a danger to America and society in general, Gloom and Doom commentator Glenn Beck is fond of repeating. "Liberal Democrats" are also at fault.

And then there are the labels I pin on others, and use to vilify them: "conservative," "fundamentalist," "anti-women," etc.

In going through life, I'll try on a lot of different labels. Today has been one step in that process as I try to think through what communities I want to identify with, which communities I think Jesus would identify with. And while I don't have a conclusion yet, I do know this: He wouldn't let labels define him. Even at his worst moment, hanging on the Cross, people were trying to pin labels on him, and none of them fit: "King of the Jews," "Criminal," "weak." And what I do know is that, despite whatever labels people identify with for themselves, Jesus accepts them as they are. The tax collectors, the Samaritans, the poor and the oppressed. Those are the types of labeled people Jesus hung out with. And I hope I can learn to ignore those labels as he did.

So I guess the most fitting label for me right now would be "work in progress."


  1. A beautiful post. Wrestling with labels is a tricky business, usually better not to get caught up in, and to discuss actual ideas whenever possible. I like to think of labels as mere tools: use them when it's the easiest way to express who you are; reject them when they are not useful.

  2. Great post - thanks for sharing it.

    For my own blog I write a fair bit on the Christian faith, so I thought to would be good to clarify my own theology.

    Turned out to be a little tougher to nail down than I'd anticipated: the end results was titled "A work-in-progress personal philosophy"...


The owner of this blog tolerates no form of hate speech, including racial slurs, citing stereotypes as fact, or anything else deemed intolerant or hateful by the blog author. While you may have a right to say it, it does nothing to advance productive discussion, and therefore any comment containing such speech will be deleted accordingly.