March 12, 2010
Meanwhile, reader Trey Monroe writes:
I am an Evangelical and there are LOTS of us at tea party events and we are more than happy to have non-religious folks who understand the proper place of government at our side. I have been to two Tennessee tea parties here in Nashville and the March on Washington DC. Frankly, I was surprised at how many other Christians I saw and met. So there were lots of Christians in the crowds, and lots of secular folks as well at all those events. I do not see the tea party movement as being concerned with social issues. It is about smaller, cheaper, less intrusive government and increased personal freedoms. It is about personal responsibility and removing the oligarchy to replace them with people who understand and will work toward a government that knows its limited place. While there are social issues these groups disagree on, I do not recall seeing a single sign about social issues at the events I have attended.
I see this story as part of an effort to sow division. I think Ben Smith was used here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Geoffrey Robinson emails:
My general sense, as an evangelical, is that the tea partiers and most evangelicals would get along because of common causes. We both know the government is going crazy.
And the Tea Partiers have done a fantastic job thus far of being really smart about taking half a loaf rather than none at all (i.e., Scott Brown). There are more evangelicals with libertarian (esp. economic) leanings than the media suspects.
I think they’re afraid of this movement, and since marginalizing it hasn’t worked, they’re trying to divide it.
MORE: Bryan Preston emails:
Hey Glenn, I just read your post about Ben Smith’s Tea Parties vs evangelicals article, thought I’d give you another data point about this. Here in Texas, the Tea Parties are huge thanks a whole lot of things, from our state’s unique take on things to Katrina Pierson to Gov Perry. At Tea Party gatherings all over the state, few state leaders are more popular to have as guest speaker or what have you than Cathie Adams, who is both a well known evangelical leader and chairman of the state GOP. It’s all about common causes and common goals. Smith’s article was slippery, at best, in its use of one liberal evangelical to make the case for some kind of division between evangelicals and the Tea Parties.