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. D. Tree

    I'm glad the Tea Party recently made rules against bigotry drinking at their rallies. If the Tea Partiers want to be taken seriously, they need to show they do not accept the fringe elements like birthers, bigots, and radical anti-government groups. As long as they allow this element into their rallies, they will be seen as a "party" that supports these things!

    April 21, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Brink

    I know that the good Senator is from South Carolina, but that should not be an excuse for being completely delusional.

    April 21, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. annie s

    Gee ,just waht we need. More religious fanatics trying to run our nation

    April 21, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. steve

    wow.. where does DeMint come off saying those comments. Why doesn't he get all those religous folks on the right to pray that the iraq and afgan. is won. So why don't they tell us how long that war will go on before we win that one? just a thought??? Ok lets get the wackos back on tv.. oh wait all this trouble started in the last year since obama took office how silly of me....

    April 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Someone needs to teach this man what "spiritual" means.
    It does not mean calling elected leaders hate-filled names.
    It does not mean being disrespectful to others, our leader specifically.
    It does not mean – "me first" at the expense of other ( healthcare no/but Medicare ok?)
    It does not mean yelling at people that don't agree with you.
    The Tea Party is filled with the mean old man next door types that have no tolerance for anyone.
    The only spirit they show is mean-spritedness and hate.

    April 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Jay

    Hey DeMented how did that Waterloo thing work for you?

    You're just another loser politician who's there to cater to a small group of crazies, while caring nothing for the millions who aren't in your small group.

    April 21, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Brian

    I think this is actually a desperate attempt to reunite the Reagan coalition of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.

    The Tea Party is supposed to be about limited taxes and small government. Fiscal conservatism.

    The social conservative movement is just the opposite. They want the government to eliminate religious freedom and endorse one set of religious ideas. They want government to tell you who to marry, when to have children, how many children you can have and how you can engage is sexual relations with other private citizens. This kind of theocratic totalitarianism is exactly the opposite of what the Tea Party claims to support.

    I think egomaniacs like DeMint, Palin and Bachmann would like nothing more than to suspend the Constitution and declare the United States a totalitarian theocracy that follows specific and rigid religious and "moral" codes. And the scariest part is that I'm convinced they would love nothing more than to either imprison, deport or enslave minorities, former criminals, atheists, liberal activists and other people they disagree with.

    DeMint would like nothing more than a pure, white, right-wing Christian society. Just like Hitler.

    April 21, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. RCasson

    These loons are ensuring Democratic victories in November. As a Democrat, I certainly hope they continue on this path!!!

    April 21, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. rob

    what drugs is he on. There is a lot of spirituality going on in this country , but its not Christian . Thats not the only religion in the world

    April 21, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    Normally I would say DeMint has Tea Bags on the brain, however, that Idiot has no brain activity so it appears he has no brain. He must be the actor that played the Straw Man in the Wizard of Oz.

    April 21, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. kanank

    I always think of alchohol when somebody say spiritual. Demint's comments shows he is either drunk or completely out of his mind which is not unusual considering where he is from.

    April 21, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Scott

    Jim DeMint and his views are very disturbing to this Christian. I am relieved to see so many posts from people not buying it. Maybe common sense will win this country over after all.

    April 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Regarding a couple of comments posted earlier, "sedition" is a null concept in the US, and has been since 1801.

    Sedition is a non-crime made illegal by tyrants for the sole purpose of suppressing dissent and ensuring their own continued power, and it's a far more appalling thing than anything I'm aware of from the Tea Parties. All the Tea Parties want is for the Federal government to abide by the Constitution, as it was written, and as it was intended to be understood at the time it was written. What's wrong with that?

    April 21, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Cosmo

    "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."
    What is this poor deranged man talking about? I have read a fair bit of history but I guess old Jimbo has some special sources of information that the rest of the world has no knowledge of, like his imagination. I guess the devastating loss to health care reform has completely unhinged him. When is he up for re-election so we can support whoever or whatever runs against him?

    April 21, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Harry


    You have just confirmed what I've been saying for nearly a year now. That the "Tea Party" is just another push by the American Taliban, ( aka. Southern Baptists, Klu-Klux-Klan, Sons of the Confederancy, etc.), to push their sick interpretation of Christianity. And just like during the Bush era, other mindless sheep will follow, not even contemplating whom they are associating with.


