Mixing Jesus into Populist Politics
David Brody, the Christian Broadcasting Network's White House correspondent, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, and David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, discuss what place Christians have in the tea party movement.
Christians Belong in the Front Row of the Tea Party
Start marching at your local rally.
When it comes to politics, I'm not a big fan of CW (conventional wisdom). After all, Hillary Clinton—not Barack Obama—would be President today if CW ruled. Joe Biden would have cleaned Sarah Palin's clock in the 2008 vice presidential debate if CW had held true. It didn't.
Now comes word from the CW experts, better known as the mainstream media, that Christians and the tea party just don't go together.
Their reasoning goes like this: The tea party movement cares only about fiscal issues, so Christians should take their social issues and go play somewhere else. News flash for the CW crowd: Wrong again. Strike three. You're out.
The tea party movement is the perfect place for Christians to lobby for biblical values and priorities, and many Christians seem to know that.
I have traveled across this great land and flocked to tea party events and rallies. Who do I see showing up? Conservative, Bible-believing Christians. A seat at the table is reserved for this key voting constituency because, as strategist and leading evangelical Ralph Reed tells me, "If you protect marriage and you protect life, but the federal government is destroying our future through a $20 trillion debt, that threatens our future just as much as moral decay does."
Besides, just because fiscal issues dominate the tea party agenda doesn't mean issues like abortion are gone and forgotten. While Christians may not be marching with their pro-life signs at tea party rallies, the heated debate over the recent health-care bill proved that abortion is always in the mix.
The mainstream media like to say that racism is rampant in the tea party movement. If this were true, Christians would be concerned; racism, too, is a moral issue, and something true Christians reject outright.
Yet the funny thing is, tea party rallies are not filled with racial epithets. The language is more indicative of love of country and love of God. I remember tea party favorite Senator Jim DeMint once saying, "… the motivation behind these tea party crowds is a spiritual component. I think it's very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution …. 'I'm praying for you' comes up more than anything else in these crowds."
In our society, we love to put everyone in boxes. The media do a great job at this. But reality is always more complicated, and no one fits in one box. It's not unusual to see a fiscally conservative, gun-owning, flag-waving, home-schooling, stay-at-home Christian mom show up at a tea party event. This woman encompasses many special interests, but they are all wrapped up in one purpose: to take our government back and send a message to the current administration.
Start marching to a tea party near you. There's a seat waiting.
Christians Belong Inside the Tea Party
Christians can show that the strength of America's foundation is the wisdom revealed in the Bible.
"Spread my work ethic, not my wealth," proclaimed one sign at a tea party gathering. "Compassion is voluntary, not compulsory," said another. These pithy statements express principles that make America great and have their roots in the Bible. Personal responsibility, charity, the proper role of government, and fiscal discipline are biblical principles that are woven into the fabric of America.