…but that don’t make me a “tea partier.”
I confess I don’t understand how the tea party has gotten so much attention. I don’t know anyone who is seriously involved in it. I know that a lot of people seem to be either fans of it or horrified by it. While my sympathies lean towards what I could call the best of the conservative tradition, I don’t think I fall into either camp vis-a-vis the tea party.
Is the entire movement racist, as the NAACP seemed to imply with their recent resolution? Doubtful. If every grassroots movement is to be judged by its most extreme elements, than every grassroots movement is stupid/ignorant/hate-filled/dangerous.
[Besides, this move only formalized a what is a widely held rule on the left: anyone on the right is by definition of a racist. And by the way, the left seems perfectly ready to accept racists in their camp, as long as they vote the correct way.]
This includes the contemporary incarnation of the civil rights movement, who should likewise be forced to answer for the racism of the Farrakhans and Black Panthers of the world. But the “I’m a racist? You’re a racist!!” argument is really a losing battle.
I’m not sure if I can say that Christians absolutely should or should not be involved in the Tea Party movement. I would say the same thing about any secular cause, including any campaign on the left – be it civil rights or that chimerical beauty called “social justice.”
What I feel confident saying is that, if involvement in any political cause is the defining force of your life – and you claim to be a Christian – you’ve got your priorities mixed up. If we find ourselves watching Fox News or reading the Huffington Post with more zeal than we pray or read the Scriptures or worship, we are in trouble.
And beloved, I think that means a lot of us are in trouble.
Lord, give us undivided hearts to serve and love you, and each other.
Save us from any cause, good or ill, that detracts from our worship of you. Amen.