Religious Right Backs the Tea Parties
As generational changes threaten to permanently diminish the religious right’s hold on political power, they’re reinvigorating their alliance with economic conservatives by backing today’s “grassroots” Tea Parties against government spending. Yesterday Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council joined up with longstanding Tea Party backers such as Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association to promote these lobbyist-organized demonstrations.
Here’s what they don’t get — teaming up with Fox News, corporate lobbyists, and conservative ideologues to gin up outrage about government spending and progressive taxation does not resonate with the generation they need to win over in order to give their movement a new lease on life. Their effort shows the extent to which the religious right’s leadership remains entrenched in the conservative political establishment, which is steadily losing influence and popularity. For example, Tony Perkins signed a joint statement of support for the parties with Edwin Meese, Grover Norquist and Brent Bozell today, which contains no faith-based arguments but does conflate tax increases on the wealthiest Americans with across-the-board hikes that aren’t happening, while invoking buzzwords such as “death tax,” “big government” and “free-spending liberals.” The religious right’s support for the Tea Parties is a partisan exercise, not a religious one. It will not help their cause.