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Why is the sky blue?
Who cares? is one answer.
It’s not always, is another. Sometimes it’s grey, or red, or black.
Josh McDowell was a law student who considered himself an agnostic, and who believed that Christianity was worthless. He challenged some Christians on campus; they in turn challenged him – to make rigorous, intellectual examinations of the claims of Jesus Christ. And McDowell decided to do a research paper that would examine the historical evidence of the Christian faith in order to disprove it. Especially the claimed yet improbable resurrection.
“Either a great fact of history, or a great lie forced upon us …”
… a cold, dark, mosquito-bitten, lonely couple of hours fishing (as opposed to fish-catching) the other night, and as I hauled in yet another empty hook, bereft of catch and bait, I wondered why on earth I was bothering. I could have been watching The Bachelor. Just when my line and my patience were tangled beyond hope, the overcast cleared, and not only did the Southern Cross appear, but it was reflected in a flat calm sea, and I saw it mirrored in wondrous symmetry …
There’s so much more to be said about tribalism. (For Part 1, refer to previous Blog on Tribalism.) Superficially, it seems a good thing to be proud of one’s tribe, to own it as choice. But there is hidden a cancer. The pride that arises is at the expense of the mana of other tribes. The greater the pride in one’s own, the more diminished the ‘other’. Leading subconsciously and often overtly to excess. The lionising of one’s own has the (sometimes unintended) effect of demonising the Other.
Tribalism is rarely quoted as a root cause of anything, war least of all. It should be. Because a crucial part of pre-war posturing and propaganda (and, indeed, of justifying aggression or provocation) is to demonise the other guys. For they have said this, done this, they’re responsible for this … and therefore our tribe is going to … or, was justified in doing … These are the usually identified causes of conflict, but they’re consequences. Tribalism is at the root of them all.
Read a moving example of reconciliation and unity during the week past. Stuff (the news outlet) has been telling stories from the Christchurch earthquake, ten years ago. On that day, two men were rebuilding St Paul’s church, which had collapsed in the earthquake of some months before. As soon as this second one was over they came out to view the devastation, and immediately ran across the road to the CTV building, which had pancaked, to see how they could help.
…. the ubiquity of tribalism. My tribe is better than yours!
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