    April 21, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Dylan from MN

    I know my generation(18-35) doesn't buy into Christian Dogma or any religious dogma for that matter. I converted into a Zen Buddhist and though I'd like to be united with everyone through spirituality evangelism and fundamentalism creates rigid beliefs, intolerence and ignorance.

    April 21, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Translation: "I, Jim DeMInt, hereby admit that the Tealiban is in large part a Christian movement waging Teahad on the Constitutionally mandated secular nature of our society, our government and our laws."

    April 21, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Dear God, IF the Tea Party is "leading a spiritual revival" then GOD HELP US!

    What kind of God agrees with hate and lies?

    What kind of God wants our nation divided?

    What king of God promotes fear or division?

    Not the God whose Great Commandment is "Love one another, as I have loved you."

    April 21, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Sensible Joe

    Mr. DeMint needs to crack open his Bible and actually read it, instead of just thumping it and bashing other people with it. If he did so, he'd learn, much to his shock and horror, that the tactics, attitude and language of the Tea Party mob violated every ethic of Jesus Christ, who taught peace, nonviolence, truth, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, patience, love of neighbor before self and detachment from money and material things. The Tea Party mob is much more interested in Mammon than God, and one can't serve both.

    April 21, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Demetri

    It is getting very scary out there. Between the Tea Party, the rise of militas,anti government groups xenophobic and racist organizations, the recent passing of the Immigration bill in Arizona, and now the current Birther law that is about to be passed in Arizona, it is totally insane.

    What is people like DeMint thinking, that everyone is just going to roll over and let him and others like him establish the rule of law based on how they feel and what thier God tells them to do. They may start the Revolution, but those who don't want to go back to the good old days prior to the 19th century will end it.

    April 21, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Peter in WA State

    Yikes, this is scary stuff! Is DeMint really advocating moving toward a theocracy? Bush took us to war, in part, to bring “democracy” to the Middle East… and now the wingnuts of the Republican Party advocate theocracy at home. Jesus said, flat out: “my kingdom is not of this world.” Even Christ was for separation of church and state. DeMint and his ilk are frightening!

    April 21, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. RN

    Sounds like the republican plan: feel – don't think, trust the heart more than the head, rely on revelation and not reason. How has that been working for you? While this might explain a lot about the way the republicans have acted – do they really think that God gave us the ability to reason and then wanted us to not use this gift? Maybe DeMint cannot reason – but a lot of people can. Maybe Mr DeMint just wants early retirement – I think he deserves it.

    April 21, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Mike

    Yep, let's go way back to the time when spiritual leaders controled the government. Remember, putting an A on adulterers, stockades, fun stuff. The reality here is that we cannot allow religion into our politics, period. Which religion would have the say: CAtholics? Protestants? Jewish? We render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasars and to God the things that are God's. The Tea Party activists are mostly wealthy white people who do not want to help other people, but rather keep all their money for themselves. According to the bible Christians should not worry about money. In fact, there are many references that wealth is bad when trying to get to heaven. So how can they Tea Party activists believe there are Christians? They are misguided, greedy and selfish. Oh, isn't that part of the American dream?

    April 21, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Mr. Moderate

    Something I noticed over the past couple of weeks, these Tea Party rallies are not drawing what they initially project – the Boston rally with their leader poor picked on Sarah was supposed to get 10,000, it got 5,000; the Cincinnati rally where Sean Hannity cancelled at the last minute was projected to have 13,000 turn out, they got 8,000 and one outside Pittsburgh last weekend where Santorum spoke was supposed to get 6,000, they got 2,500. This is an overstated "movement", its just a very vocal part of the already Republican base. But then again, saying that just makes me a liberal hater in their eyes eventhough they know nothing about me.

    April 21, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. SCOTO

    Absolute nonsense. For the most part the founding fathers were men of the enlightenment. They would be appalled by a lot of the present day evangelical movement. This myth that they were Christians gets trotted out by people like this senator all the time but its a rewrite of history.

    April 21, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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