What kind of a nation does the Tea Party Nation have in mind?
There’s a lot to admire about the gumption of actual grassroots Tea Party activists. I don’t share their exclusive definition of “defending the Constitution,” promoting an interpretation of the 10th Amendment that the Supreme Court rejected in the 1800s and pretty much ignoring the first, fourth, sixth, eighth, fourteenth and sixteenth Amendments. And yes, some Tea Party activists have put their rude, crude, bigoted and sometimes threatening behavior on display at rallies. But there are many Tea Party activists who are well-meaning and sincere and really, really angry at the government. Sometimes that anger at the government is warranted. I admire the commitment of the people who have gotten off their duffs to advocate for their vision of a better country.
But then there’s the Tea Party Nation. The organization called the Tea Party Nation censors members who get too uppity, threatens lawsuits against anyone who uses its broad trademarks that refer the historical event that sparked the American Revolution, and charges nearly a thousand dollars to attend its convention and banquet at which “business attire” is required. The Tea Party Nation organization is a creature designed by acquisitive insiders to grease some big wheels and steer the little people in the direction deemed necessary.
But what direction is that? An e-mail I received today from the Tea Party Nation gives us a clue:
Although easter itself has pagan origins as a spring fertility celebration, this e-mail encourages Americans to celebrate a decidedly Christian easter, complete with a scene of adoration for the resurrected Jesus Christ.
It’s certainly the right of the Tea Party Nation to send out an e-mail celebrating the Christian easter. I’m not disputing the prerogative of the Tea Party Nation to align itself with a particular religion. But that choice says something about what the Tea Party Nation has in mind. A Tea Party Nation is a Christian nation, an exclusively Christian nation.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation celebrating Jewish Passover or Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation celebrating the Pagan sabbath of Ostara.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation wishing the nation a Happy Eid or noting the passage of Ramadan.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation with encouraging words on the occasion of Diwali.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation celebrating Kwanzaa.
There has been no e-mail or web-based message from the Tea Party Nation wishing everyone a happy Solstice or Equinox.
An increasingly large wedge of America is nonreligious or observant of a religion other than Christianity. But the Tea Party Nation sees it as its mission to exclusively encourage the practice of Christianity.
If you don’t fit in the ever-smaller segment of observant Christians in America, note well that a Tea Party Nation does not include you.