(CNN) - Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin edged herself back into election politics Saturday, delivering a speech at an important Iowa gathering.
Palin was joined by other major tea party favorites such as Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Steve King of Iowa, as well as conservative intellectual and activist Phyllis Schlafly at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Annual Family Banquet.
The return of Sarah Palin
Palin has flirted with politics repeatedly since she left office halfway through her first term in Alaska, including a turbulent 2012 non-campaign for the Republican presidential nomination that she eventually abandoned.
In the important primary state, Palin spent the first part of her speech blasting the “war on Christmas” by secular society that she argues is stripping all public meaning from the holiday by opposing nativity scenes and other displays.
“Everywhere it seems that faith, religious freedom is under attack,” Palin said.
Those same topics are discussed in a new book Palin wrote called “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” a book for which she is currently on a national tour and that she discussed Saturday.
“The war on Christmas is just the tip of the spear in a larger battle,” Palin said, segueing into a discussion of what she sees as big government’s efforts to become a church in its own right.
That “church,” Palin said, comprises largely of President Barack Obama’s administration and scandals plaguing it such as NSA spying and the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi last year.
“The crowning achievement of their church of big government,” Palin said, is Obamacare.
More should have been done to destroy Obama’s signature legislative achievement, Palin said, blasting Republicans who “waved the white flag of surrender” and gave up on the defund movement.
Palin also had words for the national debt, particularly the $1.3 trillion the U.S. owes China.
“It’s going to be like slavery when that note is due,” Palin said, while noting at the same time that the comparison “isn’t racist”
Like the rest of the event’s speakers, Palins words were deeply rooted in a Christian faith.
In her opposition to Obamacare, Palin was in good company. Lee was one of the key architects of the movement to defund the health care law that helped precipitate the partial government shutdown when Democrats flatly refused to pass a government funding bill that also sought to destroy Obamacare.
Lee carried a similar mantle Saturday to that of his better known anti-Obamacare ally, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Like Cruz, Lee likened the Reagan revolution to the tea party movement, drawing comparisons to the original Boston Tea Party that preceded the American Revolution.
Lee compared the British government that the fledgling colonies fought 230 years ago with the Washington of today, a government “slow to respond to the needs to the people,” he said, people who are overtaxed and little listened too.
Conservatives should not be purely reactionary, Lee cautioned in a broad rallying cry of a speech. Rather, Republicans should focus on moving forward, he said, not just repealing Obamacare but replacing it with something better while instituting other forward-looking reforms such as establishing a path for upward social mobility.
Cruz highlighted the “road to Philadelphia” and the Constitutional Convention. Instead of just moving away from the government they didn’t want, Lee said of the Founding Fathers, they were “moving steadily, inexorably in the direction of the kind of government they did want.”