How To End the Tea Party

Just turn Michele Bachmann loose on it. From quirky to crazy she has gone, now lamenting on the evil that was…the Renaissance. I am sorry to keep having to say this, Dave Barry style, but I am not making this up.

Bachmann laments the rise of secular humanism. The Renaissance was, to some of us, a profound shift in the thinking of man’s place in the Universe. The rise of science had freed humanity from the prison of Church dogma and superstition. Each individual could verify on his/her own the claims of those in authority. The result was a flowering of the human intellect and a gigantic leap forward in material well-being. Art reflected that change in its depiction of man as a heroic being, not a subservient drone.

What appears to irk Bachmann is that the emancipation of man displaced God. I am convinced that anyone with Ms. Bachmann’s mentality about religion will fail to recognize that her notion of God is not the only one, so let’s not erect that argument against. Let’s just note that even if she were right about God, it would not justify her invocation of Him in politics.

Michele, we need to talk.

This is the problem with the hijacking of the Tea Party moniker for nefarious purposes. The Tea Party flowered forth during the Bush administration when government saw fit to bail out failed companies at taxpayer expense. The result was a simple, direct call for sanity in government, namely the return to a limited and frugal public sector.

Now we have Michele Bachmann parading about with a message that vaguely resembles the original Tea Party “platform” in its disgust with government. Otherwise, it is a collection of absurdist history and just plain idiotic ramblings about homosexuality and wifely submission. Most worrisome, it reflects a disturbing conviction that man should not be the Center of the Universe. Forgive me if I note that people who say that usually want to be the Center of the Universe, the rest of us be damned.

Please accept my invitation to practice your religion as you wish. As long as it doesn’t involve burning me at the stake or making me go to Vacation Bible School,* I am all for it. I do not think for a moment that Bachmann literally wants to send me to VBS, but I do think she would not be above squelching those who would assert themselves as masters of their own fate. We true individualists would not likely hold her favor for long.

Bachmann is not the only candidate who is obsessed with the subservience to God thing. I will cover some of these in a later blog. I am not opposed to people, including Presidential candidates, being open about their faith (or lack thereof). It does make me nervous, though, when someone who wishes to hold the highest office in the country attacks a period in history when man asserted himself as the author of his own destiny. You should be too.

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*For those of you who have never experienced Vacation Bible School, it is one week of summer vacation sitting on a wooden chair at a short table making crafts and reading the Bible. The Geneva Convention failed to address torture outside the context of war, so my attempts to give only my name and rank were met with derision. Laugh, but I carried those scars for years.

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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