Labeling can stop a conversation.
Like the old children’s game, Pin the Tail On the Donkey, once the donkey is properly pinned, the game is won. If the enemy can be properly labeled or mislabeled, the verdict for destruction is in place.
This is not new. They called Jesus a friend of sinners, a glutton, and a drunkard. They called him a blasphemer. They suggested that he was somehow a threat to Rome and that anyone who looked the other way would be “no friend of Caesar’s.” Few of these “labelers” ever had a sit-down face-to-face with Jesus. They just knew he was dangerous. They were right. If his understanding of the world were to prevail, it would turn the world as they knew it upside down.