Why Sports Tribalism Is Worse Than Other Tribalism

Why Sports Tribalism Is Worse Than Other Tribalism November 7, 2018

I wrote an article recently about the dangers of Tribalism and how Jesus invites us into a Tribe where the leader isn’t tribal and everyone is welcome into the tribe and loved and accepted even if they never join the tribe.

Most people agreed that tribalism is bad and that Jesus wasn’t tribal, but several people argued that there’s nothing wrong with sports tribalism, and even went as far as to sing the merits of sports as a way to build character, and equip children for success.

I totally disagree.

In fact, I see sports tribalism as the worst possible form of tribalism, for a number of reasons.

First, because it is the gateway drug to all other forms of tribalism. It does teach young children and equip them for integration into society, but this integration is tribal, and therefore what it teaches is tribalism, and what it equips young people to do is to think, act, and behave tribalistically.

Secondly, because sports tribalism appears innocuous, on the outside, but on the inside it is just as blind and irrational as any other tribalism.

As an example, I was riding the train to work one day last year and overheard a conversation between two other riders. One guy was from ST. Louis. The other guy from California was wearing a Rams jersey. He started going on about how great it was that the Rams were back in LA now. The St. Louis guy shared how he now hates the team but used to love them, (back when they were in St. Louis). The LA guy hated them for leaving but now can’t buy enough jerseys and hats for his entire family.

This sort of arbitrary tribalism is so stupid and petty. We “love” a team because now they are “Our Team”, even though a year from now they could become another team somewhere else.

What is it about “our team” we love? The coach? The players? The logo? The mascot?

What we love is simply this: We find part of our identity in that brand and we attach emotionally and we defend the “honor” of that brand even though it has nothing to do with “us” in reality.

I once posed a question to a friend of mine who is fiercely loyal to his college football team and passionately hates their rival team. “What if, by some fluke, the locker rooms for both teams were switched and at the last minute those players had to don the jersey’s for the opposing team and take the field for kick-off? Who would you cheer for: The players from your school who are now wearing the jersey’s of their rivals, or the rivals who are now wearing the proud jersey for your team?”

[Insert sound of gears grinding here]

Tribalism is inherently human, and we often fall into it unconsciously. For example, I recently watched a video clip from a NOVA [PBS] Special about tribalism which shared research from an MRI brain study and revealed this:

“In one fMRI study, researchers divided subjects randomly into two teams and asked them about each other. Even though before the experiment they were all strangers, subjects were more positive about their teammates than rivals, and had distinct patterns of brain activity depending on whether they were asked about a teammate, or a foe; including in the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula. These regions respond to both rewards and threats in the environment, helping us differentiate between friend versus foe, telling us who to approach [our team] and who to avoid [the other team]. The same brain patterns appeared when subjects thought about political group identities of others.”

“Acting as a member of a group leads you to adopt different priorities and motivations. So can we ever overcome group identity to change someone’s mind?” [yes, via reason, rather than emotion or fear].

“Whenever participants were asked about opposing political opinions, many of them had increased activity in the amygdala – the part of their brain that processes emotion and fear. These individuals were less likely to change their minds.”

So, when you listen to the news, or watch political shows, or listen to political radio today, do you pick up on the narrative of fear and emotion?

Why is that? So that you will be more easily manipulated to think as they want you to think, and to activate your primal tribalism to demonize everyone who is not like you.

People do it with politics, and with sports teams…[that’s partially where we learn this behavior at an early age, in school for example]….and they do it with their State, and their Nation, and yes, even their faith.

Tribalism, like Nationalism, is “the measles of the mind”, as Albert Einstein once said.

But there is another way. Jesus proclaimed that “God so loved the World”…not just the Jews. Peter had to learn that God wanted to embrace the Gentiles, and that was a huge paradigm shift for him, and for other Jewish Christians at the time.

Paul had to remind the Christians in Galatia that “we are all one in Christ Jesus” and that in the Body of Christ we no longer recognize class [rich/poor], sexism [male/female], nationalism [jew/gentile], or any of those other man-made divisions.

The Gospel is for everyone. God loves everyone. No one is outside of our circle. No one is “them.” We are all “us.

All tribalism is childish, foolish, divisive and anti-Christ.

Jesus does not command you to love your nation. He commands you to love your neighbor, the poor, the outcast, and yes, even your enemy.

And, may I suggest, even those who cheer for another sports team.

Love is what unites us. Whenever we divide ourselves, this is not love. It is tribal, and it is anti-Christ.

