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Sen. DeMint: Spiritual renewal will be led by affluent white men

April 21, 2010, 1:20 pm | Posted by Beth Dahlman

Well, those weren’t exactly his words, but that’s effectively what the senator said when he told David Brody “I think as this thing (the Tea Party movement) continues to roll you’re going to see a parallel spiritual revival that goes along with it.”

His remarks are curious given the sometimes uncomfortable relationship between the Tea Party and the religious right, and they’re downright bizarre in the light of recent polling showing Tea Party supporters are significantly more affluent, white and male than the general US population, and, most notably, are out-of-step with the general population on racial issues and economic. Tea Party supporters are almost twice as likely at the general population to say “too much” has been made of the problems facing black people and that President Obama’s policies favor the poor over the rich and middle class.

Of course, affluent white men can, and have, been integral to spiritual movements throughout history. However, most faith traditions, including Christianity (the context in which Sen. DeMint made his comments) place a priority on being in touch with those at the margins of society, not those at the top.

Why Sen. DeMint would lift up as a source of national spiritual awakening a group disproportionately made up of privileged “haves” to the near total exclusion of the “have nots,” those that Jesus commanded his followers to care for most, is a mystery to me.

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