Religious Right Worried About Tea Party Movement

They fear anti-tax crowd is too secular
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 11:00 AM CST
Tea party supporters demonstrate before the arrival of President Barack Obama at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, Wednesday, March 10, 2010, in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Curry)

(Newser) – Religious conservatives are glancing nervously at the tea party movement, afraid the cool new kids at the GOP lunch table don’t care about their issues. It seems the movement “has a politics that’s irreligious,” evangelical leader Richard Cizik tells Politico. “I can’t see how some of my fellow conservatives identify with it.” The movement centers around economic issues, and organizers have largely avoided social ones.

“People didn’t come out into the streets to protest gay marriage or abortion,” counters an official from the libertarian-leaning tea party group FreedomWorks. For activists those issues are divisive distractions; for Evangelicals they’re all-important. Many religious conservatives also disapprove of the movement’s harsh invective against Barack Obama, whose personal conduct they approve of. “Younger Evangelicals are largely turned off by the tea party movement,” says Cizik, “by the incivility, the name-calling, the pathos of politics.”

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