This is the third post in my continuing series on 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.
A few weeks back, I wrote a post about why the Tea Party isn’t just a fiscal movement, but a moral one as well. It inspired someone to write a comment under the alias “Richmond_Progressive,” asking me if I wanted to impose a theocracy in America. In thinking about it, I decided this topic deserves a post of its own, as Big-Government progressives often level this charge at Christians who try to play a role in shaping our government.
As a member of the Tea Party, I’m no stranger to silly characterizations of what I actually believe. The accusation that I might support a theocracy, though, takes the silliness to a new level, fit for a fictional world from the mind of George Orwell.
I’ve never heard a single conservative in America, Christian or otherwise, even hint that they support a theocracy in any form. Most Christians I know support the Tea Party core principle of constitutionally limited government, which is about as far from a theocracy as a functioning government can get.
Now, I don’t know if the progressives actually believe their own rhetoric when they level this charge, or if they’re simply trying to scare people away from all things conservative and religious. I suspect it’s a combination of both.
Regardless, here’s the truth: I—and many Christians like me—believe in the maximum freedom possible under the minimum government required to protect us and our property. I do not believe in legislating morality; it is God’s role to teach us right and wrong and our role to live by his standards. This is best done in a free society with minimal government intervention.
Now—contrast that with the system supported by those same progressives who attack people of faith. It is the progressives who desire a Big-Government command and control structure—one that is Almighty and the Owner of All Things; one that will be our Hope, Provider, Great Physician, Judge, Ruler, One and Only Savoir; and one that is Worthy of All Praise. It is they who want to apply these attributes of God to a government structure. Despite accusing Christians of wanting to impose a theocracy, it is their desired system, not ours, that greatly resembles theocratic rule. They are building a secular theocracy in which government becomes God for everyone, whether we like it or not.
Maybe it’s time for us to reverse the narrative and start asking them about why they want to impose a theocracy, while we just want to be left alone to live our lives.
Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party.