I would like to do a piece on my blog, Releasing Religion, regarding mixing God & government.  And I'd like to know what opinions people have here about doing such a thing.  Some points to mention are:

Glenn Beck is well known for arguing that we have misunderstood that founding fathers & their desire to keep church & state separate.  Holding his rally on 8/28, he gathered 150.000 people to hear him talk about bringing out country "back to God".  What do you think it would do to our country to "get back to God"? 

The Tea Party has been called racist Chrisotcrats. In their recent convention, most conference sessions began with prayers.  What do you think of the Tea Party?  Do you know very little about them?  Do you know a lot?  Please share your thoughts here.

The piece will be posted on www.releasingreligion.blogspot.com

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Seems like a big, in-cohesive group of ill-informed individuals led by fractious, opportunistic extremists in about 1000 different directions. Ask 10 tea partiers what the tea party is all about and you'd probably get 20 different answers.

I dont think they are any more scary than the vast ill informed public - and their existence allows many to vent their inarticulate and confusing frustrations with whatever they happen to be angry about at the time -which is a lot like internet commenters i suppose. (making me a poster child for the tea party? eeek!)

I've got it...the Liberals and "interleck-chewals" got the internets and media all leanin' left, so the tea party is like the internet fer the right wing -only it involves watchin' the tv and meandering around at various outdoor gatherings muttering incoherently.
I saw a debate on CNN today in regards to the Tea Party. One question was whether or not they are racist (as they've been accused of that). The rebuttal was that 10% of the people attending the Tea Party conventions voted for Obama, so how could they be racist?
hahaha, so are they saying 10% of tea party'rs aren't racist? That's probably about right.
I'm rather shocked that 10% voted for him, being that they're so well known for posters of Obama with a little square mustache.
I only know a few Tea Partiers. Most of them work for the government. They support huge cuts in government spending in all areas of government - never thinking for a second the job cut to save money might be theirs. I've heard a lot of them are on unemployment and complain highly about welfare and government spending. I am not sure if they are racist or not, but they often seem really stupid.
In the Florida primaries for the Republican ballot we had Rick Scott a multimillionaire running for Governor. Rick Scott made his fortune running a company called Columbia/HCA. This company ended being at the certain of a Federal investigation for unnecessary lab reports, falsifying reports to increase Medicare reimbursements, among others. The amazing thing is that, besides all of this he still made onto the republican ballot.

Rick Scott was never charged with any crimes, but if you are running a company you’d most definitely know something this large was happening right under your nose. This is the hypocrisy of the Tea Party they foam at the mouth with corruption in the government. But they worship these elites who run these corporations that are ruining America yet they run under the banner of an Grassroots movement when they are anything but.

If the Tea Party get their way and run the country the way they want. It’ll set back much of the progress and reform we have made. They’ll ruin the progress we made in balancing the economical disparity here in America, The rich will just get more rich and the poor will just keep on being poor.
Not that there still isn't a strict line between those in poverty and the rich but if the Tea Party get their way that line will increase.
From what I understand the Tea Party is bankrolled by the rich to appeal to the poor. The rich don't want more taxes and the poor want god in government & fewer taxes. The poor all seem to be on government assistance but don't like gov't spending. I hear a lot of conspiracies floating around too (Obama is often called a muslim). Weird, very weird.
Hi Maia, and welcome to AN (I read your intro and blog - very nice!).

Re the tea party, well if I can borrow from my FB status, I'd say "it's complicated".

My brother in-law is a flag waving TP member, and I'm in a meetup group with several Tea Partiers, including one who is in charge of media relations down in Houston (I'm actually in St. Louis myself). I also read pretty much anything I can on the subject, including from the master of ceremonies, Dick Armey.

So, yes, I'm familiar with "The T-Party".

my views? Here are some random thoughts in no particular order:

-They are right! Govt is too big and intrusive (Patriot Act anyone?), our deficit and debt are way too high and our politicians, for the most part, are corrupt (or at least they have been corrupted by the system)

-They are wrong! so, so wrong about the solutions to those same problems they rail against! They think there are simple answers to these complex and systematic problems. They think these answers will not have any affect on the way they live their lives - in fact, that they will align with their particular way of life and world view (who cares about anyone elses way of life!).

They also think, and this is where they are REALLY wrong, is that they, and the Tea Party candidates, have the answers to these complex problems. Returning to GOD is one of those answers and you know how helpful that will be. Right wing Republicans are also an answer - even though any objective review indicates that Republican, specifically conservative, policies were the CAUSE of many of those same problems.

I can't say they are stupid. They are not. Many are highly successful in their careers and businesses. I work with many right wingers and they are highly intelligent in the business side of their lives.

I can say, I think, is that they are gullable, or more precisely, non-skeptical of their political views. I think they have come to their political views the same way they came to their religious views. By accepting convention and societal norms. Nearly everyone around them, in their church, their neighborhood, their workplace and their favorite news/radio programs has the same view, so certainly it MUST be the correct!

On the other hand, I do there is a good chance that their short term success may ultimately lead to their demise - and perhaps taking the conservative movement in general down with it.

I suppose we'll see soon because it doesn't look like they are going away.
This is a great point-of-view, Larry. Thank you for taking the time to share your own personal experiences. I would love if you could elaborate on some of their solutions to the problems they rail against. Also, do you think Glenn Beck has been a big factor in their movement to get back to God?
No problem Maia, as a former conservative Republican (albeit never a tea partier), I am very interested in this topic and think about it often. This interest in politics is really quite similiar to my interest in religion - much greater after I gave up my own ideologies. It's far more interesting looking from the outside.

BTW, you can read my deconversion story (both religious and political) here.

I'll tackle the easy question first - Glenn Beck.

At first glance, I suppose this looks like the classic "which came first" question. Are those that desire a "return to God" drawn to Beck, or does Beck instill this desire in otherwise secular people? I suspect there is a pretty good mix of both.

Either way, I don't think Beck could get all the credit for the "return to God" idea. I'd have to also give credit to Palin and to a lesser extent, Huckabee and Bachman. I'm pretty sure Beck REALLY jumped on the God bandwagon after it was introduced into the political discourse by the most popular God politicians.

Beck can, however, get credit for beating the God drum very loudly. I'm sure that his televangelic rhetoric is convincing to many.

Perhaps also this is the latest turn of the wheel for the "Moral Majority". The old trick for getting otherwise democratic voters to vote against their own best interest was to convince them to think they are voting for the party that would save the babies, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Now their story is that voting for the Tea Party will save God in America. Suggested read: "What's the Matter with Kansas" by Thomas Frank.

I'll respond to your other question in a separate post.
Larry I read your conversion story. Wow! I am so curious how to came to find your own beliefs. Was it a gradual thing? Did it knock you over the head?

Most of what I know of Palin is how to media portrays her, and since I mainly watching CNN (which is allegedly leftist) she seems like a raving lunatic to me. It's hard to root through all the opinions & get to the core of who the individual is and what they stand for. Though most of what I've heard out of Palin's mouth makes me not want to gag a bit.




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