**

Keith Giles is a former pastor who left the pulpit 11 years ago to start a church that gives away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. 

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho.

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

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  • Just-a-me

    “Most people agreed that tribalism is bad and that Jesus wasn’t tribal”
    Except that the prophecy was that He would come from the tribe of Judah.
    Except that his mission was particularly to “the lost sheep of Israel”.

    Now, if you mean Jesus wasn’t “[some bad form of] tribal” then that’s one thing. But that needs to be defined and thus we need not throw out tribalism altogether as being bad. I.e., we need not say “tribalism is bad”.

  • plungingforward

    Sports tribalism isn’t great, and for the most part your points are well made, but to say Sports are “worse” than other forms of tribalism is absurd when far more destructive and even lethal strains exist.

  • Herm

    Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

    A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

    Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

    He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

    The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

    He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

    “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

    Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

    Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV2011)

    I think it might help you if you read that, again. This time consider that there was no punctuation when this scripture was written. What if Jesus’ response was meant to be understood as contemptuous, as ““I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”?”?

    The Canaanite woman disagreed with Jesus’, the Christ’s, statement to her and received the reward of her daughter being healed.

    If understood in this context, it was the Messiah’s imperfect disciples’ tribalism that was admonished from their calloused response to their neighbor asking for mercy.

    It was by the authority from the tribe of Judah that Christ, the Son of Man/Son of God, was crucified in the name of God.

    What of tribalism is not bad?

  • Just-a-me

    “I think it might help you if you read that, again.”
    You can’t help someone not in your tribe if you’re a tribalist?

  • Just-a-me

    “What of tribalism is not bad?”
    What’s bad about the nuclear family? That’s the most basic of tribes.

  • Herm

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

  • Just-a-me

    How does this apply to the nuclear family?

  • Herm

    I can help my species, the largest unit of life on earth that I can empathize with, graced (without merit) the image of God which is spirit not flesh, most by following the in the path led by the Son of Man. I do, in fact, carry my cross for all of Man because God so loves the world.

  • Just-a-me

    But that’s tribalism.

  • Herm

    nuclear family – noun – a couple and their dependent children, regarded as a basic social unit.

  • Just-a-me

    Ok? So every son must hate his father?

  • Herm

    tribalism – noun – the state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes – DEROGATORY – the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.

    Being of a species is not tribalism, but segregating (fragmenting) into loyalty (love) of one’s own social group as being greater than to the whole of the species is. Being of God is not tribalism, but separating into unique sects studying God is.

  • Herm

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

  • Just-a-me

    So, how do you love your neighbor if you hate your “father”?

  • Just-a-me

    “Being of a species is not tribalism”
    Yes it is; you’re attempting to constrain the term “tribalism” to apply only to the human species. But if you agree that nuclear family is a tribe, then you have to agree that other species which have families (like gorillas or penguins) are also practicing tribalism.

    We don’t call it derogatory when we speak of Native American tribes. We don’t call it derogatory to be a part of a bowling league. But these are active participation in tribalism.

  • Herm

    “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Matthew 19:18-19 (NIV2011)

    … and do you fundamentally believe that mankind was created in six days, and then God rested on the seventh?

    Jesus speaks to mankind’s allegiance to traditional tribalism, in Matthew 14:26, over that of Man and God as each a whole, one of flesh, born of water, and one of spirit with no beginning and no end. My love of Jesus and my heavenly Father does not take precedent for my all love of the LORD my God, which is the whole of God including Jesus, my heavenly Father, the Spirit of truth, the mother and all other children of God born of the Spirit.

  • Just-a-me

    How is hatred also honor?

    “… and do you fundamentally believe that mankind was created in six days, and then God rested on the seventh?”
    Depends on what you mean “fundamentally”.

  • Herm

    It is, to a child of God, derogatory to separate “Native American tribes” from the whole of Man. There is nothing tribal relative to being a part of a bowling league.

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV2011)

    It is a matter of utmost loyalty (empathetic love), not talent and/or specialty, that determines tribalism.

  • Just-a-me

    “There is nothing tribal relative to being a part of a bowling league.”
    Sure there is; bowling league teammates aren’t expected to play with the competitor team during the state finals.

  • Just-a-me

    “It is a matter of utmost loyalty (empathetic love), not talent and/or specialty, that determines tribalism.”
    Fine. So, how does this apply to the nuclear family? Why is a nuclear family a bad thing?

  • Herm

    It is the traditionalism of nuclear family loyalty (empathetic love) over the whole of mankind and God that is in question, not honoring the love of parents.

    Do you believe that mankind was created in six revolutions of its earth around its sun, and God then rested on the seventh?

  • Herm

    … take some time and think about it without spouting off in defense of your concept of tribalism, please.

  • Herm

    You truly don’t understand tribal!

  • Just-a-me

    I’m trying to, but you’ve told me two things now:
    1) Nuclear family is bad, because a man must hate his father.
    2) Nuclear family is bad, if a man loves father and mother than Jesus.

    Do you think it’s impossible to have a nuclear family if the members of that family love Jesus more than mother and father, son and daughter, brother and sister?

  • Just-a-me

    So do you think a father of three, who would allow his children to sleep in his house, must also let a child molester sleep in his house if he had loyalty to Jesus more than son or daughter?

    “Do you believe that mankind was created in six revolutions of its earth around its sun, and God then rested on the seventh?”
    No. Six revolutions of the earth around the sun are six years; the bible doesn’t say that.

  • Herm

    Can you understand that an animal species’ survival is wholly dependent upon the instincts of its members to protect, propagate and populate their progeny? All members of mankind will die while mankind, as a species, does not have to.

    When you spoke as of child, having insufficient judgment to constructively protect, propagate and populate your species of mankind, you were dependent upon your nuclear family to nurture and protect you until the age of sufficient judgment. If you grow to speak as a responsible adult of Man, mature in judgment, you are responsible to be constructive and productive, good, toward your species’ ultimate survival, before that of you and yours. If you and yours are evil, destructive to the health, welfare and longest term possible for the survival of mankind then the natural penalty is death, losing all graced privileges to be aware and influential to all others. This entire paragraph is the true for all species of a physical life forms on earth.

    Mankind is the only physical life form we are able to communicate with on earth at this time endowed by grace an awareness of and an influence in spirit, specifically known today as the image of God which, according to your Bible, is spirit like God is spirit. To invest that image to influence your graced opportunity to become of God, you must approach in the humble spirit of an ignorantly immature child, acknowledging insufficient judgment to survive a life purely in spirit, sans all flesh, without the family of God’s nurture and protection.

    No matter how you might resist, you are dying to all influence through awareness in the flesh. Awareness and influence, life, in spirit has no restrictions relative to beginning and end as does all that is carnal. To become one with and in God before your life in flesh ceases hold the only possibility for your awareness and influence to continue in savor and adventure with others without end. No other species on earth appears to be aware of spirit or have any concern with maturing an influence in spirit.

    I did not tell you a nuclear family is bad, “a man must hate his father”. Read what Jesus said, noting that he did not say any such thing, especially “a man” for he said “anyone“. A nuclear family that promotes constructively and productively the whole of mankind as more important than themselves is good for their species. You know, as in everything do to others as you would have others do to you, of your species mankind throughout the world God so loves.

    I can easily love my neighbor of mankind as myself, even love my enemy of mankind, while I grow today as a child of God born of the Spirit. I do find it easier to love God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, all my mind who loves me first more, than I do those of mankind who compete to survive them and theirs at the cost of me and mine, that they would not even consider allowing me and mine to do to them.

    Now, the word bad might be replaced with the word evil, as in the fight between good and evil. A nuclear family is evil (destructive) if they are not good (constructive) for the whole of mankind, their species that they are capable of empathizing with as themselves.

  • Herm

    You got me, I guess my mind is not fully on this earth. Do you believe that mankind was created in six revolutions of the earth, and God rested on the seventh, sundown to sundown?

    Any loyalty from a parent of flesh to her/his son and/or daughter would necessitate a attempt to protect, provide, and nurture their children, that children cannot do for themselves, for the good of Man and God. Why would you compete the love of God against the welfare of children? Do you truly believe God does not love your children?

  • Just-a-me

    I don’t know when the earth started spinning in the creation story.
    I’m wanting to know, in your opinion, if a child molester needs a place to raise his head, must a father of three open his home to him if he is to live Jesus more than his children?

  • Herm

    Which do you think would be the greater good in the heart and mind of God and of Man? Why do you believe that there would be any question in my heavenly Father’s heart and mind of spirit, that molds his will?

    I fully answered your question, earlier.

    Even though I do not love the nuclear family I am responsible to, because I chose to give them life (responsibility to awareness and influence) that they did not choose for themselves, as much as I love my family of God, as their little helpless child, I love my progeny more than any who would choose to hurt them.

