The Tea Party’s Fundy Problem

Feb 24 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Tea Party Values

The Pew Research Center has released poll numbers that demonstrate what we liberals have known from Day One: the Tea Party is a haven for religious bigots. As I saw, this comes as no surprise but we now have independent confirmation of the fact:

A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Tea Party supporters tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In addition, they are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues. And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.

Yeah, nobody noticed those WASPS in the Tea Party demonstrations did they? Come to think of it, perhaps I used the wrong word above…substitute “infestation” for “haven.”

Pew is also doubtless correct when they are that while “The analysis shows that most people who agree with the religious right also support the Tea Party…support for the Tea Party is not synonymous with support for the religious right.” There are libertarians in the Tea Party ranks for whom religion is not an issue.

An August 2010 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that nearly half of Tea Party supporters (46%) had not heard of or did not have an opinion about “the conservative Christian movement sometimes known as the religious right”; 42% said they agree with the conservative Christian movement and roughly one-in-ten (11%) said they disagree.

They key here is that 42 percent agree with the conservative Christian movement and only 11 percent say they disagree.

No matter how you look at it, the Tea Party has a Fundy problem. I don’t think this is surprising. The Pew study stresses the ultra-conservative nature of the Tea Party movement:

As previously reported by the Pew Research Center, the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole. Indeed, Tea Party supporters are more conservative on economic issues and the size of government than either Republicans in general or all registered voters.

It’s a good snug fit for the Christofascist set:

In addition to adopting a conservative approach to the economy, Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage. While registered voters as a whole are closely divided on same-sex marriage (42% in favor, 49% opposed), Tea Party supporters oppose it by more than 2-to-1 (64% opposed, 26% in favor). Similarly, almost six-in-ten (59%) of those who agree with the Tea Party say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, 17 percentage points higher than among all registered voters. Tea Party supporters closely resemble Republican voters as a whole on these issues.

Why is this?

According to an August 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Tea Party supporters are much more likely than the public overall to cite “religious beliefs” as the biggest influence on their views of same-sex marriage and abortion.

So there you are folks. It’s not like the Christofascists needed a new political organization; they’d already taken over the GOP by the 90s. Now they have the Tea Party to rally around as well. It was kind of the Koch Brothers to provide. I wonder if they remember them when they tithe?

Take a gander at the full report here.

Photo: Mark Allen – Fort Walton Beach, FL – Tea Party Photos








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