[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.demint1110.gi.jpg caption =" 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."