  • Just-a-me

    Referring to your last statement, that’s tribalism. So why is that bad?

  • Just-a-me

    Let me pose a better question:
    Suppose it’s an apocalyptic world facing extinction due to climate change. Suppose he needs a place to stay, because anyone left outside will die overnight, and asks you (a father of three) if he may stay as he works (and will succeed) on solving the humanity’s crisis.
    Does your answer remain that you would be able to say, “No.” For the good of mankind?

  • Herm

    I am sorry, you are struggling to create a hypothetical scenario to justify something you are not making clear? God has done a great job of protecting me and mine from potential disasters well beyond my capacity. I am of God first because they are clearly more capable than I to protect all that I hold dear.

  • Herm

    That is not tribalism. What is your definition of tribal and.or tribalism?

    I love my enemies, also, enough to even carry a cross for them. Do I invite them in to crucify me and mine? Do you?

  • Just-a-me

    It would still be valid if your view is consistent.
    So, what would you do?

  • Just-a-me

    Tribalism is preference (loyalty) for one’s own group. You choose your family over the child molester.

  • Just-a-me

    You know there are only two answers.
    1) the good of mankind rests on you risking your child getting molested.
    2) the good for your child (not getting molested) depends on subjecting humanity to extinction since this man, in such a scenario, is the only one who can save it.

    Admittedly this is a farfetched scenario, (its the men on the railroad dilemma). But if your view is to be consistent, it must be able to give an answer to the scenario. Thats why that philosopher’s train dilemma exists.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey
  • Herm

    tribalism – noun – the state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes – DEROGATORY – the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.

    There is nothing in that definition of tribalism, including the derogatory portion, that speaks to preference. That is a word you inserted. My preference is that mankind survives because I, and my family, of flesh will certainly die to this earth. My strongest loyalty is to my family of God, as their helpless child of spirit, and my preference would be that my family of flesh’s loyalty is to the same spirit of love and truth, more than to me.

    There is nothing good when one tribe’s preference is to survive beyond the whole of their species. I am so sorry that you are so obsessed with child molesters as the only threat to children and those who love those children.

  • Herm

    You really don’t understand real life, in the flesh or in the spirit. You tell me I know when I cannot until I am presented with the situation. Before retirement I was a professional troubleshooter. In 44 years of solving daily problems I never once had an identical problem, nor solution. Preconceptions mislead from the shortest path to a solution, always.

    My “view” is in a constant state of growth, and has the promise to be for the remainder of eternity. I am consistent in everything I do to others as I would have others do to me. Beyond that, I have no control, never had, and neither do you, over what rewarding life experience or life threat will be before me five minutes from now. To my limited brain and emotions there is seemingly an infinite number of possibilities I might be challenged with before I die. The possible scenarios of relationship is even greater if considered over an eternity in spirit.

    I am more concerned with what is today, than what will be tomorrow. Jesus has promised me that he will not instruct me beyond what I can bear.

    There is only one answer most constructive to each problem I am given to solve. I have a guide who leads me to solving each as I can bear.

    Play your what if games if you wish. I have all the real life problems already on my plate to keep me busy without your fantasies, thank you.

  • Just-a-me

    That means youll avoid the question because you’re a pervert. The simple fact that you can’t choose which one shows that your view of love is perverted.

    Here’s another question:
    Trolley on a rail could hit either a young Bill Gates (who’s arguably the greatest philanthropist of all time) or your daughter. It will hit one or the other and you can choose. Which one would you turn it toward?

  • Just-a-me

    You already tacitly agreed the family is a trive when I asked what’s bad about the nuclear family.
    Loyalty is preference and preference is tribalism.

  • Herm

    Reality is a problem for you, right? In the last four years of my retirement, I have been trained and have actively served as an officer with FEMA, State and County Emergency Management. I am CERT trained, active shooter trained and a licensed general amateur radio operator. All my adult life I have had continual training as a first responder. I have had to apply triage. Who I chose, to hopefully live another day, was never decided by who they were but on their determined condition of black, green, yellow, and red, in today’s illustrative vernacular. We save the most of our species that we can, regardless of personally considered value to the community. In real life application I have never made life and death choices based on family, gender, ethnicity, religion and/or politics, only on the whole of humanity in the moment.

    Neither of your hypothetical questions, as posed, can be answered as yes or no, a or b, pass or fail. The most difficult life and death decision I have had to make, in each different situation, was to make a decision now to save the most of mankind then, not a hundred years from then.

