Tribalism and Religion…

The religious-right overwhelmingly supports the current administration and is willing to overlook the multitude of inappropriate behaviors and the ineptitude presented by this president.  Most are supportive because conservative judges are being appointed, reproductive rights are being challenged and immigrants are being threatened, removed, detained and separated from their families.  Many are accepting of a straight, white, male dominated culture that is blind to the human, civil and equal rights that is at the heart of our American democracy, and many are anti-intellectual science deniers.  These factors preclude the rational discussion needed to see things as they really are.

Bobby Azarian Ph.D. writes in Mind In The Machine:  How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain,  (Posted Oct 10, 2018 on psychologytoday.com) that “We also know that in the United States, Christian fundamentalism is linked to science denial. Since science is nothing more than a method of determining truth using empirical measurement and hypothesis testing, denial of science equates to the denial of objective truth and tangible evidence. In other words, the denial of reality. Not only does fundamentalism promote delusional thinking, it also discourages followers from exposing themselves to any different ideas, which acts to protect the delusions that are essential to the ideology.”

Some religious moderates and those on the religious-left have left organized religion due to the negative views of Christianity created by the right.  The narrow and literal interpretations of the scriptures and the blind adherence to doctrine and dogma with complete disregard for advancements in human knowledge have made Christianity seem intolerant, antiquated and out of touch with real life.  Is this religious divide the basis of tribalism?  I don’t know, but I think its a factor.

There are thousands of Christian denominations and they all don’t believe the same things.  In Methodism, John Wesley created a quadrilateral illustration to help interpret theology.  It included using scripture, tradition, reason and experience to internalize our beliefs.  This allows for new knowledge and understanding.

Religious science deniers with narrow social definitions have coopted our government.  We were once at the forefront of scientific advancement and in the protection of human rights on the world scale.  Now we are moving backwards and we are divided into globalists and the isolationists.  And right now the isolationists are winning.  It seems that this divide may have its roots in religious tribalism.  What do you think?