I’m noticing a troubling trend of people referring to others who think and look like them as tribes. Tribes make me think of conflict, tribal warfare, Afghanistan and its particular inability to create a society where every person is valued. It speaks of geographical divisions and boundaries that can’t be crossed, where loyalty to “my tribe” is greater than my willingness to understand or reach outside of my group. Tribes have their own culture, values and beliefs. The genius of the United States has been that of a melting pot, where cultures are blended. We wear green on St Patrick’s day regardless of our ethnic background.
Tribes draw lines of separation. They ask questions like:
Who is in and who is out?
Who belongs and who has no place in our circle?
Who do we accept and who do we shun?
Who do we welcome and who do we shut out?
Who will we listen to and who will we ignore?
Jesus made it so simple really, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:24-25
No tribes. No boundaries. Just love.