    Constructive love is empathy, compassion, care, caring, regard, solicitude, concern, friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, sympathy, kindliness, altruism, unselfishness, philanthropy, benevolence, fellow feeling, humanity, forgiveness, tolerance and … for another as you have for yourself. Grief is the valuation of love lost. Which fellows of mankind I must choose to live is founded purely on perceived chances of survival for the most today, knowing I will grieve tomorrow.

    I am number one when trying to save as many as I can. I am not as important as choosing to save the most I can.

  • Herm

    No, tribalism is fragmentation supporting a segment over that of the whole. Constructive loyalty to any one member of a body is choosing to do what is best for the entire body. I am loyal to my foot, to keep it as healthy as I can for my whole body. If gangrene sets in, through no fault of my foot, I must cut it off or the body will die.

    “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Matthew 10:34-39 (NIV2011)

    When I was a father of minor children, I, and my wife, were secondarily responsible to to their survival, they were always primarily responsible to their survival. It needs to be understood that both my wife and I were willing to sacrifice our own lives that our children might live. As much as I was (and remain) bonded to each of my children I was, also, prepared to stop any of them from destroying others. I was, as an adult parent, responsible to them, their actions, and the consequences of their actions, until they grew to become adults. I proved to be loyal to my family while simultaneously being ultimately loyal to my species, mankind. It needs to be understood that I am willing to sacrifice my own life that mankind might live. Mankind is not my tribe but is the whole body of my flesh’s support structure on earth.

  • Just-a-me

    How is Matthew 10:34-39 not tribalism by your definition? How is he not “supporting a segment over that of the whole”?

  • Herm

    He is supporting healthy unity of the whole of mankind over that of any one traditionally unified family, or tribe, structure.

  • Just-a-me

    Do some people go to hell?

  • Herm

    no

  • Just-a-me

    Are you a universalist?

  • Herm

    no

  • Just-a-me

    Then where do those not wanting to be part of Jesus’ tribe go?

  • Herm

    God isn’t a tribe, any more than mankind is a tribe.

  • Just-a-me

    He fragments mankind, Herm. Your definition says God’s people are a tribe.

  • Herm

    You make rash statements. You do not read to comprehend. You are trying to win a debate rather than learn from a conversation.

    God supports the health and survival mankind as a whole. If members choose to be loyal to their separate tribe at the cost of the health and survival of the whole, mankind, then God surgically cuts out the tribal cancer to save the host, so both don’t die.

    society – noun –
    1.
    the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

    2.
    an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity.

    You have it backwards. A society attempts to form a single mass out of fragments. That is what an aggregate is and that is what a formed club is. That is what a nation is. The physical species mankind and/or the spirit entity God is the whole of a kind. People are human beings of flesh. God does not have people. God is God. Man is Man.

  • Just-a-me

    “then God surgically cuts out the tribal cancer to save the host, so both don’t die.”
    That’s called fragmenting society. That’s tribalism. Some in and some out. Some are loyal to God, some are not.

  • Herm

    That is bullshit! bye

  • Just-a-me

    Lol, and there it is: the true sentiment you have when challenged. You’re inconsistent; there is no inconsistency in Truth, therefore you do not have Truth (or at least not all of it).

    That’s why you know, by your utilitarian paradigm, that you’d have to choose to let a child molester stay in your home if that’s the only guy who can save the planet. But you don’t want to admit it, because it’s monstrous. You’re a Marxist, homie.

    Said every communist government: “Only the bad people are killed off so the good people survive, for the good of humanity.”

  • Herm

    Your assumptions of truth are antithetical to:

    The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:11-12

    Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

    Luke 9:23-25

    All of mankind will eventually die, contrary to each member’s animal instinct to preserve their species forever. The only hope to continue to have any awareness and influence beyond the demise of the physical is found in the spirit, the image of God that no other animal on earth shows any interest of except Man.

    We’re not talking profit and loss paradigms but real life, and death, of which we know all flesh will cease to be aware and influential, a certain total loss. We do not know that such is true relative to life in the spirit of which we have an infant’s equivalent awareness of, enough to pursue as a majority of the species mankind. As an aware and influential member of a species with a population of 7 billion members, which has evolved for over 200,000 years, having no more than 120 years of influence within myself, I can honestly say none of us know all the truth we would individually need to survive alone.

    You are too quick to label founded only on what little you think you know. You know relatively nothing of what we know for sure there is yet to know, if we survive to be aware of and practice all truth.

