April 21st, 2010
12:21 PM ET
5 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. Terry from West Texas

    The Republican Party is playing the teabaggers like kazoos. In the end, those sincere, ignorant dupes will go back home and vote for the Republican incumbent they voted for 2 years ago and 4 years ago.

    If they successfully restore the Republicans to power, then the national debt will double again, just like it did with Reagan ($1.5 trillion in deficit spending), with Bush1 ($1.5 trillion), and Bush2 (the king: $5.5 trillion).

    April 21, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Ralph Starling

    Sen. DeMint,
    I fail to see the connection between the Tea Party and spiritual revival. Authentic spiritual revival would not include prejudice and racism. Unless, of course, it is about righteous indignation which is often disguised as spirituality. It provides a nice cover for saying and doing whatever you want to do–just add 'God' to the movement and you can do anything. Just ask the radical Muslim groups. They do the same thing! You should know better!

    April 21, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. haren

    We had a president who was taking order only from all mighty, and look where we stand today the mess created by him.

    April 21, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. VAVoter

    OMG!!! Stop it, stop it, stop it! ...A spiritual revival? What about the tea party movement is spiritual?...As a Christian who has voted Democrat, I am appalled? Jesus would not have advocated for spitting on people, falsely accusing people (socialist, communist, non-citizen, nazi, baby-killer, etc.), hateful signs, mailing condoms and nooses to elected officials all in the name of anti-big-government. There is nothing Christian about that. ...Jesus taught love, patience, humility, meekness, kindness. He taught that a kind word, or soft reply turneth away wrath.....not violent marches and veiled armed-threats...He taught to bless those that spitefully use you and say all manner of evil against you and not to repay evil with evil...Mr. DeMint's comments are wrong and blaspehmous on so many levels! Where to even begin...I will simply remind the Tea Partiers that God hates 7 things (in the order of statement):

    A proud look
    A lying tongue
    Hands that shed innocent blood
    A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
    Feet that are swift in running to mischeif
    A false witness that speaketh lies
    He that soweth discord among the brethren
    (Prov. 6:16-19)

    This applies to the Tea Party too!... Pres. Obama is a Christian ( I heard him confess Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior myself at Saddleback Church on National Television). The vile and vicious accusations and lies from the haters and Birthers that have circulated since BEFORE he even won the election are abonimable. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COMMANDEER CHRISTIANITY WITH YOUR DIVISIVE AND HATEFUL RHETORIC! Those of us who actually practice our Christianity know better!

    April 21, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. DEMINT IS DEMENTED!

    What the hell is he talking about, Oh so Tim McVeigh's attack was spiritually motivated. You are a sick puppy if you think the TEABAGGERS are spiritual, yeah they are theY Pray every day to get rid of the BLACK man in THEIR WHITE HOUSE. THEY ALL SHOULD BE HELD FOR TREASON, CREATE A 3RD PARTY TEABAGGERS PLEASE DO THEN SECEDE TO THE PLACE TEXAS AND ARIZONA CAGE THEMSELVES IN, YOUR ALL NOTHING BUT RACIST HATEFUL PEOPLE.

    April 21, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Wisconsonite and Atheist!

    Hey DeMint . . . KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF MY GOVERNMENT!!!

    April 21, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Nick

    I'm sure Jesus Christ would have been out there with Tea Partiers carrying an Obama as Hitler poster.
    DeMint's a clown.

    April 21, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. SC Ex-Pub

    Damint, "says the Tea Party movement is ushering in a spiritual revival akin to the religious fervor that preceded the American Revolution."

    I guess that explains their new slogan... "Guns and God"

    April 21, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. JLW in Indian Springs,Al.

    Would this country and the world be better off without religions and their fanatics. Maybe then we could focus on some REAL problems and solve them rather than call attention to what all these right wing nuts are saying and doing !!

    April 21, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Nick

    "DeMint introduced a 2009 amendment to a multi-billion dollar economic stimulus bill that would have prohibited lawmakers from using any percentage of transportation funds on bicycle, walking, or wilderness trails.[11] Additionally, DeMint opposed the whole bill."
    That's all you need to know about this guy.

