There's an Irish joke that runs as follows:
A journalist, researching for an article on the complex political situation in Northern Ireland, was in a pub in a war-torn area of Belfast. One of his potential informants leaned over his pint of Guinness and suspiciously cross-examined the journalist: "Are you a Catholic or a Protestant?" the Irishman asked.
"Neither," replied the journalist; "I'm an atheist."
The Irishman, not content with this answer, put a further question: "Ah, but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?
This joke resonates with me. I think it's both funny and profound. Funny for obvious reasons, and profound because it succinctly illuminates the importance people attach to labels.Read more