    As I have tried so hard to explain to you, of which you ignore it in favor of your blind assumptions, the best we can do to judge who survives and who does not, for the good of humanity, is save the most we can. That is not hypothetical, as your imaginary scenario is, but is real life today from which practice mankind has survived until now. I carry my cross for that reason according to the will of my Father.

    You are obsessed with having to face the salvation of a “child molester”. You wouldn’t even recognize most “child molesters” on the street or knocking on your door for shelter. Is it really the unknown that you fear so deeply, not the “child molester”, the mass murderer, the con artist, the adulterer, the coveter, and/or the bearer of false witness? In triage we know not to waste time trying to determine the worthiness of who we treat. We know to protect as many from themselves and threatening others as we can while we treat each the best we can.

    You don’t challenge me beyond the grief I have for you, the consequence derived from your seeking to exalt yourself as judge over those you do not understand.

  • Just-a-me

    “the best we can do to judge who survives and who does not, for the good of humanity, is save the most we can”
    No it is not, because we don’t even know if we have saved the most that we can. We can’t make that judgment, because we’re not God.

    We might save a bus full of nuns at the risk of losing a young Bill Gates. But Bill Gates has done far more for poverty than Mother Teresa ever has.

  • Herm

    There, you did it, again. I did not say that we knew we saved the most we could. I clearly said that we, within all our human limitations, saved the most we can, in that moment, of those before us needing to be treated. That is the only judgment we have to work with.

    I am as happy for Bill Gates’ influence toward mankind’s benefit as I am Mother Teresa’s. I am not qualified to quantify or qualify the fullness of another’s offering to mankind, and neither are you.

    Who was hypothetically the greatest benefactor for mankind?

    The invisible bum who picked up the needle from the road, or the renowned savior who would have otherwise stepped on the needle and died before (s)he could save the entire world?

  • Just-a-me

    “I clearly said that we, within all our human limitations, saved the most we can, in that moment, of those before us needing to be treated. ”
    So then, why is the nuclear family bad?

  • Just-a-me

    Let me make the question easier:
    why is a tribe bad?

  • Herm

    How many times before you get it?

    A tribe is only a fraction of the whole! The whole host is where our allegiance must be ultimately effective for any fraction to survive. Tribes, though they might believe they are more important, actually depend on the host body for their survival.

    I begin with responsibility to myself, increasing in an empathetic awareness and influence, from myself, to my nurturing family, to my city, to my county, to my state, to my nation, to my world encompassing all of me, my species whom I can empathize with. There are many governing tribes of influence who, in the world today, want all of my allegiance at the potential cost of all others of my species. “As long as my team wins, all other teams be damned!”

    Mankind, the species, my species, is not a tribe, team, nation or any fraction of the whole I can empathize with as me and mine. That is why tribes are destructive because they represent a potential deadly cancer to the body of mankind when their ultimate allegiance is not to the entire body of mankind, their host.

    You are playing with semantics to fit your argument. Your argument relative to the article above simply is unfounded. We are clearly speaking to tribal warfare, whether it be familial, racial, religious, or national allegiance that is greater than for the whole of mankind.

  • Just-a-me

    “A tribe is only a fraction of the whole!”
    God only saves a fraction of the whole. That is a tribe.

    But you’re still not telling me how a tribe is bad.

  • Herm

    Due to the grace of God, only the healthy of the body of mankind survives to live in everything doing to all others first as they would have all others do to them.

    I have told you how a tribe is bad, but you refuse to listen!

    Ponder what has been shared and, maybe, you can find one of the perspectives offered that you can see to understand. As it is, you are spinning both our wheels by repeating the same statements and questions over and over, again. I truly do not believe you want to learn anything, but insist to teach us what we can clearly see as your stubborn ignorance.

  • Just-a-me

    “Due to the grace of God, only the healthy of the body of mankind survives”
    What a sick Darwinian statement.

    You’ve said a tribe is bad.
    You’ve said a tribe is a fraction of humanity.
    You’ve said God saves a fraction of humanity.
    Therefore, God saves a tribe.
    Therefore, God’s tribe is bad.

  • Herm

    Cancer is bad!

  • Just-a-me

    They’re still people, Herm.

  • Just-a-me

    Said every communist government: “Only the cancer are killed off so the good people survive, for the good of humanity.”

