We have reported on the close ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party as well as the tensions between social conservatives and libertarians in the Tea Party movement. An article in the February 2011 issue of the AFA Journal, published by the American Family Association, is the latest salvo in the ongoing effort to define the Tea Party agenda.
“Rise of the Teavangelicals” decries efforts by the “homosexual Republican” group GOProud to define the Tea Party as part of a “leave-me-alone-coalition” that is uninterested in social issues.
If the GOP says it wants only tea partiers who are for smaller government but not any of those loony social conservatives, Republican leaders will undoubtedly discover that many of the latter are also part of the former category.
The article suggests that Religious Right activists see economic issues through a moral lens (much the way that David Barton has been promoting a biblical basis for Tea Party views on economics and the Constitution):
Perhaps it is precisely because many social conservatives have come to see the economy in moral terms that so many of them have found a home in the Tea Party movement.
The article concludes by quoting former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed saying that the Tea Party and Religious Right movements are “inextricably intertwined.”
Whether or not they like the idea, tea partiers are now married to the religious right. And as Reed insisted, “Those who ignore or disregard social conservative voters and their issues do so at their own peril.”