Incivility and Tribalism

At nearly three score and ten years I have lived through 17.5 election cycles to vote for the President of the United States of America. During my first few cycles I was not able to vote because of my age and my race. Even when I had the legal right to vote I was denied because of racial bigotry. So throughout all my years race has been one of the most divisive issues of our American presidential election cycles.

Ironically we recently had our first non-white-male President in the history of this nation. It appeared to be a sign that the racial divides were beginning to thaw. There was no longer a complete freeze of people of color. Two hundred thirty two years after the birth of this nation in 1776, progressive minded Americans had finally matured and were more accepting of all its citizens. People of every race and creed came out to vote for a man of color to serve as our Commander-in-Chief. Even with opposition from the old guard, the majority of the people wanted to issue in a new America more in step with its' constitution that promises freedom, liberty and justice for all.

Though America showed the appearance of racial maturity, underneath the surface was a hot smoldering fire in its belly. The old guard, even though dwindling in numbers, is still alive and strong. They don’t want to see their unearned privileges die… not without a fight! In every election since the civil rights laws outlawed discrimination, tribal lines have become more entrenched than ever. As fate would have it the very next president to serve after the first president of color seemed to make it his personal mission to destroy his predecessor’s legacy.

Let us not pretend that this is something new. Racial bigotry is as much American as any other American characteristic. This nation was founded by stealing the land from its original inhabitants, the native American Indians. They were treated as savages, killed by the hundreds of thousands and segregated into reservations away from the new guard. It was built on the backs of African slaves who were treated as animals, owned as property, raped, pillaged and even killed for trying to exercise their God-given human rights. Don’t forget the internment camps for Japanese American citizens and even more recently the separation of brown babies from their parents… locking them in cages! You would think in this day and age such treatment of human beings would be unthinkable. But let us not forget the fire in the belly of the "old guard."

Blogging about this subject will certainly offend some people. “For you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Much of our tribal lines has to deal with race but there are other cultural divides that are equally as divisive to include religious, cultural, sexual preference, physical capabilities, intellectual capacity, financial worthiness, political persuasion, or even generational as in our age differences. So what are we to make of this cultural divide?

We can neither deny nor change our history, it is already etched in the annals of time. We are not the arbiters to access blame because we know that only God can and will judge us all. For every infraction against God’s law someone will be held accountable. What lies behind us is already at the judgment seat before God and that is not something that we can alter. Only God can forgive or offer His unearned grace.

So no matter whether you are one who abused others, or one that was abused… you have a very clear and present choice. You can still choose the tribe to which you pledge your allegiance. You are either for or against God. Every knee shall bow before Him. Make your selection certain because only God will forgive or show grace and mercy.

If you are a child of God then incivility should not be a part of your character. Anyone who practices hated, selfish ambitions, anger, envy, revelries, dissensions; outburst of wrath, lewdness, lawlessness, or acts that we know to be harmful to others should not have membership in your tribe. Any person of any race, culture, sexual preference, political persuasion, financial status or human distinction that practices or otherwise promote such acts cannot be in your tribe. Our tribal lines should be very distinctive. Some belong to the kingdom of God… and there are others that don’t. Your choice!