April 21st, 2010
12:21 PM ET
8 years ago

DeMint says Tea Party activists leading spiritual revival

 Sen. Jim DeMint says the Tea Party movement is ushering in a spiritual revival akin to the religious fervor that preceded the American Revolution.

Sen. Jim DeMint says the Tea Party movement is ushering in a spiritual revival akin to the religious fervor that preceded the American Revolution.

(CNN) - South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint - whose profile has risen considerably among conservative activists over the past year - says the Tea Party movement is ushering in a spiritual revival akin to the religious fervor that preceded the American Revolution.

"Tea Party crowds [have] a spiritual component. I think it's very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution," DeMint told David Brody of the Christian Broadcast Network in an interview airing Thursday. "A lot of our founders believed the American Revolution was won before we ever got into a fight with the British. It was a spiritual renewal."

The National Humanities Center describes the Great Awakening as a reaffirmation of the view that "being truly religious meant trusting the heart rather than the head, prizing feeling more than thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason."

"'I'm 'praying for you' comes up more than anything else in these crowds so I know there's a spiritual component out there," DeMint also said. "I think as this thing (the Tea Party movement) continues to roll you're going to see a parallel spiritual revival that goes along with it."

The first term senator has become a favorite among conservatives and Tea Party activists over the past year after endorsing several dark-horse candidates in key Senate primaries - sometimes against the wishes of the Republican Party.

He first broke with some of his Senate colleagues last year to endorse Marco Rubio for Senate in Florida, long before the former state House speaker emerged as the favorite to win the GOP nomination over Gov. Charlie Crist, and again broke ranks Wednesday by backing Marlin Stutzman in Indiana who is challenging party-favorite and former GOP senator Dan Coats.

DeMint has also backed Ken Buck in Colorado, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Chuck DeVore in California.

Pressed on how he expects a spiritual revival to play out, DeMint said he predicts Americans, frustrated with government, will instead turn to God.

"People are seeing this massive government growing and they're realizing that it's the government that's hurting us and I think they're turning back to God in effect is our salvation and government is not our salvation and in fact more and more people see government as the problem and so I think some have been drawn in over the years to a dependency relationship with government and as the Bible says you can't have two masters and I think as people pull back from that they look more to God."

Filed under: Jim DeMint • Tea Party movement
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Angie in PA

    The founders said SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE No matter how much that Moron half baked Alaskan trys to spin it. that retard would not know the Constitution if it smacked her silly and I wish someone would smack her a– back to Alaska

    April 21, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. hobart

    These so-called Great Awakenings were anything but. They were a series of increased membership and interest in evangelical Protestant Churches. Whether the first one, which preceded the American Revolution, had anything to do with it is debatable. In any event, relying on Biblical Revelation over Reason is a recipe for disaster.

    How is it that Republicans complain the loudest about how far American students lag behind their foreign counterparts, yet foster precisely those attitudes in their followers, antipathy for science (creationism, denial of global warming, denial of harmful effects of herbicides and pesticides, denial of harmful effects of cigarettes and coal) and celebrating Biblical Revelation of over Reason, as intellectual attributes to cultivate.

    Earth to Republicans. One reason the rest of the world surpasses us in education is precisely because they do not buy Biblical (or other religious) Revelation over Reason, and as importantly, they do not buy Authoritarian proclamations as substitutes for independent scientific inquiry.

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    April 21, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Larry

    "The White Annoyoning Teabaggers" are ushering in a spiritual revival akin to Spanish Inquisition would be more like it.

    April 21, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yes a Tea Klux Klan Neo-Confederacy revival. The founding fathers were Freemasons. Go back and learn your history.

    April 21, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. john in binghamton NY

    What does this fornicator know about religion?

    April 21, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Clay

    A spiritual revival akin to the Crusades or Spanish Inquisition is more like it. The next Dark Age is just around the corner and with all of their emphasis on the Tea Party it appears that CNN and all of the other major news organizations are doing their best to usher it in.

    April 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Papasan in Az

    Spiritual in the sense that KKK White Hoods, Bigots, Right Wing Loony-isms, Racists, and the very finite minority of Old White Angry Men makes for a delusional Spiritual Awakening...
    Lets see you sell that to Main Street America.

    April 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Roger

    Does the term "fanatacism" ring a bell!!! There is nothing spiritual about this – it is ipolitics plain and simple – and not good politics at that! The cold hearted truth is that no matter how much good President Obama does for this country, the tea partiers will protest with their holier than though attitude. (Lipton should sue them for using the name "TEA" in their misguided crusade)!