  • Herm

    No, we each are no more than a cell within the body of mankind, no matter how great we might consider ourselves. We each will die to the body of mankind in our short time allotted, which will be no greater than 120 years of awareness and influence. We did not have a choice to be aware and influential in our host body, no more than did each cell have a choice to live within my personal physical body.

    I am 74 years old and just finished 6 weeks of chemo and radiation treatments to prepare for the removal of my esophagus on the 26th, due to my own body’s cancer cells. The tumor and spotty cells could be considered just cells, as you consider malignant cells within the body of mankind, still people. They still are making every attempt to destroy my healthy cells that will certainly destroy themselves at their host’s demise, me.

    I am not a member of any physical church corporate body on this earth, if that is what you are referring to as “God’s people”. The Good News is that all terminal members of mankind, each having an image of God to be aware of, have been offered a way to be eternally aware and influential (alive) in God, who is spirit, more inclusively and in more perfect unity, bound in all love, than we could be alive in Man. If you were the authority for God, would you allow active cancer cells of Man to infect the body of God?

    Without the body of mankind to support our awareness and influence, and without accepting to live within the nurturing body of God as their children, we will cease to know anything, and we will be forever forgotten.

    Because physical and spirit awareness and influence (life) are effectively separate, I can accept my certain (not necessarily from this bout with an attack of my own cancer cells) death from the body of Man, while simultaneously I accept my infancy to live eternally in the body of God, today.

    Therefore, I can continue to honestly say: “Mankind, the species, my species, is not a tribe, team, nation or any fraction of the whole I can empathize with as me and mine. That is why tribes are destructive because they represent a potential deadly cancer to the body of mankind when their ultimate allegiance is not to the entire body of mankind, their host.

    God does not kill off the cancer cells prevalent in the body of mankind today. Those who in everything do not do to others as they would have others do to them. Mankind is responsible to its own health. God offers room for the healthy cells in the body of mankind to become of God.

    Quit labeling what you do not understand, please! You do so only to make things simpler for yourself than these things are.

  • Just-a-me

    “No, we each are no more than a cell within the body of mankind”
    Jesus: “So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

    You’re a communist, Herm.

  • Herm

    “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    Matthew 10:26-31

    What is with the labels?

    Are you revisiting the Joseph Raymond McCarthy era?

    I truly owe no allegiance to any but Man, as a child of Man on earth, and God, as a child of God in heaven, both I am aware of and influential within right here, right now.

    Is this a simple truth you cannot bear to accept?

  • Just-a-me

    “What is with the labels?”
    Because you speak of people being cancer, Herm. It’s despicable; it’s the rhetoric of one who would practice eugenics.

  • Herm

    Oh, come on, are there not “people” within the body of Man who choose to destroy others of Man for their own profit? What would you label that spirit?

  • Just-a-me

    “are there not “people” within the body of Man who choose to destroy others of Man for their own profit?”
    That doesn’t excuse you from supporting anyone, even God, in their willingness to cut out what you, Herm, determine is cancer.

  • Herm

    Well, I guess you really had no problem with “child molesters” after all.

    For your edification, you missed the subtle difference between “cutting out” and allowing the self- centered cancerous attitudes of Man to “die out” by simply not accepting their spirit awareness and influence into the body of God.

    I guess you would have let my recent tumor have its way with my body, rather than cut out a life that was destroying my body.

    I am intrigued now that you have exposed yourself as never taking responsibility for the health of the body of mankind. Do you care at all to serve others, or do you choose to let whatever will be to be left alone with no intervention? Do you consume anything that may kill life in your body?

    Do you understand the concept of anti-bodies naturally working to destroy your body’s harmful cells?

    I truly don’t understand your inability to responsibly discern constructive life from destructive life.

    I have never, in passing, been a proponent of “controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics”. We’re not smart enough to judge “ desirable heritable characteristics”.

    What do you label your non-interventionist attitude?

  • Just-a-me

    “We’re not smart enough to judge “ desirable heritable characteristics”.”
    You’ve already stated that you make decisions based on the good of mankind even if it means hating your own children. You make that judgment of what is the greater good. That’s why you hated those grotesque hypotheticals: young bill gates or your child trolley problem.

  • Herm

    J-a-m, I never said I would ever hate my own children. I have been taught to hate mankind’s tradition that places any allegiance, whether family, church, tribe or nation, before the love of temporal Man on earth and eternal God in heaven. You still do not understand.

    Why did you change the subject and not answer my preceding questions?

  • Brandon Roberts

    most people just see it as friendly competition.

