Tea Party or Church Social
Pointing out that the Tea Party has strong religious influences is not news. The fact that somebody bothered to prove this with a study is slightly newsworthy - and disheartening.
Social conservatism is arguably the largest problem with both the GOP and the Tea Party, at least in context with the problems our nation faces right now. This idealistic notion that we will be stronger as a nation if we collectively decide to live religiously moral lives, and intertwine faith with government is in direct contradiction with the concept of fiscal conservatism. It is also hypocritical to promote a Judeo-Christian based theology in government while simultaneously screaming to the rafters that it is wrong for Muslims to promote Islam in a similar fashion around the world.
But the fact is that no matter how much Tea Party leaders may wish to make the masses think otherwise, many of the rank and file members of their organizations are determined to see religion play a part in government. One can only assume that they believe this is not in direct contradiction with the Constitutional separation of Church and State because there isn't just one Church involved. Of course, this is not endearing the Tea Party with the rest of the country. Americans have been shifting to the Right when it comes to fiscal concerns, but have also been moving away from the concept of mixing religion and politics. The end result is that the Tea Party and the Christian Right are in an unpopularity contest in the eyes of the rest of the country.
I've been called a RINO and worse in the past for pointing out that we still have a secular government, and that social conservative goals in government are utterly incompatible with fiscal conservatism. If we think we have it bad now because of the cost of our current entitlement programs, that is nothing to what we will be left with if we start legislating the religious beliefs of the Tea Party members and the Christian Right. Every law costs taxpayer dollars, one way or another. Enforcement isn't free, and neither is punishment for those that break the law. A law is meaningless if there are no real penalties for breaking it, or if there is no one to enforce it. It's also difficult to believe that religious conservatives running for office can be simultaneously for protecting people's freedoms, and for introducing religious ideals in government. Forcing religious belief systems on the people is what we were trying to prevent in this nation from the beginning, right?Continued on the next page