Obama, Tea Parties, and God

One of my favorite contributors here at America’s Right is Lisa Fritsch. She’s an incredible woman, an endless font of optimism and faith, and someone whom I cannot help but admire.  Imagine my glee when she told me that she is working on a book.  An excerpt from that upcoming book, Obama, Tea Parties, and God, follows below.  Enjoy.  — Jeff

I’ve remarked often how the Tea Party Movement reminds me a great deal of the Civil Rights Movement. As such, I think of it along the same lines as a modern day civil rights movement no so much in the way we are fighting for rights, but, in the way that we must carry ourselves and be accountable to one another. There is so much to be learned from the Civil Rights movement of the past.

In light of the Tucson tragedy and the upcoming elections that are sure to be intense, now more than ever we must remember the legacy and resurrect the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King. What we are fighting for is only as noble as the means to our victory and the image of love we project. As we call ourselves and each other to stand up, it’s an imperative that we stand with God, honor, and humanity. Luckily, we don’t have to start from scratch. Dr. King left us a blueprint for our own struggle. Dr. King wrote freedom’s manifesto. In it is a model for excellence, grace, God’s hand, and victory. All quotes are his.

Like the Civil Rights Movement itself, the work of the Tea Party must be based on Faith. The Tea Party must follow in the civil rights movement’s principles of nonviolence and civil disobedience. In the words of Dr. King “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline,” To achieve continued success the Tea Party must apply important lessons from the Civil Rights movement that came before:

  • Follow the path of Light
  • Embrace Our Neighbors in the struggle
  • Approach the world with Love
  • Fight The Courageous Fight

Light

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

One important thing to keep in mind is that those who oppose us feel just as strongly about their platform as the Tea Party supporters. Those who shout slurs of “tea bagging,” “redneck,” “racists” are doing so in darkness. Our response must be light. We cannot allow ourselves to taint our movement by succumbing to the will of darkness for that will only further divide the country and unhinge our platform and message. The way to respond and to retaliate is in love and concern. We can correct our adversaries where they are wrong, but, in doing so we must put on the armor of Christ and counter them in love and light. How do we do this? We don’t attack back. We respond with the fundamentals of our message and apply the message to the issue only, not the person.

Our Neighbors

“We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers”

At a class I taught this past year, “Lessons learned from the Civil Rights Movement,” the question of who the Tea Party should accept and reject came up. I was thinking in the way of signs and angry rhetoric, but, the class was thinking in terms of lifestyle. Specifically, a gentleman wanted to know what should be the Tea Party’s take on women who were pro-choice, or gay members in the Tea Party. My short answer was that the Tea Party’s message cannot be about rejection, but, acceptance and that we are called only to love our neighbors as ourselves and love God with all our heart. It isn’t up to us to reject someone based on a lifestyle choice. It isn’t our calling.

Immediately, a lady raised her hand and countered this, saying, “I do think we should be careful about who we let into our movement. We don’t want to weaken our message.” It struck me for the first time that must be many more believers with this point of view where she came from. God is love – surely and truly. Part of us being embraced in that love is to show actions of love. I don’t believe God wants us here rejecting HIS children in order to defend him or to keep a message purified.

None of us are worthy. Except by the grace of God do we even live and breathe to regret our sins. How can anyone go about rejecting another without knowing the character or the heart of the person simply based on the decision to abort a child, or, that they are homosexual? In my more stubborn years, I looked down on these issues as well, thinking that I was more fit spiritually. Well, at least I … But, if I say that, of course, I am loathe to look towards my own direction of sin. For the fact that I have not been faced with certain obstacles and decisions are for God’s grace, not a testimony to my own strength and moral courage.

Perhaps the gay man has shown strength and moral courage in areas where I have been weak: patience and long sufferance. The woman who has had the abortion is a charitable and loving philanthropist with virtues of self control and a kind tongue whereas we are quick to scorn, easy to rile, and slow to give.

