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. Tori in Texas

    Someone should tell these teabagger "Christians" that they're doing it wrong. Fear, hate and religious political dominence were not values taught by Jesus. Please see Matthew 25.

    April 21, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    From my experience, Tea Party sympathizers and those who embrace any recognized religion are the dumbest people on the face of the earth with absolutely no credibility. I don't want them running anything which affects my life. This is a minority view, of course, but a correct one.

    April 21, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "more and more people see government as the problem "

    And the GOP has done EVERYTHING in its power to foster that perception. "If we don't control it outright, we're going to break it." Based on DeMint's commentary, perhaps that's the plan for obtaining their theocracy after all: break the government so you can say "I told you so...government is not our salvation" and then tell everyone that the new salvation will be the government codifying and enforcing the dogmatic tenets of Christianity as handed down by the pope and clergy. Move over Constitution, here comes the Bible. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, corporate America is wetting its pants in laughter as the Teatards buy this whole schtick and help the GOP hand the country to the biggest and richest corporations...not to the Church.

    April 21, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. rdepontb

    For one thing, the American Revolution was from a somewhat different climate of information availability. We now have ways to expose threats against the nation: the Internet, national and international newspapers and tv, _the mails_ even, that were simply not available some 250 years ago.

    There is little need to rush to a bunker-type attitude anymore-DeMint, shame on you for stirring people in such as useless cause. With all the work that needs to be done today, to further dilute our resources is unacceptable. If you really want to be a national figure, you'll want to reconsider just what your position papers really tell us about you, and reconsider your stated principles.

    April 21, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Woebegone

    Guess DeMented isn't for letting a little thing like separate of Church and State get in his way. He says people are realizing the government is hurting us (d'oh). Ummm, has DeMented forgotten he's part OF that government? As for relying on God for our salvation, so I guess God is going to end the two wars, bring down the cost of health care, ensure that big business/Wall Street operate legally and ethically? I would pose a question to DeMented: if somehow the country is going to experience some kind of spiritual awakening (which is fine; what scares is me is "spiritual" too often turns to "religious" and there's a huge difference between the two), when does this momentous awakening occur? Given the vicious rhetoric coming out of the mouths of GOPers and some Tea Partiers, including DeMented himself, against the left, against Democrats, and against Obama, I'd say this Great Awakening is still taking a nap.

    April 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Jesus

    Please, my children, calm yourselves. My Father gave you reason to use, not to fritter and waste taking literally words that were written about me two hundred years and more after my sacrifice for you.

    April 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Wanda in Montana

    They're spiritual in the sense that they've been possessed by the demons of raging ignorance.

    April 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. blownapart

    "...trusting the heart rather than the head, prizing feeling more than thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason."

    Whoa! Full Stop. This is crazy talk. Sounds like the profile of an evangelical teenager or a taliban foot soldier (sub. Koran for Bible). DO NOT WANT!!!

    April 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. FancySmiley from Conyers

    DeMint is DeLusional. These Tea Partiers are so filled with hate. It's disgusting to see the path this country has taken. There is no progress being made in this cesspool America is becoming. I've never seen any president been disrespected to the extent that President Obama has. It's embarrassing. Other nations are looking at us and laughing. I just pray that God doesn't come back as a black man; 'cause there'd be HELL to pay!

    April 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    The funniest part of all of this? The very vocal and angry minority in this country may actualy get its way on some of this nonsense as the very lazy and majority sits back and makes fun of them for being such extreme nutjobs. Thus, that very lazy majority will, at some point when it finally becomes intolerable and unable to be swept under the rug anymore, receive a wakeup call. The backlash is going to be hilaroius. Ready for it Teatards?

    April 21, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. LeeLee

    Because God gave us brains so we wouldn't use them.

    April 21, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. cheryl

    I noticed the Great Awakening does not involve using your brain, nor thinking in any way. Should be successful for the teabaggers.

    April 21, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. The Bu

    What spirit?? I agree that the government is spending WAAAY too much money, but at a time when the economy was tithering on the brink of disaster I'd like to pose this question. If the government had STOPPED spending, and the American people already didn't have any money, how would the economy look today? There are legitimate points that the TEA Parties have, but the "spirit" in which some of the things they are doing and saying just don't fit with what I believe America is TRULY about. If we live up to the Constitution, which so many of them want to go by. And is this the same Jim DeMint that said healthcare would be President Obama's "Waterloo"?

    April 21, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. magella

    I don't even know where to start with this. First, if he thinks promoting the "spiritual" side of the Tea Party movement is going to attract more people to it, he's crazy. Second, to call their behavior "spiritual" or "Christian" in any way simply defies comprehension. Their behavior is so un-Christlike in every possible way. How dare they go to church every Sunday and then try to warp the teachings of the Bible into such evil, spiteful, and exclusionary rhetoric.

    April 21, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Daniel

    DeMint is spouting revisionist history. There was a spiritual awakening in this country, but it began about 120 years later. No one has ever heard of one in the late to mid 1700s.
    Besides I hear a lot of Tea Party palaver on Facebook and the people talking it up are known to be anything but spiritual, worshipful, Godly, or respectful of anyone but people like themselves: either spoiled trust fund babies or two-generations removed dirt farmers or trailer park dwellers who went to school on student loans (government-backed) and have to decided to pull up the ladder behind them now that they're the first in their families to make $50K+. Disgusting!

    April 21, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Jerry Grunden

    Spiritual Revivial of what? Nooses, white sheets and a lot of intimidation of people you do not agree with?

    April 21, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. joel palmer

    When are these whack job right wing religious zealots going to get it? There isn't any god; and no tooth fairy and no leprechauns, no easter bunny, no fairly godmother, no angels, no great pumpkin.

    April 21, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Doug,lib jersey

    Unlike Democrat protestors, the tea party is 100% non-violent and they have morals and values that the average Democrat is incapable of even comprehending.

    Take a look at the before and after pictures of the inaugeration in DC and the tea party protest in DC. Now really, who are the real environmentalists-lol!

    April 21, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Eric

    I didn't know that burning crosses was akin to a spiritual revival....wow, our country sure has come a long way.

    April 21, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. rta

    is this man rewriting the constitution, what ever happen to the separation of church and state? it appears demint is advocating sedition and inciting revolution with palin and bachman as the cheerleaders.

    April 21, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Andi

    A bunch of white guys with guns and they are 'spiritual'? They haven't a clue as to what it means to lead a Christian life.

    April 21, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. joel palmer

    Wouldn't you be terribly embarrassed if DeMent was your Senator?

    April 21, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. haren

    I think we have to find the ancestor of senator Demint,
    I am sure they must be slave owner.

    April 21, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If so Mr. DeMint, does this mean the Tea Party can't speak for themselves, we've heard and seen everything but "spiritual revival" coming from them. Mr. DeMint, God doesn't like liars and those who use religion for personal gain.

    April 21, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't want a heaping helping of religion with my politics, thank you very much. Religion is private and personal and needs to stay that way. Next they'll be wanting government to tell us what religion is acceptable. Slippery meet slope.

    And I have to, because I can't resist. The "Christians" I've been seeing for the last decade or so don't have anything to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. I'll leave you with a quote from Gandhi: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    April 21, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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