Friday, April 01, 2011

Proved: Tea Party Movement is Christian

As the Tea Party movement began in 2009 and grew in 2010, the participants recognized their fellow like-minded Christian-motivated citizens. Some in the mainstream media, now reading the latest reports proving the Christianity of the movement, have (ignorantly) concluded that the Christian Right has recently taken over the Tea Party.

For background, read 'Teavangelical Party' Emerges from 2010 Election Polling and also read Christian Tea Party Analysis is Media Priority as well as Americans Agree with Tea Party, not D.C. Leaders

UPDATE 8/16/11: New York Times Denigrates Tea Party Movement as Christian (see article excerpts below)

UPDATE 9/24/12: However, Will 'Wimpy' Pastors Engage the War on Christianity?

-- From "But who's the tea party's candidate?" by Bill Schneider, Politico 3/15/11

The class split among Republicans is between country-club conservatives and “values voters,” who have ties to the religious right. Reagan drew strong support from both wings of the party. So did George W. Bush. Both got elected to two terms.

Where does the tea party fit in? Demographically, tea party supporters look like values voters — that is, right-wing populists.

In fact, there’s a lot of overlap between the tea party and the religious right. A survey last year by the Public Religion Research Institute found that nearly half (47 percent) of tea party supporters also consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The intersection of tea party and religion" by Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News 3/18/11

[The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life] reports that 44 percent of white evangelicals agree with the tea party movement while only 8 percent disagree (48 percent are indifferent). Conversely, voters are significantly less likely to profess support for the tea party if they are Jewish (15 percent agree, 49 percent disagree), African-American Protestants (7 percent agree, 37 percent disagree) or atheists (12 percent agree, 67 percent disagree).

The study further reveals that tea party supporters are much more likely than the average voter to list religion as the determinative factor for their stances on major social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

"The Tea Party rank and file are not in fact secular libertarians but are social conservatives largely drawn from the ranks of the Christian Right," [Robert Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute] writes.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The Tea Party and Religion" by Scott Clement & John C. Green, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 2/23/11

Is [the Tea Party movement] solely a movement to reduce the size of government and cut taxes, as its name – some people refer to it as the Taxed Enough Already party – implies? Or do its supporters share a broader set of conservative positions on social as well as economic issues? Does the movement draw support across the religious spectrum? Or has the religious right “taken over” the Tea Party, as some commentators have suggested?

In addition to adopting a conservative approach to the economy, Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. . . .

Support for the Tea Party varies dramatically across religious groups. Surveys from November 2010 through February 2011 show that white evangelical Protestants are roughly five times as likely to agree with the movement as to disagree with it . . .

Americans who support the conservative Christian movement, sometimes known as the religious right, also overwhelmingly support the Tea Party. . . .

Overall, the Tea Party appears to be more widely known and to garner broader support than the religious right. . . .

For detailed stats, and to read the entire analysis above, CLICK HERE.

From "American Values Survey: Religion and the Tea Party in the 2010 Elections" posted at Public Religion Research Institute 10/5/10

* Nearly half (47%) [of Tea Party supporters] also say they are part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement. Among the more than 8-in-10 (81%) who identify as Christian within the Tea Party movement, 57% also consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement.

* They are mostly social conservatives, not libertarians on social issues. Nearly two-thirds (63%) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and less than 1-in-5 (18%) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 8/16/11: "Crashing the Tea Party" posted at the New York Times, by David E. Campbell, an associate professor of political science at Notre Dame, and Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard -- the authors of “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us.”

[Tea Partiers] were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Their appeal to Tea Partiers lies less in what they say about the budget or taxes, and more in their overt use of religious language and imagery, including Mrs. Bachmann’s lengthy prayers at campaign stops and Mr. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.