    April 21, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Tracy

    Sorry Duh-Mint. Not impressed......yet again.

    April 21, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. jdmintexas

    Spiritual Revival? They are engaged the grossest form of paganism: worshiping as divine a system of government they have made up out of whole cloth.

    April 21, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Eric

    While I could address the obvious logic problems involved with some of his statements, I'd rather just point out all of the things that he says that are misleading.

    "Tea Party crowds [have] a spiritual component. I think it's very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution...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 Great Awakening began in 1730. The American Revolutionary War began in 1775. The series of direct, unrepresented taxes that incited the war began with the Stamp Act, in 1765. That's 35 years later, a generation. The evangelical movement in the 1740s onward encouraged democratic concepts, but those weren't present in most of the colonies, widespread, until then. Today, we live in a democracy. So, no, the Tea Party movement won't incite a "spiritual awakening," rather, those who honestly believe that there exists a dichotomy of God and Government (something that the seperation of church and state prevents) will group together, select whichever demagogue appeals to them the most, and then lose the general election to those who think.

    April 21, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Bill of Florida

    I just don't have any words for this right now. Maybe when I recover from the stench, I'll be able to say something.

    April 21, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. IKHAN

    An ideologically motivated lunacy revival would be a more appropriate label for the Tea Party movement.
    The last thing this country needs now that sanity, reason, tolerance & goodwill for all are lacking.
    Enough already.

    April 21, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Glenn Beckerhead

    Ol' Tom DeMint is only slightly less of a loon than Bunning. But thats not saying much. The Re-Pube-Lickins are nothing short of treasonous in their actions.

    April 21, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. BK

    leave religion out of my gov't you crazy people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    We need responsibility to the people.....not spirituality.

    April 21, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    "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."

    That's more than enough reason for me to be an atheist. Shunning thinking and reason in exchange for relying on emotional feelings and biblical teachings. No thank you.

    April 21, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Susan

    If this is what passes for religion in the US, we really are in trouble. Calling for armed revolution, threatening elected officials, calling your President illegal when there is NO evidence to support it, feeling that YOU are in the right, and anyone who disagrees deserves to be denigrated: none of that has any basis in the Bible. These people are nuts, at best, and treasonous at worst. And that includes Barbie dolls Palin and Bachmann, and the ever tearful, speaker to God, Beck. This is madness.(And all because we elected a black President...who has done nothing to provoke them...he lowered taxes and expanded gun rights. Golly gee, Gomer, my heart says he's evil, and I feel so threatened, so let's load up those rifles and head to Washington on the big bus being paid for by those great lobbyists. Yessirree." America at her finest.

    April 21, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. John

    Separation of Church and State DeMint! Read it and weep.
    We see how religious fundamentalism is working in Iran. Is that the kind of government we want here?

    God bless America but I will pray in my church not yours.

    April 21, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. RR

    This guy has "Redneck" written all over his face!

    April 21, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. Jim

    '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."'

    Yeah, because no movement in history ever went wrong by putting blind faith before reason. Don't let all those pesky facts get in the way of remaking the nation and the world to suit what you IMAGINE God would want.

    FYI, I think they practice this school of thought in Iran.

    April 21, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. phebes

    To most of us, the word 'spirituality' connotes love and forgiveness. All I see from the tea-partiers is hate and mean insults.

    Rush Limbaugh and others are making a full-time job of demonizing Obama and anything. everything related to him, all the while complaining that the "state-run media" is demonizing the tea-partiers!

    What a world! Remember when GWB said that God was on his side? How's that working out for the middle class, the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the retirees who now have no life???

    April 21, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Avg Guy in Red State Kansas

    So...
    "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.' "

    There you go. It's clear the "spiritual" component of the Tea Party movement didn't get the message that all perspectives should be respected.

    "...prizing feeling more than thinking" is something many in the Tea Party movement roundly do. It's obvious they only listen to themselves and don't give any "thought" to reason or to calm, rational dialogue about the big issues!

    April 21, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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