Jesus showed us the best example. King of kings, he came to earth in poverty and humility. He went straight to the weak and lowly: the tax collectors and the prostitutes. Are we too good to stand on principle with a gay man or woman, or a woman who has had an abortion or supports it? Most certainly we are not.

Love

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

One particular goal we must strongly work on is to re-define what it means to be a conservative. For too long we have been shackled to ideas of narrow mindedness and stymied as bigoted hypocrites. We must make an effort to give a better PR campaign that expresses who we are by our hearts and our intentions for humankind.

I know we have our Christian beliefs of pro-life (I am too) and heterosexual marriage (I believe in that too), big BUT here, BUT it is only our obligation to keep our own house clean as we see fit. If we come across a neighbor whom we believe to keep a dirty house, is it Holy to keep them out of our own house saying that ours is too clean to receive them. Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves doesn’t mean that we love the way they keep their house; it means we love them for being part of God’s creation. We can love our neighbor without being fond of her and “approving” of her. We can love and want the best for any person without addressing the state of their house.

Besides are we keeping our own house clean merely to be above our neighbors, or to boast superiority in the face of other’s shortfalls? Or, are we keeping our house clean so that it is pleasing to God and to ourselves. If it is the second of the two, we should know be content and thankful that we have a gift of servitude in our hearts. If it is the first of the two, then we must surely acknowledge that while our house is clean, our hearts are not.

Whenever a Christian has an opportunity to show love to someone with whom they think they should not approve, it is a crucial moment to show the love of God. It is chance to be an example of his light and to hope for a positive change without demanding it. For we are not in a place to demand anything of anyone else. We can only hold ourselves accountable. What better way to bring out the best in someone else, than to first offer the best of ourselves.

Conservatives can no longer be the party of behavioral rejectionism wherein it does not directly affect our independent liberties. If we do not show love and inclusion then we condone hate. We give our enemies permission to hate us in return. If we want to change the cycle of hate, let us be the first to throw down the gauntlet of love, the only thing with the power to cast hate out.

The Courageous Fight

“If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, ‘There lived a great people – a black people – who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.’”

Oh, Lord, I pray. Let us leave a legacy of dignity and let it go viral, rippling and infecting all of civilization for generations to come. Let is set off beams of light and spark joy, love, and gratitude for humankind. For we are God’s divine creation put here for no nobler, yet no more challenging task, than to love one another.

The best and most beautiful thing Glenn Beck did to restore honor at his 8/28 rally was to tell people to “leave your signs at home.” I don’t think all signs are bad, but when people show up with messages that are not cognizant to the issue, it drowns out what is really important. And, what a mighty rally it was even without them. It was a vision of peace, unity, and understanding. Rather than dilute the occasion, gathering without the signs let all the light from above shine down on every soul who came to witness a restoring of honor.

The giftedness of Martin Luther King and his call for non-violence was that he called for dignity. We too must march to that same beat, letting dignity and grace be our redeeming force in our protest.

What we say is just as important as how it is said. We must march and protest, but, we must do so in the sway of grace and poise. Further we can speak softly letting our votes be our stick.

What was a political movement and political philosophy now has the potential to be something much greater than all of this. The Tea Party movement has been called a restoration of many things: the Constitution, honor, greatness, liberty. I see it as all those things, but lately I see it as an opportunity to restore each other towards humanity, and to be part of a movement to deliver our nation back to God.

