Tea Party 101 - Explaining The Tea Party Movement

There are many of you that are just waking up politically and are looking to educate yourselves; both so that you can make good decisions and so that you can debate your points more effectively.

This page is intended to help you out. Click on our principles below to understand what is important to the people who consider themselves Tea Party Patriots.

Why the Tea Party Movement?

For decades, people with Tea Party values have bemoaned the fact that basic rights and freedoms have been slowly been taken from us. Many times it was done in the name of a good cause, but was done in the wrong way or at the wrong level of government.

Most of us were working people and what spare time we had left in the work week, was devoted to church and family.

We voted for the most conservative choices on the ballot, but rarely were involved politically any deeper than the voting booth.

For this reason, it wasn't often that we had a great choice, and settled for the lesser of two evils.

Then the liberals went too far: They started taking away our rights and freedoms so quickly, that we woke up and realized that we HAD to get involved, or we would not be free enough to do anything about it in the future. We hesitated to depend on the existing Republican Party too much, even though they were the more conservative of the two major parties, because some of them were part of the problem. This situation set the stage for the rise of the grassroots Tea Party Movement.

In God we Trust

Yes, In God we trust. In recent years, you hear this less and less, not because most don't trust in God, but because liberals have succeeded in convincing many that there is supposed to be a separation between church and state. They claim that this separation was purposely written into the First Amendment to the Constitution, and prohibits any mention of religion by the state, taking it so far as to say that a city cannot display a Nativity scene on city land.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Somehow, these people think that since the Constitution prohibits Congress from starting or doing away with a denomination or religion, that they can't participate in it. Funny, somebody should have pointed this out to the founding fathers. Contrary to what the liberal media likes to portray, the founding fathers were religious people. Church services were held in the House of Representatives for decades. The Declaration of Independence states that all men have rights "endowed by their Creator". The founders remembered that England had a state-run church, and wanted people in this country to be able to attend whichever denomination they wished; that was the reason for the establishment clause in the First Amendment. If you doubt that religion played a large part of this country's founding, you should visit this exhibit on the Library of Congress website. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/religion.html

The Rule of Law

The United States of America is not a democracy. Yes, you read that right, and if you were educated in a government school, you probably don't believe me. Search the Constitution. The word "democracy" does not appear anywhere. We live in a constitutional republic. If you dig down through the layers, you will find that the basic foundation that supports everything this great country has to offer is the U.S. Constitution. Anyone taking the oath of office, and anyone joining the armed forces takes an oath to "...support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...." Notice that they don't swear to follow a president, or the will of the people, but rather the Constitution. The Constitution is what allows our government to have what power it does have, without this document they have no more authority than you or I do. That is why it is so important that the constitution is followed. When people say it is a "living, breathing document," and think circumstances or changes in attitudes allow us to change its meaning, they open the door to ignoring it completely. If you care about protecting your rights, any rights at all, you should care to "support and defend the Constitution." If not for the rule of law that the Constitution provides, you have NO rights.

Limited Government

Have you done your required reading yet? If so, you found that the Constitution puts limits on what the federal government can do, with good reason. The more control that big government has over your lives, the less freedom you have. It really is that simple. If you read the Declaration of Independence, you know that the founders thought freedom was worth "our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor." Many people suffered and died so that we could live free lives, and those freedoms have been eroding away with each passing year. Government is necessary, but must be limited if we are to remain free. The best way to do this is to keep government control as local as possible. Problems that can be solved without government, should be handled that way. Problems that need government intervention should be handled as local as possible. Local officials know the local problems more intimately, so they are better suited to come up with the best solution for that area. Also, if the local officials overstep their bounds, it is much easier for free ctizens to rein them in. There are very few things that government can do better or more cheaply than the private sector. Anything that the private sector can do that the government does instead, hurts the economy. Remember, government cannot create wealth, it can only confiscate it.

