While confessing that I can't seem to be any more enthused about making New Year's resolutions than I am about staying awake to ring out the old and ring in the new, I think I will make a resolution for 2016, which I will do my very best to keep. My resolution would be to avoid labeling people. I don't know as I am all that great of an offender personally, but the labels I have been given of late are really beyond me. It's not that I would class them a micro-aggression or anything, but I can't make heads nor tails of them. No less important an inspiration for my resolve would be the pointlessness of the labeling which I see going on, especially in Church circles.
According to two Swiss journalists, I guess I am supposed to be a conservative and no doubt Catholic at least as far as Americans go. In one case, the label applied to me in an interview done for Christmas reads Konservativer Kommunikator, and in the other Konservativer Botschafter des Papstes. Be that as it may, a dear and eminent friend in the Curia tells me I'm a "radical". What to do? Maybe I am both, but in any case, there's something a little untoward about this name calling, which doesn't really seem to clarify anything. Here we go then! Do unto others: I resolve not to tag folks with labels. We will see how it goes in 2016.
At any rate, the "radical" thing is a title I consider a compliment, an honor. As far as "conservative" goes, beyond the basic black, I guess the tag is not far from the mark. At any rate, I identify with that compliment easier than I do with the fruits of those rather lengthy photo sessions with two pro photographers. Sorry guys, but out of the tens of photos (hundreds?) you took, I wish I could have picked.
Christmas levity aside, the other type of labeling does have me at a loss. What I mean are the categories: "traditionalist", "conservative", "neo-con", "neo-Catholic", "liberal". There is not a one of these five (and to be sure the list is not exhaustive) which impresses me as having a clear or unequivocal definition à la Merriam-Webster. Apart from the "liberal" business, which isn't Catholic, all the others seem to gain their particular weight or importance from tone and context, none offering any definable measure of salvation, however.
Be it resolved! No labels! Needless to say, I would be profoundly grateful to many of my favorite authors in Church circles, not to mention Facebook friends, if you would join me in my pledge. Substantive, reasoned discourse must be possible without tags... Or is this why His Eminence chides me for being radical?
Blessings for Christmas and a prosperous New Year of growth along with the God Man born for us at Bethlehem, growth in wisdom, grace and favor!