Last week, I outlined a continuing series I would be writing on this blog about the Tea Party from a Christian perspective. My goal is to convince my spiritual brethren who are skeptical of our movement that they actually belong on its front lines. I believe an e-book (or a series of them) with the same goal would make a valuable addition to Voices of the Tea Party. This is merely one Tea Partier’s view on how our core principles relate to my faith.
As a Christian in the Tea Party, sometimes other Christians express concern to me that our movement doesn’t address moral issues. While they generally agree on the constitutional and economic stances we take, some are hesitant to join our cause because we don’t take a stance on some of the traditional issues the church is passionate about.
My response goes something like this:
- Advancing constitutionally limited government—a defense against tyranny and oppression by a power-hungry government—is a moral issue.
- Standing for fiscal responsibility (i.e., good stewardship) and against a government that spends money we do not have on programs that do not work, piling up an unfathomable debt that our children—who had no say in the matter—will have to repay is a moral issue.
- Keeping markets free and fair so that government can’t reward and punish political allies and enemies through over-taxation and regulation is a moral issue.
- Demanding virtue and accountability in our representatives (and in ourselves) so that they (and we) are trustworthy stewards of our God-given freedoms is a moral issue.
- Because every person is created in God’s image and, therefore, possesses inherent value, protecting individual rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is a moral issue.
- Stopping government from destroying the value of the U. S. dollar—and countless lives—is a moral issue.
- Allowing productive citizens to keep the fruits of their labor is a moral issue.
- Insisting that government officials enforce and personally adhere to the laws we all operate under is a moral issue.
- Opposing bailouts of massive corporations while you and I struggle to feed our families is a moral issue.
- Fighting against forced redistribution of wealth (also known as “stealing”) and the promotion of envy by a corrupt, secular government is a moral issue.
- Holding elected representatives accountable to their oaths of office by expecting them to act transparently, with integrity, and at least read and understand the bills they pass is a moral issue.
- Simplifying the entire tax code so that it is comprehensible and fair to all citizens, favoring no special interest group over another, is a moral issue.
- Becoming energy independent by using America’s own natural resources so that we no longer rely on tyrannical nations that seek our demise is a moral issue.
- Protecting religious liberty is a moral issue.
I could go on, but you get the point. While these certainly aren’t the traditional moral issues that the church addresses, numerous Christian organizations are already doing excellent work on the others. Few, though—if any—address the issues related to constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and virtue and accountability—all of which contain strong moral components and align with biblical teachings. And the Tea Party, though not a religious movement, succeeds in advancing these founding principles that the Christian community often ignores to its own—and America’s—peril.
Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virgina tea party.