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Comments

  1. L. Banks says:

    The Tea Party like every other movement is made up of human beings who are far from perfect and who live in a far from perfect world. In my experience with Tea Party people, they are from every walk of life and are just regular people trying to express their concern for the direction of this country and for the constitution. However, I have also seen many who have their own agendas attempting to steer the people in that direction. I have also seen the attempts by others to infiltrate or use the Tea Party to discredit it.
    I agree that the high road is always the path to take, but we must also recognize that in this far from perfect world we have people who have decided to make it their mission to destroy us. God has given them free will just as He has given us free will and He does not interfere. It then behooves us to be ever watchful and prepared. It behooves us to validate all of God’s laws by our words and actions and to set the example for our children and others. It behooves us to distinguish an action that is against the laws of God which we cannot condone or be counted as denying Him from the person who is a child of God. It behooves us to recognize that it is God’s will and not our will that needs be done even if we work our hardest and evil seems to triumph. It also behooves us to set our own house in order and follow the words or our Lord – “Not My Will, but Thy Will Be Done” and know that even He was rejected by this far from perfect world. It behooves us to recognize that this is not our home just a far from perfect world.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Every word of this, is oh so true. It is the most difficult thing in the world to do, however, isn’t it? when your nation is in it’s death throes, fiscally and morally. A nation so hard fought for at it’s creation, and along the way. Lord, give me strength and enlightenment, patience, and courage when and if it comes to needing a lot of that.

  3. graypanther says:

    …we must also recognize that in this far from perfect world we have people who have decided to make it their mission to destroy us.

    And Fritsch’s call for tolerance offers the perfect opening for them to get close enough to do it.

    Remember, no real communist will ever call himself a communist. The lesson of McCarthy will endure for generations.

    Before people are admitted to the movement, their true convictions must be known as far as possible.

  4. I’m having too much fun irritating the dark side using its’ rules. Only better and lighter. Or maybe, to your point, better because it’s lighter.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  5. Randy Wills says:

    Great, great, article/excerpt, Lisa. I’ll be looking forward to the completion of your book.

    Many thanks for your wise and pertinent words.

    Randy

  6. Gail B. says:

    I just love the brilliance of Jeff’s writers! Just LOVE it!

    I try not to judge people, but when I see a regime taking steps to undermine our great nation, when I hear one lie after another from our so-called leaders, when I hear the hate speech coming from the leftists, and when I hear the (what’s a polite word for it?) horse apples from the liberal media, I CANNOT step down! While they are as free to say what they are pushing, I have the freedom to defend the Constitution, to call my senators and representative, to speak out when I feel it’s necessary. Unfortunately, this happens more and more frequently these days.

    I am earnestly praying that peace will be maintained in the streets of America, but I’m afraid that there is more going on than what is being revealed to us. Obama & Co. have no reason to keep us informed.

    And, as for the Intel Chief Clapper, I thought Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were going to have a stroke over what Clapper said. Charles Krauthammer just flat out said that Clapper was WRONG. Clapper has now backtracked, but I haven’t a clue what he said about his earlier blunder. Either he is clueless or a liar. Either way, someone with credibility needs to replace him.

  7. Sam says:

    Wow, previous comments, once up for a while, have been subsequently ‘scrubbed/selectively edited’, and subsequent posts agreeing with that previously unscrubbed post, were deleted.

    Apparently AmericasRight, exercises thought control. I am hurt I don’t meet Jeff’s standards. This is kinda what is wrong with America. Elitism.

  8. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Apparently AmericasRight, exercises thought control. I am hurt I don’t meet Jeff’s standards. This is kinda what is wrong with America. Elitism.

    Sam,

    You’re more than up to my standards. But the Lakin and birther stuff is beneath yours. And Gail’s. Look, it’s an interesting constitutional question, and it’s a shame that the president was elected without people knowing his college GPA or anything else. From a legal standpoint, however, it’s a total mess. And, in my opinion, it cheapens the discussion at a time when this country has seen a substantive and sea change.

    Like it or not, everything I’ve been saying about the possibility of a Barack Obama presidency from the moment Will.I.Am released that “Yes We Can” track has been correct. All along, I’ve said that if this country survives an Obama presidency, the American people would have a newfound respect for freedom and limited government much like someone who survived a nasty car wreck has a newfound appreciation for life. I’ve been right all along — look at the lasting change, in the right direction, brought about by the most unlikely of presidents! We have a Tea Party that hopefully will maintain itself as a regulatory force in American politics when it comes to keeping founding principles in perspective … why ruin it by focusing on ancillary issues and misguided people exploited by shitty attorneys seeking fame for themselves?