Fiscal Responsibility

Does your government know better how to spend your money than you do? The government creates no wealth, that isn't one of its duties; any wealth the government has must first be confiscated from someone else. Ethics and morals both dictate that the government should be a good steward of the money that was taken from those that earned it. Resources must be wisely managed. As budgets are debated, one basic question should be asked about each item in the budget: "Is this item so important that it merits confiscating the money from the people that worked for it?" Many of the programs that the federal government spends money on are things that do need to be done, but they need to be done at a local level to limit the waste and corruption that is rampant today. Go back and read the Constitution again, try to find where the federal government gets the authority to do even half of what they do.

Personal Responsibility

With the blessings of liberty comes the responsibility to accept the consequences of our actions (or inactions). Every need or greed that we expect the government to provide lessens our freedoms. The reward for accepting the responsibility for providing for ourselves is a country where there is no limit to the heights we can achieve! If the American Dream is to survive, we must be willing to be independent. If we depend upon the government, we become slaves to it; others will choose how and where we can live. The welfare state does not help people to get ahead. Decades ago we were told that providing taxpayer's money to these programs would eliminate poverty. Did it work? In actuality, we have seen a steady increase in the numbers of those accepting welfare dollars. Some people fall on hard times and really do need help, but this needs to be done on a local level, and should be done by the private sector. In the past it was handled by churches and civic groups, but since Uncle Sam started handing out taxpayer's money, the burden has shifted. While charity is a great cause, it doesn't belong at the federal level. The Constitution doesn't provide for it.

National Sovereignty

The highest law that is recognized in the United States is the Constitution. The United States government is not supposed to recognize any other governing body as having authority above it. Lately, more and more, liberal judges have been making rulings based upon foreign law. Many believe that we should bow to the wishes of the United Nations. As it only takes one generation for a nation to forget, we must continue to educate all about the blessings of liberty, and the costs to achieve and maintain it.

Equality of Opportunity

Socialism pretends to want equality for all, but in actuality, the people are divided into at least two classes: the elite ruling class, and the working class. Equality among the working class is achieved by the ruling class limiting the resources available to them. There is no incentive to achieve anything, because any extra money or goods you have created are taken from you and divided among others. Imagine that you are in school and worked hard to get an "A" grade, and the professor gave you a "C" instead so that a failing student could also get a "C" grade. Liberals in this country want to see equality of RESULTS. They think that successful people are just lucky; they won life's lottery, and what they have should be taxed away and given to others. Conservatives want to make sure that there is equality of OPPORTUNITY. Regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or national origin, we believe that ALL citizens should have the opportunity to improve their quality of life. This opportunity is taken from you when an overreaching government confiscates your achievements to give to others at their whim.

Political Correctness

Political correctness is a ploy used to promote liberal values. It is nothing more than peer pressure at a national level. Do you remember when you were in junior high school, and you knew that you wouldn't fit in if you didn't conform with the popular crowd? Well, liberals have controlled the mainstream media for decades, and they use this platform to signal what is to be seen as "in." This causes many to keep quiet about their opposing views, wanting to fit in with the perceived majority. What many are discovering now is that the views of the mainstream media belong to a small minority, and this minority is shrinking as alternative media outlets are gaining popularity. Just as those school kids learned that the popular kids were not necessarily the kind of friends who really mattered in their adult lives, the vast numbers that are now maturing on the political level are learning that political correctness is just a shallow game.

Property Rights

Liberty means nothing without basic property rights. In order to be free, you must have the rights to own property. How free are you if someone else controls your abilty to earn a living? If someone else controls your ability to travel, your ability to obtain or grow your own food, you are a slave to that person. Government at all levels has been encroaching on our rights to own property. Eminent domain has gotten completely out of hand, and many are working to protect the rights of the people. While the government hasn't outlawed the ownership of incandescent light bulbs or toilets that work well, they have outlawed their sale, indirectly controlling our rights to own them. Property tax laws mean that in reality, we never own real estate outright, we merely rent it from the government. Fail to pay your taxes, and you will find that ownership defaults to the government.

Christianity and Politics

Some Christians believe that they should not play a role in politics, usually referring to this passage in Romans 13: "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." They believe that since God established the authorities, they shouldn't get involved.
What they don't realize, is that in these United States, We the People are the government. God has put us in positions of responsibility, and it is up to us to make informed decisions when voting, supporting candidates, or serving in office. As Christians we need to be faithful to do our part in "this government of the people, by the people, for the people."