One of the things I’ve been following lately is the attempt by the Religious Right to hijack the Tea Party movement by claiming that, at heart, the movement shares the social conservative’s political and cultural agenda.
While undoubtedly there is overlap between the agendas of the two groups, the efforts by the Religious Right to claim the Tea Party mantle are getting more and more blatant. Just last week Vision America’s Rick Scarborough announced his “Truth Exalts America Patriot Pastors’ Tea Party” to be held in San Antonio, Texas in July, which is basically a Religious Right prayer rally dressed up to look like a Tea Party event.
Now we have Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission claiming that the entire Tea Party movement is actually the work of God as part of a “spiritual awakening”:
I think the Tea Party movement is the move of God. A lot of people are wondering, you know, is the Lord done with America? Why are things going the way they’re going? And I really believe what is happening within the Tea Party movement is a spiritual awakening that has been precipitated by political circumstances.
I think what’s happened, perhaps for the first time in many people’s lives, they had an awakening where all of the sudden their conscience just has compelled them to engage on a political level – probably for the first time for many people, maybe the first time in a long time for some folks – but they’re just constrained by their conscience, they have to do something, and I again believe that’s the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts.