When folks of a tribe do something reprehensible and violent, the rest of the tribe has two paths of least resistance:
- argue that the action was actually good and moral ("the enemy is so dangerous, these actions were actually warranted!")
- argue that the action was actually taken or fomented by some other group ("the enemy is so evil, they orchestrated the whole thing!")
You can see both responses exemplified in the reactions to violence accompanying the George Floyd protests in 2020, and the reactions to January 6 2021 storming of the US Capitol.
During the George Floyd protests
The blue tribe response to protest-related violence was primarily that the actions were good and moral – one personal friend on Facebook exemplified this when he said that he would happily let his house be burned to the ground if it would further civil rights in the US.
In short: unchecked police violence is so evil, that the violence is warranted in search of a greater net good.
There were murmurs about protests turning violent due to instigations by the Proud Boys or neo-nazis or off-duty police officers, but these never became the primary narrative as far as I could tell.
During the storming of the US Capitol
In contrast, the red tribe response to the storming of the US Capitol has been to frame it as the work of antifa/the deep state/other enemy conspirators.
Even those denouncing the violence seem to have difficulty doing so without making some allusion to conspirators from the other side.
One thing that seems constant to all mob action is the firm belief that, no matter how bad the actions taken by your team were, the other team is far worse.
The Biblical response
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
— John 15:19
Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
— James 1:27
Christians are not meant to side with worldly tribes. We should be consistent in recognizing evil no matter who it is perpetrated by.
The red and blue tribes are of the world. Keep yourself unstained!