new labels.

I was just talking to a family who lives in Egypt and our conversation, honestly, got really messed up when we insisted on using the words “Muslim” and “Christian”.

Muslims think this about Christians. (What kind of Muslims? What kind of Christians?) 

And the Christians (what kind?) act so weird toward the Muslims (which ones?) that... 

I just don’t find any of the conversations about those words fascinating anymore. Or not as fascinating as words like extremists, fundamentalists, agnostics, apathetic, and liberated. Those seem more valuable. 

To get even more simple, and follow Anthony DeMello’s lead, what if we just talked about humanity in terms of those who live in places of fear and those who live in places of love?

Anger, hate, resentment, vengeance, violence, shame, criticism, and the like seem to live in the land of fear. 

Contentedness, grace, breathing, accepting, awareness, trust, generosity, and the like seem to live in the land of love. 

It’s about love and fear. When it’s about that, the entire conversation becomes more interesting, helpful, inspiring, persuasive, and productive, and then we can talk about what kind of Atheists, Christians and Muslims we are and what those words mean to us.

Where do you live? Where does your faith pitch a tent? Where does your religion build a temple? In the land of fear or the land of love? 

That’s a fascinating conversation.