    It’s not elitism, Sam. It’s a plea for proper perspective. And, if that’s impossible, maybe a little restraint.

    Jeff

  9. Anonymous says:

    “a plea for proper perspective. And, if that’s impossible, maybe a little restraint”

    Read that as, your perspective, and your restraint.

    Admit you scrubbed a comment, and later deleted a comment as well. Please don’t tell me that running with the MSM crowd in your tweets and conventions is rubbing off on you.

    And I don’t understand this ‘ancillary’…. as if more than one aspect of a person can’t be looked at at once?

    Richard Nixon was hounded out for breaking the law, it would seem constitutionalists can hound one out for ignoring the law; the supreme law.

    IMHO

  10. Jan says:

    Awesome article! Your words echo my heart and my daily plea. I realize that I am unable to love as required by my Lord. Only through Him and I capable. I just have to submit daily to Him in order for all these things to work through me.

    We also have to remember that nothing takes God by surprise. If we follow that God allows all leaders to be in positions of authority whether good or bad, then we must look at this as a learning opportunity. Gain wisdom from this time in history and look to change…..but that change must start within ourselves first.

    While I can stand against ideals, I do not want to stand against people. God loves each and every one and desires that none perish. I am no more worthy or His calling that the next person. There are still plenty of positives in this country and we must focus on those as well. When we surround ourselves with negative thinking we will find negativity in everything. I wish to remain positive and live my life with gratitude while pleading the case in an appropriate manner.

    Thank you for your wisdom and the choice you have made to lead in love.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just keep in mind Jeff, our comments are not a reflection on you or your prose abilities. Our comments, well, are ours, and come from our life experiences. I happen to be 58, and over the years, have learned to spot a ‘rat’. And this administration is packed with em. It’s sad to go all ‘Yahoo.com’ and censor people.

    Anybody can see, and go on about, how spending trillions we don’t have, is wrong. That’s a no-brainer. That, combined with any and all ‘ancillary’ angles, is fine by me.

    And I sincerely invite you, the wife and all your children to three days and nights, expenses paid, to visit the Obama Presidential library, when that glad/sad(?) day comes, and it is open. I want to spend the few minutes it will take going over the display, of his formative years history, with you.

  12. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Admit you scrubbed a comment, and later deleted a comment as well.

    Guilty as charged. I edited one comment and scrubbed another because they had absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. Furthermore, I denied another comment from you just now, linking to a piece elsewhere.

  13. graypanther says:

    Anyway, calling censorship elitism is a slur on elitism.

  14. Randy Wills says:

    Thanks, Jeff, for keeping AmericasRight standards high. I am firmly convinced that some of the “red meat” issues are intentionally left in the fire by the Left as a means of casting the Right as a bunch of loons. A good example was the grilling of the Speaker of the House regarding such issues on “Meet the Press” last Sunday.

    A proud contributor to AmericasRight,

    Randy

  15. whats_up says:

    Guilty as charged, my apologies Jeff, it wont happen again.

  16. PSYDOG says:

    I agree with almost all of Lisa’s article with the exception of acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle or pro abortion viewpoint. I, being a Christian man will not judge another, that’s God’s job but He clearly tells us that these things are an abomination to him and they will not enter into the Kingdom of God. I hate the sin not the sinner and I pray that these would repent of their ways but without repentance they are doomed to God’s judgment and his word is clear on how he feels about these matters.

  17. Randy Wills says:

    To “PSYDOG”:

    I agree with everything that you said, but I think that Lisa was trying to say that the answer to immoral behavior does not fall within the purview of the political process at the federal level. My hope would be that these issues could at least be left at the state level – maybe even community – so that citizens who believe as we do would have a choice as to where they live.

    As it stands now, the federal laws force us all to comply with morality in the public square, so to speak, at its lowest common denominator. As I have said before, we live in a time when the only behavioral objection that we are allowed to voice is being against anything. By that I mean that it’s not OK for you to object to homosexual marriage, but it’s OK for me to voice objection to your being against that behavior. Madness, but realitiy.

    Randy

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