    April 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. James Miller

    Nothing fosters a "spiritual" awakening quicker than raising taxes. - I understand why the ultra rich are spending $$$$ keeping the Tea Partiers riled up. Simple, they stand to lose their tax cuts Bush gave them.

    April 21, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    I believe God gave us W to punish us and gave us Obama as a sign of contrition.

    April 21, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. ian in Boulder CO

    Looks like DeMint is angling to become the Grand Ayatollah of USA. Or maybe KKK Grand Imperial Wizard. Whatever this is, this guy clearly is nutz. The fact that he's also a US Senator is truly scary.

    April 21, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Marty, FL

    Waterloo DeMint purports that his teabagger groups are somehow "spiritual" while subtly advocating violence and treasonous secession. Give me a break.

    His tea partier hypocrisy, lies, racial undertones, etc. are not moral components for most Americans. Thank God.

    April 21, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. New Day

    well, I couldn't care less about what the TeaBaggers stand for but, here is my two cents:

    If you joined these organizations because you feel so passionately for fiscal responsibility and/or spirituality then why do you allow biggots to carry hate-signs in your rallies? Why do you allow their actions to speak for the cause you feel so strongly for? It seems to me like you should be policing your own.

    I would imagine that most people stand for fiscal reponsibility and, at the very least, some level of spirituality (whether it be in God or their own moral code) but, when you allow hate and racism into your organization, it only ends up poisoning your cause.

    April 21, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    I wonder what happened the last time a group of religious people got together in ANGER against someone they believe to be the opposite religion of whatever they are?

    Ah, the good old Crusades, now that's "taking our country back"

    April 21, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Brian

    This guy is potentially the next Hitler, and I'm not joking.

    April 21, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sen. Demented is a radical. He's the senator from the state that still flies the Confederate flag. I think we all know whose side he's on. I don't see any praying going on at Tea Party rallies. I see a bunch of upset, angry white people who can't accept the fact that there is an African American ppresident who is doing a far better job of governing than that Dubya guy ever did. Suck it up!

    April 21, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Michael

    Bill O'rielly, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, and Erik Erickson are hypnotized by neocon ideology who worship Fox news, if this is spiritual, then priest entertaining little boys and taking their confessions, is akin to a spiritual awakening for some folks too!

    April 21, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. DLM

    A President trusting a higher father is what got us involved in the Iraq war.

    April 21, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    ...."Tea Party crowds [have] a spiritual component. I think it's very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution," DeMint told David Brody of the Christian Broadcast Network...."

    DeMint and his tea party followers are beginning to sound more and more like the Taliban every day . . . seriously.

    April 21, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. ran

    No surprise here because the tea party is just a new name for Evangelicals.

    And changing their name is not going to cover up the fact they are purity oriented just like the Nazis of Germany.

    We will not go back. No to the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans.

    April 21, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Duck Fallas

    The Tea Baggers are RIGHT! ALL incumbents MUST GO!!

    Bye bye, DeMint.

    Again, another doo doo windbag who hated the federal government so much that he ran for the senate. And won. And will run again.

    April 21, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Stacie

    Well said Brad! I, too, am offended that this group of nuts is now trying to hijack my religion!

    I'm sorry but I don't see a lot signs with messages like this:
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
    But I say to you, Love your Enemies.
    But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.
    Therefore let us not judge one another anymore.

    April 21, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The so-called "Great Awakening" took place half a century before the American Revolution and there were no effects of which I'm aware on American politics or the events that ultimately resulted in the Revolution. Basically, DeMint, is trying to revise history to lend credence to his idiot bible-thumping.

    The American Revolution took place in the so-called "Age of Enlightenment," a period when the leading philosophers, including people like Thomas Jefferson, were backing away from organised religion, either, for the most part, rejecting it completely like Pascal did, or adopting a vague, amorphous, deism.

    It's too bad that trend didn't continue, but, regardless, religion had almost nothing to do with the American Revolution.

    April 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. Slappy White

    Senator DeMint,

    If that God of yours gave two whits about America, why would he thrust the likes of Bush and Cheney on us?

    April 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. ted

    Neither DeMint or the Tea Partiers are spiritual. The Tea Partiers are a bunch of paranoid lunatics that have no connection to reality and that is why they like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Limbarf and Beck. DeMint is a certifiable moron. All they are doing is whooping themselves up and we will see them crash and burn when the Democrats take over every open seat in Congress. Buh bye Grand Obstructioninst Party.

    April 21, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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