I think one of the great dangers of religion is that it mixes an absolute faith with innate tribalism, thus creating the insider/outside divide–only this divide is sanctioned by God.
Every religious group fosters tribalism to some extent or other. And certainly it’s not a phenomenon that is confined to just religious groups — ask any ardent fan of any sports team! The problem is that religious tribalism brings a conviction that god is on your side and sanctions your actions. And that’s when it gets dangerous. Just think George W. Bush.
Here’s a snappy version of Pentecostal tribalism. Note the reference to people from other churches coming to the Pentecostal one because their churches are “dead.” We have life, you don’t. We have the Spirit of God, you don’t. We are Apostolic in every way, you aren’t.
The unrecognized and resolutely denied arrogance in all of this drives me crazy! Especially when religious people tell those of us who are Atheists that we are the arrogant ones! 🙂