... "mostly we form community through demonizing and exclusion, that is, we bond with each other more on the basis of what we are against and what we hate than on the basis of what we are for and hold precious."
James S Saint wrote:"Bound" as in a marriage, covenant, contract, or partnership. Properly bound, a gathering naturally holds together because that which would divide it, "devils", are kept away.
Recent article in America Magazine ... Grant Kaplan
That is so
true. When I watch YouTube the left and the right viciously attack each other to score brownie points within their community. 90% of the time they never talk about their own point of view, and the 10% of the time that they do, they use certain key phrases. Everybody is either far-left or far-right, nobody is in the pragmatic center. The same can be said with religion. You either believe or you don't believe, and if you believe you better believe what I believe bullshit.
YouTube had its "atheist phase" from like 2010 to 2015, and now it's going through an "anti-SJW phase" where YouTubers like Blaire White and Shoe0nHead are becoming successful. Both atheist and anti-SJW is more of an exclusion than inclusion into community. Atheists typically don't go to church, they usually don't have their own groups like the religious, and SJW is a prop term created by anti-feminists to mock what feminism has become rather than what it originally stood for. Many feminists have their own groups and meetings, whereas anti-SJWs don't. They feel the need to be vocal about what they stand for and the only community they have to use at their immediate disposal is the Internet and sites like YouTube.
Getting back on topic...
What is a religion geared around: DOING things, or NOT DOING things? If they focus on doing good, they are usually the type in include people, whereas if they are a religion that focuses on not doing harmful things, they are usually the type to exclude people. Being "bound" usually means doing good things, so by this, I think what James is trying to say is that doing good by being bound keeps the bad things, like the devil, at bay. Your response is to say that people always focus on what they aren't (like the devil) more than what they are, and to that I would say it goes both ways. Typically smaller sects of political and religious organization often stress how they are "not" something, because the mainstream is to believe in something else. On the other hand, if you were an Evangelical Conservative Christian in the 80s you typically didn't have much backlash from many people, and were free to express yourself the way you see fit. The very vocal people like to ridicule and demonize the masses, but there's always that, "silent majority" many people don't talk about.
Anyways, enough ranting.