Some Tea Partiers Ask GOP to Put Aside Social Issues

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

A homosexual activist group that had little to do with the conservative victory of November 2 is now trying to dictate terms to newly elected lawmakers by convincing a handful of Tea Party coordinators to send a letter asking them not to press social issues.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is reporting that the letter, which was signed by the head of the homosexual activist group, GOProud along with leaders of the Tea Party Patriots and the New American Patriots, was sent to House and Senate Republicans yesterday asking them to keep their focus on shrinking the government rather than taking on divisive social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” says the letter, which was sent to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-TN). “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue.”

It goes on to say that “Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.”

Ralph King, a letter signatory and a coordinator of an Ohio Tea Party Patriot group, explained the reasoning behind the letter to Politico by saying that when the patriots involved in the first tea party were out in Boston Harbor, “they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion.”

“Is that so?” Perkins asks. “Well, they weren’t in the Harbor debating social security, Medicaid, the Federal Reserve, or earmarks either. Not to mention that in 1773, there probably wasn’t a single person in the country who would have said homosexual conduct or abortion should be protected rights. If Ralph King-or GOProud for that matter-knew anything about the roots of the movement they claim to be a part of, they’d realize that the first tea party was fathered by one of the most socially conservative Christian members of the time: Samuel Adams. It may have been 237 years since Adams, but the tea party still values the same things.”

As Perkins points out, the latest data show that an overwhelming number of Tea Partiers – almost two thirds – believe abortion should be outlawed. About half believe in the Bible as the literal word of God, and most think that public officials don’t pay nearly enough attention to Scripture or religion as a whole. According to Zogby data, 82 percent oppose same sex “marriage.”

“If anyone’s doing the co-opting, it’s GOProud–whose ‘social truce’ isn’t a truce at all,” Perkins says. “If Republicans stand down on social issues, it’s in this group’s interest! GOProud is the one actively fighting for same-sex ‘marriage,’ homosexuals in the military, and gay ‘rights.’ Essentially they’re saying, ‘We’ll keep marching our priorities forward and you’ (meaning conservatives) ‘stand down.'”

No way, says Perkins. “For starters, that won’t fly with the broader Tea Party movement which is solidly in the social conservative camp (see DeMint, Jim). Secondly, it’s a losing strategy for America. We need to shrink the size of government, but America needs strong families. Those families–not GOProud’s phony substitutes–are the backbone of society. Think about the welfare costs associated with the breakdown of social order. Think about the cost in terms of crime and the criminal justice system. What about the loss of human potential? Do these folks really think we can just eliminate those government expenditures overnight? What this crowd is advocating will lead to anarchy, which, ironically, would provide GOProud and friends a perfect environment for their lifestyle.”

Thus far, there has been no public response from the recipients of the letter.

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