The large rally in DC that featured Glen Beck and Sarah Palin was like it never happened on the blogs I visit, and I visit quite a few. That may say something about the blogs I visit.
One blog did mention the phenomenal anger and lies of Jim Wallis relative to the funding of Sojourners by George Soros. Wallis made it clear by his reaction that anger is reserved for liberals against rascist, fascist, capitalist, greedy suburbanites who haven’t yet figured out that true justice means giving to Sojourners. Wallis has proven that in a pinch he will lie to get out of it.
I usually am intellectually curious and open to sophisticated counter-arguments. I generally try to remind myself that what I think is simple and clear might have levels of complexity that need room to be explored. But I am beginning to think that the people I hang with in the blogosphere are either tired of the culture wars (growing tired of them does not mean they will go away!!!), actually liberals, or incapable of identifying with people movements.
The level of Tea Party backlash is THE story right now. I tend to think of it as a justice movement and not a reactionary racist response to diversity. The people I know in it are good people, fair people who hold up their end of the American system and support those who don’t but have found that certain others mean for them to do more than a fair share. They expect them to be unequal under the law and to support statism, the faith that through government the great society can be born. This means higher taxes, the marginalization of religious faith, the relativization of the American democratic system of government, and the right of government to decide which laws it will enforce and which it will not.
I have lived through Vietnam, Watergate, Jimmy Carter, and more. I have never seen so much anger and visceral energy on the part of the 40 some percent of Americans who actually pay taxes. They have been bullied, lectured to, looked down upon, and generally ignored. Meanwhile they hold down jobs, pay taxes, raise their families, educate their children, send them to college and generally keep busy about the business of keeping their lives together. They do not make it a practice of going to rallies on work days and weekends are reserved for the myriad chores, soccer games, home repairs and recovering from the sheer exhaustion of it all. They pay their mortgages and support those who don’t pay their mortgages. They are nice and manners matter. But they are getting the idea that it is they who, in Nietzsche’s words, have the slave morality.
I am not blind to the reality that theologians and academics are usually among the last to respond to people movements, either when they need to be opposed or when they need to be supported. They always see “both sides” and end up irrelevant to the great movements of the day.
Tea Party people have finally recognized that political power is a solution to change the trajectory of the country. This time they will do it without the church, which in the days of the Moral Majority was front and center in the great moral debates. This is perhaps the better way. A renewed church, not a politically active church, is so much a part of the answer that it should leave politics to the people.