#ncpol: Jesus and The Tea Party

barberhandsAce race-baiters and all-around agitators and shake-down artists Bill Barber and Tim Tyson have outdone themselves.  They appear to be claiming — in an article entitled ”Jesus didn’t join the Tea Party either” — that alignment with The Tea Party is incompatible with Christianity:

[..] On Saturday, a throng gathered at the Capitol in Raleigh for what they termed an “I Stand With God Pro-Family” rally with Republican presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee. The initial “Stand With God” event occurred in August in Columbia, South Carolina – another key political GOP battleground. In fact, much of the crowd at the Capitol traveled from South Carolina.

Brandishing Bibles, speakers claimed that the country has lost touch with biblical values and decried abortion and marriage equality for gay Americans. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, the darling of the tea party, made the case for limited government, saying, “Government is not the solution” but nevertheless urging those who claim Christianity to “get involved with politics.” This so-called “Stand With God” makes a mockery of the Christian faith for narrow partisan purposes.

Jesus never once mentioned the allegedly moral issues touted by Huckabee, Forest and their admirers as the centerpiece of faith. Instead Jesus’ first sermon placed Jesus firmly on the side of the poor. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” he said, “because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” Jesus defined his purposes as to bring “good news to the poor” and “to let the oppressed go free.” That was how Jesus taught until the religious authorities and the sanctimonious mob crucified him.[…] 

Jesus was persecuted, convicted, and executed by local church leaders and Roman occupiers — the “government” and political powers that were oppressing the people in that locale at the time.  Modern-day Tea Partiers are challenging government tyranny as well.  Sounds kinda like-minded there. 

As a segue, Tim Tyson is a faculty member at Duke who was at the center of the lynch mob in the Duke lacrosse case. It’s nice to get moralizing lectures from someone with that kind of track record.  MORE: barber.fw

[…] In his final sermon, Jesus once again placed himself at the feet of the poor, the sick, the hungry and the prisoners, urging his followers to focus on the needs of those who are hurting. “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these who are members of my family,” Jesus declared, “you have done it unto me.” This is the heart of the Christian faith, but such concerns find no place at these “Stand With God Pro-Family” rallies, which instead appear to find that biblical values apply only to Republican hot-button issues.


Putting aside the persistent pleas of Jesus, these self-proclaimed conservatives are wildly liberal interpreters of the Bible, defining abortion and homosexuality as the Christian litmus test. True biblical conservatives might hew to the words of Jesus, which make no case for any right-wing agenda but instead focus on the needy among us – the heart of the Gospel.

The cries of such partisan Bible-thumpers are not new to the much-abused Christian faith. Instead, they stand in the regrettable “conservative” traditions of indifference to the poor and hostility to the despised among us. Their political ancestors used hypocritical and heretical interpretations of Scripture to support slavery, denounce women’s suffrage and to claim that social safety nets for the poor were against the will of God. Now their ambitious tribunes define morality only within the realm of right-wing politics, which they speak in God’s name to urge others to join. They need to open the Book and read instead of merely waving it in the service of partisan politics. […] 

gadsdenflag_2Asinine. Just, just …. ARRGGGH.  Church leaders led the way in the fight against slavery.  The Bible I’ve read and grown up with talks about neighbors looking after neighbors.  Not a government that seizes hard-earned wages to redistribute to others.  Not a world where the poor and needy are plopped in the eager arms of a cold, heartless government bureaucracy.

Church-going people of faith have been found time-and-again to be our nation’s most charitable.  Just because folks don’t appreciate being shaken down by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to lend a helping hand to people honestly in need.

There are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle who use religion to advance politics.  These two and Jesse Jackson will wave the Bible and scream from the pulpit to advance the Left’s agenda.  Former congressman Mike McIntyre and former governor Mike Huckabee gleefully do it from the right.

Oh, and it gets um, *better* with Tyson and Barber:

[…] Those who now claim to “Stand With God” instead stand with the politics of injustice and with their wealthy backers. They embrace the allegedly “family values” of injustice and hatred. Meanwhile, thousands of families in North Carolina suffer from the evils that Jesus decried.

How can the crowd at the Capitol rally for the religion of Jesus when they come to a state with half a million human beings denied Medicaid and say nothing about it? How can they utter not a word about North Carolina’s 1.7 million desperately poor, 700,000 of them children? Do “the least of these” merit no mention by the followers of Jesus, who speaks of the poor and disinherited nearly every time he opens his mouth?

It is true that not only religious persons but also all of us with moral concerns, however we may arrive at them, need to be engaged in public life. But believing in God and believing in the tea party platform is not the same thing.[…]

What did Jesus have to say about Medicaid ????  Again, he spoke about neighbors helping neighbors.  We used to do that through doctor house calls and the like before LBJ stepped in with “The War on Poverty.”  Fifty years later after that “war” started, things are WORSE. wright

And all of those poor people?  It’s safe to say that a good chunk of those folks live in areas dominated by politicians and bureaucrats of Barber and Tyson’s ideological stripe.  And for some further food for thought, check out Heritage’s Robert Rector and his study on American poverty.

For all the hollering liberals do about Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, Mark Harris, or Franklin Graham, I can point to Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Barber (among others) and the blatant race-baiting, divisive Marxist crap they spew.

To the chagrin, I’m sure, of Messrs. Barber and Tyson — Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives coexist peacefully in the house of worship I attend each Sunday.  Your faith is about self-fulfillment.  It’s about building and maintaining a moral code for you and your family to live your lives by. Using God, his son, and the Bible to advance ANY partisan  political agenda is — in my book — a very bad idea.

The Tea Party is about ripping power away from the bureaucrats and giving it back to individuals.  So they can worship how they want, educate their kids how they want,and reap the rewards of their hard work without fear of threat from bureaucratic tyranny.

It’s not about hate. It’s about love of freedom.  It’s about getting that cold, uncaring government out of the way so we can take care of each other and live our lives the way we want.