We seem to constantly fragment ourselves in order to make us unique. We are not satisfied with just being one of many in a common boiling pot. We have to think of ourselves as someone like no one else. My father’s generation was not like we are. Many, if not most of them, took pride in the fact that America was a fabulous “melting pot” where Italians, Irish, Spanish, etc people came to the United States and became “American” (no dashes were included for them). Now we have to add several dashes due to our ancestry. We can’t just be an American. We have to be a African-Native-Mexican American or whatever the case may be. In my case I am a British-Scottish-Native- American. Several other dashes should probably be included as I’m pretty sure I am a mutt as these things go 🙂 . I don’t know if that this is a good or not. It is nice to celebrate the different heritages and cultures of our ancestors. But when that keeps us from recognizing our common bonds it can be terribly detrimental. I think part of the fracturing we seen to be facing as nation today is a result of this need to be unique or at least see others, many of who we perceive as enemies, as different from us. The most damaging thing is the hate and disdain for others that some in these groups seem to have.
I also think this is one of the reasons we have over 35,000 different versions of Christianity in the world today. We have to make our religious journey as personalized as possible. I know I fall into this feeling oftentimes myself. I want to believe that my version of Christ is the “true” one and everyone else just has it wrong to one degree or another. I just can’t seem to fall into lock steps with any of the existing versions.
I don’t know if there is anything we can do to change this trend or even if it would be beneficial to change it. But it just seems wrong to me that we have fractured ourselves to such a degree. We seem to almost be at a personal level of an “us vs. them” mentality in that it is now probably a “me vs. them”. In the U.S. that things always seem to swing from one extreme to another. One of the miraculous things is that we have, at least in the past, the uncanny ability to swing back toward the center rather than go over the edge. Lord help that be the case with this also. Maybe one day Christian groups will start integrating with each other instead of splitting. But I imagine this is wishful thinking on my part.