Why is a Lefty Christian Leader Criticizing Tea Party Values?

By: April 19, 2011

Last Wednesday’s edition of The Blaze ran an article in which a self-proclaimed “Emergent Christian Leader,” left-winger Jim Wallis, called Republican Congressman Paul Ryan a “bully” and a “hypocrite.”

Ryan’s crime? He took the risky stand of putting forth a budget with real cuts in it. What does he get for this valiant effort but  ridicule and humiliation from all points left of center? But to be admonished by Wallis, a lefty hiding behind Christian theology, is a travesty.

Since the rise of the Christian Right in the 1970s, competing concepts of theology, on the one hand, and proper Constitutional governance, on the other, have been unwisely intertwined. To untangle this mess, we need only look to some classic texts that demonstrate the tragic consequences of governing based upon theology–Christian or otherswise–rather than the Constitution.

Anyone familiar with Perry Miller’s Errand into the Wilderness knows the difficulties that made the Bible-state of Massachusetts ultimately ungovernable. Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, documented the religious intolerance found there in his classic 1644 book (a best seller in both England and British America) titled The Bloody Tenent of Persecution. Now there’s a book whose republication in e-book form could do some good !

There’s another classic book Wallis apparently didn’t read — or read with an interpretation many of us in the Tea Party movement consider widely off the mark — the Bible! As a member of the clergy, Wallis would be well advised to  follow the wisdom found in these passages:

The price of wisdom is above rubies. ~Job 28:18

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.  ~Psalms 34:13

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. ~Psalms 34:14

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. ~Proverbs 13:12

I say to all clergy, work with and embrace the tea party.  We are passionate soldiers with a mission to fix what ails our country.


Eric Olsen has been a  Tea Party leader in Montana from the beginning of the movement. He can be reached on Twitter at EricShrugged

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