Friday, March 30, 2018

Tribalism's Nature

Human beings naturally gravitate to tribalism -- racial, ethnic, and national varieties, of course, but the list is endless. And, we tend to believe that all types tribalism have virtue. But, with us being a species endowed with higher thinking and, conversely one in which every single member is prone to error, almost all tribalism is at odds with the truth.

Naturally. Almost.

The best example of the effects of tribalism is any shooting incident involving Law Enforcement Officers. For those prone to tribal thinking, they’re always good guys when they die; always bad guys when someone else dies. And both opinions depend on other tribal affiliations. The standard examples:
  • The race(s) of the LEO(s)
  • The race(s) of the civilian(s) in the incident
  • The race(s) of the observers and commentators
These earthly tribal groupings tend to stomp objective truth. And, if anyone tries to insert truth into any discussion of this type, the shame-mongers and truth-stompers come out in force. The flag must be defended at all costs!

My friend, Steve Graham, once said that, for Christians, Christ is our race, creed and color. Not only is this confirmed in Galatians 3:28, but in the very essence of God's being, illustrated by one of His names – Jehovah Nissi; God is my Banner. It is the only type of tribalism that is based on unshakable truth. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” And anyone can become a member of this tribe.

When other types of tribalism are the foundation, the only objective truth is that error will be present.

And, the paradox is that, sometimes, error will infect an entire tribe and become that tribe's banner -- like a disease that has only one cure.

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