The Washington Times - November 8, 2010, 04:24PM

Faith and Freedom Coalition National Survey, November 2, 2010


*UPDATE 11/10/10 - Clarification on Cizik’s background and the NAE added.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition released a telephone survey by Public Opinion Strategies last week showing a majority of Christian conservatives and Tea Partiers say that their vote was a message to either support or oppose President Barack Obama.

“52% of Tea Part voters were Conservative Evangelicals. I think it kind of shatters this myth that the Tea Party movement consists of Libertarians concerned only with spending and taxes and deficits and the pro-family movement only consists of evangelicals concerned about marriage and abortion,” Ralph Reed, Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told me on Friday.

“The fact is 2/3 of all Tea Party voters are also pro-life and 52% of them are Conservative- evangelical Christians. So what that tells me is that Evangelicals understand that big government, a massive debt, and out of control spending, is ultimately a moral issue—not just a fiscal issue,” he said.

Back in March of this year, evangelicals from Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association to Richard Cizik, who left  the National Association of Evangelicals over his concern about Global Warming, told Politico their concern that evangelical Christians were not represented in the tea party movement. *Several years ago, evangelical leaders, such as James Dobson called for the NAE to fire Mr. Cizik over his views on climate change. The NAE declined to do so. 

“There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.”
“As far as I can tell [the tea party movement] has a politics that’s irreligious. I can’t see how some of my fellow conservatives identify with it,” said Richard Cizik. 

Apparently, Mr. Reed can have the last laugh among Christian evangelical leaders and analysts in Washington who said evangelicals were never part of the Tea Party movement. He pointed out that their survey showed “27 percent of all tea party voters said that what we need to focus on most, and if they were given a choice between taxes, spending, and restoring moral values, what they thought was the most important thing, and 27 percent of tea party voters said restoring moral values,” Mr. Reed explained.

While it is easy for sole fiscal conservatives to write off social/Christian conservatives participation in the Tea Party movement, it is difficult to argue that social conservatives and Christian did not come out in strong numbers and no doubt the Tea Party remained a viable political outlet for those individuals in areas where the GOP organization may have been weaker.

“It [the survey] also tells me that tea party activists understand that without moral and spiritual renewal, you can’t have a small government. If you don’t have families and marriages that work in local and vibrant communities, how are you going to have a small federal government?”