Here's what happened. Someone wrote a letter to the editor of our local daily comparing the tea party to the Taliban. A tea party member (possibly) or sympathizer (obviously) respondeded by saying:
"Robert J. Joubert's eloquent comparison of the tea party and the Taliban shows how ridiculous an argument some will put forward to demonize this group. My experience is they are a group of Americans who want to get back to the principles this country was founded on, like financial responsibility. There is a huge difference in a country founded on Christian principles like love, charity and respect and a religious state run by people who want to kill innocent people who don't believe the same, as you suggest.
"Then the issue of women, most tea party people stand up for the rights of the unborn and traditional families, which is far from the oppressive actions of the Muslim extremists you compare them to. So if you see standing up for your pinciples as being obstructive, so be it. I see it as being patriotic rather than going along with a ridiculous, progressive point of view." /S/ Steve Childers.
Here is my take, issue by issue.
1. Note the cavalier flattery preceding the word "ridiculous" indicating deceitful obsequiousness, spoon-feeding the reader with syrup before excoriating the opinion under consideration. How can anything be "eloquent" and "ridiculous" at the same time? 2. Early on, we see how Childers, the letter writer proves Mr. Joubert's point: even if "financial responsibility" was a "principle this country was founded on," the nation most definitely was not "founded on Christian principles," as anyone familiar with Adams, Madison, Jefferson, and others can attest. Mr. Childers apparently gets his "facts" from tea party historian David Barton, who has been thoroughly disgraced and by the publisher of his own book about Jeffersonian Christianity. In fact, the First Amendment proscribes union of church and state so that its president, bicameral legislature, and judicial branch cannot run the country by Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other religious principles.
Love, charity and respect are not Christian principles at all but moral imperatives of sentient social animals, things we have in our DNA. (I'll wager Mr. Childers knows very little about DNA and biological hard-wiring for social interaction incorporating the "principles" he cites as "Christian.") One sees very little love and charity in the platform of the tea party, generally speaking a misogynistic, racist, homophobic lot. They support legislation, including the Ryan budget, that would gut social programs or privatize them so that the Koch Cabal (my term for the 1%) can practice a type of laissez-faire capitalism that renders the poor and working class serfs, setting progress in equality back to pre-20th century Russia or England up to the Industrial Revolution, France before the storming of the Bastille, and Mexico even today to some extent.
That tea partiers are misogynistic is seen in their views on birth control and abortion. The most draconian state laws only recently enacted to limit the latter procedure to less than two full trimesters in contravention of Roe v. Wade is reflected in fundamentalist biblical treatment of the female sex as "help-mates" to men, in effect Stepford wives with religious dogma instead of a pill taken to keep them pregnant and in the kitchen. Tea partiers would have pregnant women giving birth to unwanted babies, then setting them adrift in a society with no social or economic support, "pro-life" only protecting the unborn, not the offspring of unwilling parents often ill-prepared to raise children, their poverty leading to crime and punishment: Mr. Childers should check out the racial makeup of our prisons.
In a democracy it would be a crime to force women to carry to term incest babies, babies with gross deformities, and babies whose births would take the life of the mother. Make no mistake, tea party women are the willing genderslaves of the kind of masters envisioned by the dystopian SciFi novel, The Handmaid's Tale. What's next, depriving the female sex of any enjoyment they might have during coitus by forcing them to undergo labial circumcision? Familiarity breeds contempt, and groups who despise the religious laws of other groups often do so because their own religious laws are so despotic. If the tea party pushes for laws to ban imposition of Sharia law, perhaps it's because they prefer laws based on Christian dogma. The Devil is the God of people one personally dislikes.
What group of voters pushes for vouchers designed to fund private education for those who can afford it, depriving public schools of much needed funding so that the poor remain relatively ignorant and therefore unable to rise up through the middle class, which is, itself, slowly disappearing from the American scene? Who pushes for phony fraud-prohibiting election plans favoring wealthy precincts working disenfranchisement of anyone but angry white people? Tea partiers despise, rather than love, the minorities, both racial and sexual; they show no charity toward them, thwarting even raising the minimum wage to a point of escape from poverty level, and they disrespect them constantly by permitting stop and frisk, stand your ground, and unchecked ownership of weapons of war, including semi-automatics. What a phony hypocrite Mr. Childers is.
3. Phil Russo, a Florida radio host and campaign consultant, early member of the movement, calls the tea party the "religious right in tri-cornered hats." He maintains that the party was, early on, hijacked by the Cabal, which I could have told him when I found out that former Rep. Dick Armey headed up one of its PAC's. Russo argues that the tea party supports the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and has "deteriorated to racist name calling, fear of anyone with brown skin, and an irrational focus on Sharia law," says Huffpost. 4. "Ridiculous, progressive" speaks for itself. Other web sites that have labeled the tea party a religious right movement either as it was intended or has become include ABC News ("More than 7 in 10, or about 70 percent, of Americans who are part of the Tea Party movement are white Christians, compared with 53 percent of the general public") and NPR ("[A tea party rally-goer described their push for] a 'civil religion'...the idea that America was a divine experiment, that the Founding Fathers were Christian men who created a nation on biblical principles").
