You cannot serve God and wealth

Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell this weekend attended the annual conservative Values Voters summit in Washington, DC. There, she … Continued

Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell this weekend attended the annual conservative Values Voters summit in Washington, DC. There, she emphasized that although she is backed by the Tea Party, she is also a politician who “toiled for years in the values movement,” alluding to her longtime work as a Christian activist.

What is the Tea Party? Is it “a recession-era version of the religious right?” Is it something else? And if the Tea Party is not a religious movement, why is it raising up candidates like O’Donnell who has a strong background of religious activism?

“You cannot serve both God and wealth (Luke 16:13).” I fear that the Tea Party may to be trying to do just that.

To be clear, the Tea Party is not a religious movement even though it does have religious elements within it – mainly evangelical Christians who have a heartfelt desire to serve God. What’s actually more common than the Christine O’Donnell “values movement” style of activism among Tea Party candidates is a harsh libertarian streak. These conscious or unconscious devotees of Ayn Rand trust that hyper-individualism is the foundation for the American dream and so work toward a world where there is no government that would meddle in anything which might hinder their pursuit of wealth. It’s a kind of religious zeal that fuels this kind of Tea Partier.

I see the Tea Party as a strange amalgam of these two elements: those seeking to serve God and those seeking to serve wealth. So the question then is who benefits from these unlikely bedfellows?

Best to apply that wisdom from the political tsunami that still blows chaotically through American politics, Nixon and Watergate: “Follow the money.” Sadly, very, very few of these Tea Party candidates would have gotten to the first chicken dinner or the nearest voter database in the general election without masses of money flowing in from people who are neither Christian nor libertarian. Jane Mayer in The New Yorker has served the country best in shedding light upon who these big-money backers are and what they really care about. These men are happy to eviscerate government or turn it to serve them. Either way, they win.

Sadly, this flood of corporate money will no doubt continue until Election Day.

So Jesus turns out to be correct: wealth, not God, will most likely be served in this election. And it’s the values voter like me who sees Jesus paying primary attention to the poor and government as a counterweight to human greed that will get swept away by the storm.

Janet Edwards
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  • phjesuswarrior7

    The Tea Party is not attempting to serve wealth, it is seeking responsibility isn government. I pray the registering of the small tax exempt entities will mean soon that all entities will face a flat tax and the income tax era in the United States will end. How it is rolled out is not my concern, as long as it is across the board. A consumption tax has it’s advantages just as a flat tax on all revenue. That would include revenue generated from any source in the United States, by any entity based in the United States, or any entity doing business with anyone in the United States. There would be no more tax exempt entities, they would pay taxes no matter what their self serving project was whether it promoted, religion, soberity, abortion, civil rights, due process, health care, insurance, community developement, and or human resources.

  • Martial

    Also, let’s not forget Martin Luther on the peasants. Here’s the first lines:Against the rioting peasants, Martin Luther.In my earlier book on this matter,1 I did not venture to judge the peasants, since they had offered to be corrected and to be in structed;2 and Christ in Matthew 7 [:1] commands us not to judge. But before I could even inspect the situation,3 they forgot their promise and violently took matters into their own hands and are robbing and raging like mad dogs. All this now makes it clear that they were trying to deceive us and that the assertions they made in their Twelve Articles4 were nothing but lies presented under the name of the gospel. To put it briefly, they are doing the devil’s work. This is particularly the work of that archdevil who rules at Mühlhausen,5 and does nothing except stir up rob bery, murder, and bloodshed; as Christ describes him in John 8 [:44], “He was a murderer from the beginning.” Since these peas ants and wretched people have now let themselves be misled and are acting differently than they promised, I, too, must write differ ently of them than I have written, and begin by setting their sin before them, as God commands Isaiah [58:1] and Ezekiel [2:7], on the chance that some of them may see themselves for what they are. Then I must instruct the rulers how they are to conduct themselves in these circumstances.