  • Just-a-me

    “I never said I would ever hate my own children.”
    When I asked what’s bad about the nuclear family, you quoted Jesus saying you must hate your own children. To which you identified yourself as a Jesus follower and thus hate your own children.

  • Herm

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Matthew 10:37-39

    “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Matthew 19:18-19

    The quote, Luke 14:26, speaks very clearly to hating the tribal tradition of blindly caring for your physical nuclear family at the expense of Man and God. The cross I carry, following Jesus according to my Father’s will, is for the love and care of mankind, an animal species graced the image of God.

    You struggle to maintain good grammar and spelling, with very few typos. I am not sure why you maintain this conversation. It could be because you are lonely. It could be because you strongly disagree with the premise put forth by me, and/or that of Keith. It could be because you just like to play with the minds of others, especially since you present the facade portraying of one who cannot read to comprehend through misinterpretation. It could be that English is not your first language. What is it?

    Revisiting my questions to you, which you have ignored:

    I am intrigued now that you have exposed yourself as never taking responsibility for the health of the body of mankind. Do you care at all to serve others, or do you choose to let whatever will be to be left alone with no intervention? Do you consume anything that may kill life in your body?

    Do you understand the concept of anti-bodies naturally working to destroy your body’s harmful cells?

    What do you label your non-interventionist attitude?

    I care about you! Teach me about you!

  • Just-a-me

    “speaks very clearly to hating the tribal tradition of blindly caring for your physical nuclear family at the expense of Man and God”
    Herm.

    I didn’t ask “what’s bad about caring for your nuclear family at the expense of Man and God”? I asked, “what’s bad about the nuclear family?”

    These are two fundamentally different points, but it still remains that the nuclear family is a tribe.

  • Herm

    I don’t know you. You do all you can to remain anonymous. You display no credentials to establish your authority to speak commandingly. Your logic is intentionally evasive.

    You counter questions with unsubstantiated judgmental misdirection, such as:

    “What is with the labels?”

    Because you speak of people being cancer, Herm. It’s despicable; it’s the rhetoric of one who would practice eugenics.

    and

    “are there not “people” within the body of Man who choose to destroy others of Man for their own profit?”

    That doesn’t excuse you from supporting anyone, even God, in their willingness to cut out what you, Herm, determine is cancer.

    It is not, nor ever will be, “despicable” for one to be caringly responsible for the health of their own body. It is fatal when one does not. Who are you to “excuse” anyone?

    Regarding your last unauthorized judgment:

    “speaks very clearly to hating the tribal tradition of blindly caring for your physical nuclear family at the expense of Man and God”
    Herm.

    I didn’t ask “what’s bad about caring for your nuclear family at the expense of Man and God”? I asked, “what’s bad about the nuclear family?”

    These are two fundamentally different points, but it still remains that the nuclear family is a tribe.

    nuclear family – noun – a couple and their dependent children, regarded as a basic social unit.

    In popular culture, tribalism may also refer to a way of thinking or behaving in which people are loyal to their social group above all else,[1] or, derogatorily, a type of discrimination or animosity based upon group differences.[2]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribalism

    what’s bad about the nuclear family”, that “is a tribe”, is that by tradition it is expected to be “a basic social unit” that is “loyal to their social group above all else”. Research the Hatfield–McCoy feud ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatfield%E2%80%93McCoy_feud ) as a fairly well documented example of what is bad about the nuclear family loyal to their own above loyalty to mankind, their supporting host body.

    Thank you for the challenge to help me learn even more why I hate tribalism, especially relative to the love of nuclear family above all else. You clearly believe it your exalted obligation to harass others as you would not allow others to harass you. For this reason, and until you wish to vulnerably share as transparently as I, the moderator, and most residents here, do, we are done.

  • Just-a-me

    “what is bad about the nuclear family loyal to their own above loyalty to mankind, their supporting host body.”
    Your problem is with nuclear families that impede the rights of other nuclear families.
    Your problem is not with nuclear families that don’t impede the rights of other nuclear families (I.e. yours).

    Either one of these is still a nuclear family tribe.

  • Nimblewill

    I went to the Georgia high school state cross country meet a few weeks ago and something hit me. There were hundreds of runners from all over the state and 1000’s of spectators and most people were cheering for all runners. Especially those in the back of the pack. It had nothing to do with uniforms, color of skin or political persuasion. No one was arguing and kids from different areas of the state were congratulating each other with hugs and high fives. No tribalism anywhere. I disagree.