Seems to me it is not only fair to compare the tea party to the Taliban, it is a logical conclusion based upon an abundance of evidence. The two have one horrifying goal in mind: theocracy. That political "ism" is antithetical to democracy. Mr. Joubert wins the argument hands down.
May We Legitimately Compare the Tea Party to the Taliban?
My answer: YES, without hesitation. I've said so before ... as have others:
I took a vacation from Atheist|Nexus a while back and it's possible I missed this one. The problem with posting things to this site is that one is -- you should pardon the expression -- preaching to the choir. One sometimes feels as if one is speaking to a wall or that others on the site are familiar with all that one argues. My recess was dictated by that realization, which is why I took to posting on Facebook, but believer friends at that site surely take issue with my gnarly agitation, including one particular family locally whose pater was raised Catholic and mater Protestant. Well, I am protestant too...in the sense that I protest. I am back.
Hey, there's no law that says you have to follow this place, "chapter and verse," so to speak. If I do, it's because I have damned little ELSE to do and because I enjoy it! As far as "preaching to the choir" is concerned, yeah there's a bit of that ... but there's also getting different angles on issues from different people and learning from that, which to me is always something of value.
In any case, I'm glad you're here!
What is the level of influence of the TP now? (TP for tea party, not toilet paper)? I get the feeling that they are so hated by most Americans, they have backed down and only a few remain drying out in congress and the senate, like cow turds in the Texas sun.
This article, 18 months ago, describes the TP waning influence.
Jessee Jackson recently said the TP is the resurrection of the confederacy - but what does that mean? The confederacy caused a lot of ruin, and left a heritage of misery, But maybe this time around it's just rhetoric?
Washington Post Blog: The Tea Party Tiger Has No Teeth.
Maybe, TP has a lot more influence in the Old Confederacy, and has waned in other states?
Down the street from me is a house with a "Dont Tread On Me" flag in their front yard. I roll my eyes whenever I drive past it. Not saying TP has disappeared, but I wonder whether they'll be more than an occasional pain in the ass.
The Tea Party may not be all that and a bag of chips, but so long as Boehner keeps deferring to them and sucking up to them, NOTHING of substance is going to get done in the House ... other than useless bullshit like voting down Obamacare for the umpti-umpth time.
Loren, every single Republican, whether a tea partier or not, shares the tea party beliefs. they legislate that way where they can (i.e. the states). the only thing stopping it on a national level is Obama and the Senate. this vein of ideology is the most dangerous thing we've seen politically in this country since before the Civil War.
I'm not convinced that "every single Republican" shares the beliefs of the Tea Party ... but those that don't aren't making sufficient noise to be noticed, and if they do, they come under threat from those who do support the TP platform and can rally voters to oust the more moderate ones. My question right now is whether the TP will gain sufficient strength to truly threaten the governance of this country (and they're damned close) or whether the GOP will either survive or self-destruct BECAUSE of the Tea Party.
Right now, I think it's damned near a toss-up.
i agree that it's a toss up. to reiterate what i replied to James, i hope this world view is completely rejected by America in '14 and in '16. if that happens they'll be truly forced to rethink their direction. this last loss hurt, but losses in the next 2 elections will be deadly.
Got a question with regard to referents. Who is it who will be forced to rethink their direction, the T.P. or the GOP? I know some think there is no practical difference, but there is to me -- so long as there are, in the GOP, a dwindling number of old style libertarian Repubs. I was amazed the other night to learn, in a documentary about King's "I Have a Dream" speech, that when black protesters were jailed in Alabama, it was Nelson Rockefeller who came up with the bail bond money, on loan to an attorney for MLK. The promissory note had "Payable on Demand" written on it, but within a few days of the loan, Rocky wrote "paid in full" on the back and sent it to the attorney. This is the kind of Republican I still have some faith in. Unfortunately, when the last of them do something good, they face T.P. candidates in the primaries at home. Disgusting! But you are basically correct: the T.P.-infuenced GOP would appear to be on its way into the same oblivion as the Whigs.
They'd better lose the next 2 elections. I can't even imagine life under their regime.
My sentiments exactly. Which is why I support (1) Americans United for Separation, (2) the ACLU, (3) the Southern Poverty Law Center, and (4) People for the American Way. I think it is more important to support groups like this than freethinker organizations like American Humanists. More bang for the buck.