This isn’t the first time we have tackled the subject of tribalism. See OF TWISTED WORDS => TRIBALISM. So, what is different about this post? Why get into the subject again? Here we are we are going to talk about how tribalism obscures the truth.
Is tribalism itself evil? No. Historically, the term “tribe” refers to out extended family writ large. Why shouldn’t we love our father, mother, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and so forth?
Because we love our self, we love people who love us. That generally includes our family. A problem arises, however, when our ego grows too large. Instead of loving others as we love our self, we care more about our position in the tribe. In fact, we advance the interests of the tribe because advancing the tribe advances our own interests. Then we are using the tribe, not loving the tribe.
Is there a problem expanding the meaning of tribalism to include people with whom we have something in common? No. Not necessarily. Then how does using the tribe instead of caring about the tribe obscure the truth. When we grow prideful, think only about me, we lose objectivity. Instead of considering the viewpoints of others, especially those outside the “tribe”, we care only for that which magnifies our self. We get so busy promoting our own tribal interests we end up trying to elevate the “rights” of our respective “tribes”, tribes defined by race, economic class, religious choice, sex, gender choice, disability, occupation, ethnicity, politics and so forth.
Consider a preposterous “business decision” here of late. The “tribe” in this story is the NBA, and it began with Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s “harmless” tweet.
The rift between China and the NBA started late last week when Morey tweeted a now-deleted image that read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” in reference to months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the semiautonomous Chinese territory that has been mired in escalating violence between protesters and law enforcement. (from here (foxsports.com)
The Chinese government did not like Morey’s tweet. The Chinese government, a Communist dictatorship, does not allow sports heroes and their managers to speak freely about their government. So what did the NBA “tribe” do? They did what Communists do. They pressured Morey to recant and confess his “sin”.
Of course, a corporate communications guy followed up.
In a statement, NBA executive vice president of communications Mike Bass said: “We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable. While Daryl has made it clear that his tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views on matters important to them. We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.” (from here (usatoday.com))
That response, of course, upset the NBA’s American audience. Oops! So now the NBA is in full damage control mode.
- The NBA has already felt ‘economic impact’ from Daryl Morey’s pro-Hong Kong tweet — Here all the moves that have been made by China (businessinsider.com)
- NBA widely criticized for buckling to China over tweet supporting Hong Kong protests (washingtonexaminer.com)
When the tribe that calls itself the NBA tried to please everyone, they pleased no one. The Truth is that what the Chinese government is doing in Hong Kong is wrong, but the NBA’s tribal interests demand a profitable enterprise in China. So, the NBA’s management tried accommodate the Chinese Communist tribe’s definition of the Truth. That exposed the NBA tribe as a group people willing to live a lie for the sake of money. Unfortunately, before any of us self-righteously points a finger, we need to admit that this capacity for lying hardly makes the leadership of the NBA tribe unusual.
We are all sinners. We all need a Savior, and no basketball, football, or baseball player has what it takes to be our Savior. There is only One who matters. To join the Kingdom of Heaven, we must have faith in Jesus and seek to please God. The only thing we can do to please God is to try to live in accord with the Truth. The Truth may or may not be what any of our worldly tribes desire. The Truth may or may not be what we each desire. It just is what it is, what God has chosen to be. To please our Creator, we each must set aside our pride and humbly strive to learn and accept the Truth as He made it to be.