Piece I Wrote for ‘People of the Second Chance’

 

 

People of the Second Chance (POTSC) is a movement created by author and creative, Mike Foster, which works to overthrow judgement and liberate love. POTSC is filled with a bunch of super artsy, cool and rebellious folks.

Their new campaign is Labels Lie: Don’t Use Them, Don’t Accept Them. Their most recent addition is the picture above. They asked me to write an article to accompany their new poster.

Here is my article.

Question: Do you think you can resonate with someone without taking on their labels?

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org 

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • wackywilliams

    Yeah that makes a lot of sense to me! I know everytime I have really cared for a person or group its because I have at least in part accsepted there lables as my own weather it is alcaholic, drug addict GLBT, Aspergers, Christion, heathon Buddest, strange, stupid, ext I related because I saw myself as one too. Thanks Andrew, awesome artical & see you soon

  • Seth

    What a great story, Andrew! Your presence in Lakeview makes you a more authentic ambassador for the Gospel–someone who is at home in a place that might be foreign territory to many of the rest of us. Of course, being authentic is your stock-in-trade. WYSIWYG with Andrew Marin!

    I don’t think all labels are bad–technically, a word is intrinsically a label. But labels come with assumptions as well as definitions and many of those assumptions are wrong, which is where the trouble starts. For example, I will always wonder why some folks, when they see me walk with a cane, also raise their voice when speaking to me. Perhaps they think my hearing or cognition are also impaired.

    Stereotypes are not far behind, it seems, and that’s where we end up having to correct the record and disbusing people of their bogus assumptions. And you know better than I that some of those assumptions go down very hard, and some are never really corrected. It would be entirely better if we avoided those labels in the first place (and resisted the urge to use them ourselves).

    All that said, your willingness to share a derogatory label is part of turning the other cheek, giving your cloak with your coat, and walking the second mile, as Jesus demonstrated (Matthew 5:39-41). It’s also the essence of the incarnation, where Jesus gave up his equality with God to become man, and to die for those he loved so much (Philippians 2:5-8). How would we have understood God’s love in any other way?

    Bless you!

  • Jack Harris

    I agree with Seth. I don’t think labels are necessarily a bad thing. I know I have said this here before but I think labels if they are connected to something positive can be a good thing. Having said this, I find that I wear many labels : in addition to gay bear I am also christian, partnered, southern, educated..the list goes on.

    I am wondering if “people of the second chance” could clarify what they mean by “labels” and I am sure they probably already have although its not very evident in their website. In my view of things what is dangerous are those labels that assume negative stereotypes–my guess is that is probably what they mean.

    Once again labels are not necessarily bad if put in the proper context and help one live out their life story. And while I am at it, this is probably the third or fourth occasion in the last year where I have seen a message being sent out that says “we love you in a very radical accepting way and by the way have you thought about taking on the christian identity/label more?”

    It seems that the new message is saying “well you are gay or as sometimes described as “same sex attracted” is often thrown out there but we really want you to focus on being christian and less of the gay thing. In fact why are not just throw the label “gay” out the door altogether–because labels and identities don’t really matter to Jesus.”

    It’s like the whole uproar about Tim Tebow. There are so many folks who on the left (my side of the house i guess) who are angry that he kneels and prays during football games. Honestly–in my opinion-who cares?!?! Some people have ALREADY decided that since he is a conservative christian that he hates gays–thats a big jump to make in my way of thinking. There is probably a VERY REAL possibility that I would disagree with his politics and religious beliefs–but probably not entirely.

    Until he says something anti-gay or joins a campaign to stop gay marriage I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    What is really shocking and honestly quite scary is the rumors that have surfaced that he is gay. How in the world can anyone in the GLBT community assume that he is gay–I believe those folks who are putting that story out there are actually using “sexual orientation” and nailing THAT label on his chest–not because they want him to be gay but because they KNOW it will harm him–and thats ultimately their goal. Basically, gay people using their own identity to harm someone else–I dont get it.

    So what does this all mean… “people of the second chance”–I like the label gay as well as many other labels –so labels can be a good thing. Tim Tebow loves the labels christian and football player–and that brings him happiness.

    1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.


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