Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tea Party Christians Don't Make Any Sense

Today a rally for the Tea Party was held at the Austin capitol building, where a self-proclaimed "apostle" named Claver T. Kamau-Imani gave a speech on Tea Party values from a biblical standpoint. In his sermon, Claver cites 2 Corinthians 6:14,

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"

According to this preacher, and the many cheering voices in the background, the bible commands Christians not to compromise with non-believers. However, these non-believers include more than just atheists, as Claver calls out liberals, progressives, moderates, and socialists too. The implication here is that only conservative bible-thumpers are 'true believers'. Why? Perhaps Mr. Kamau-Imani thinks conservatives follow the bible more closely than those other groups do. Yet this brings to mind one of the biggest problems I see in Tea Party Christians.

When it comes to politics, the bible leaves no room for revolution or a non-compromising philosophy. Romans 13:1-2 plainly states,

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

Take a moment to let that sink in. Not only are all elected authorities put there by God himself, according to the bible, but anyone who rebels against those authorities is, by extent, rebelling against God and inviting judgment on him/herself. In Matthew 22:16-22, when asked about paying taxes, Jesus famously instructs the people to, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's". The anti-establishment rhetoric of the Tea Party could not be more at odds with the teachings of the bible.

Claver and his ilk cherry-pick passages to support their views that have nothing whatsoever to do with politics. 2 Corinthians 6:14 is about idolatry, how those who worship anything but God can steer believers away from God. If we interpret this in a political sense, anything can be an idol, even the free market system that many Tea Partiers and conservatives seem to place a massive amount of faith in. Yet the real point is that these passages cited by Tea Party members are not a Christian call to revolution. The same (alleged) author makes this very clear in Romans 13.

Tea Party Christians don't make any sense to me, because while many of them claim to accept the bible as the infallible word of God - as Mr. Kamau-Imani stated himself in the speech - they apparently don't consider it important enough to take passages like Romans 13 to heart. Of course, that would disillusion them from their chest-beating radicalism, which I suspect is too enticing for most of them to abandon. The idea of being a 'soldier for God' is probably a lot more exciting than being a doormat for God, however more biblical one may be than the other.


  1. It always bugs me how anyone complaining about Obama and wishing he gets assassinated conveniently forget about the Romans passage. Of course, it's never cherry-picking when you rationalize it away as having a different meaning or it being a mis-translation or taking it out of context. If you read the Bible 'properly', it always supports your religious views.

  2. That is the truth Drew, it's a sad fact that most Christians take take a man of peace and make him a hateful supporter of evil to suit their own ends.
    This was a great post, I have been blogging about the Tea Party for a while now. You are certainly not alone they confuse me as well.