‘Tribalism’ is the answer to that question, I believe.
Throughout history, religion of every brand has shown a tendency to degenerate into tribalism, and every time religion degenerates into tribalism we find that instead of the signs of the presence of God we find intolerance, violence and war!
What this demonstrates very well, I think, is that you can be a tribal supporter of your team without knowing anything about your team. Indeed, you can be a die-hard tribal supporter of your football team without knowing anything about football! All that is required is that you turn up to the games, wear the colours, and cheer loudly for your team, boo the other team, and curse the referee whenever a decision goes against you (even when the decision was entirely legitimate).
Tribalism is a part of the horizontal dimension of religion ~ that aspect of religion that binds us to each other ~ in contrast with the vertical dimension that binds us to God, and I think we all want to affirm the importance of the communal dimension of faith.
~ Firstly, the tribe is defined with extreme rigidity. You don’t simply have to be a Muslim but a Sunni Muslim with the right sort of Sunni Muslim doctrine.~ Secondly, extreme and disciplined religious piety is substituted for a genuine relationship with God.
~ Perhaps they were running late for a synagogue service?~ Perhaps it was because they feared that the man might be dead and hence ritually unclean if they touched him?~ Perhaps they feared that the criminals who had attacked this man were still lying in wait and would pounce on them if they hung around?~ Perhaps indeed the whole thing was a setup and the apparently half-dead man was really in good health and only acting as bait?
The assailed man was naked and unconscious, and because he was naked and unconscious these good religious Jews had no way of telling whether the poor man was a member of their tribe ~ whether he was one of us or one of them!
Well … he probably couldn’t have been an Australian as a 1st Century Australian would have had a distinctive complexion, and he definitely would have been ‘one of them’ (as he generally still is in white Australian society today).
For we are all in this together. We are all God’s children ~ all of us! Salaam Aleichem.