This link is to a long discussion of the Tea Party Movement and the concept of Social Justice. I am posting this especially for my middle brother, Lance.
The author, Timothy Dalrymple, talks about traveling from Harvard Square to the Tea Party on the Boston Common and thinking about a number of issues. This is a long posting, and it gets into arcane facts about the idea of Social Justice. It talks about Father Charles Coughlin (who I never knew) and the Reverend Jim Wallis (who I have met).
The question Mr Dalrymple raises is, does the Tea Party Movement represent a form of the Social Justice Movement. He claims to not know the answer, but in thinking about it he helps us all to better think about Social Justice and about the Tea Party Movement.
I think I come down on the side that says that the Tea Party Movement, in its concerns for where the government is going, is a movement concerned about the poor and the oppressed and about whether the present direction of the Federal Government will not lead away from an ever increasing pie for all and toward greater government regulation of the lives of all, thus limiting the freedom of all to capture for themselves a new deal. The Tea Party Movement tends toward Rerum Novarum and eschews The Communist Manifesto, and probably knows almost nothing of the former and probably hasn't read the latter, but is against it.
Mr Dalrymple finishes up this first part of a promised three part series thusly:
First: the great majority of those who participate in the Tea Party movement do so because they believe it represents ideals, principles, and policies that would serve the greater good of the American people, and not only their own pocketbooks. What separates religious progressives from the religious conservatives that participate in Tea Party rallies is not compassion but ideology.But, as I say, it is a long post and only the first of three.
Second: my trust in the moral intuitions and pragmatic instincts of the thousands who attended the rally that morning is just as strong, if not stronger, than my trust in the insight and expertise of the two thousand intellectuals who sit atop the academic food chain at Harvard University.♠
And third: I am less concerned with the anger and bigotry I had been warned to expect in the Tea Partiers than I am with the anger and bigotry I have seen directed against them. The former, to my eyes, appeared the stronger by far.
Regards — Cliff
♠ A reference to a William F Buckley quip that "he would rather be governed by the first two thousand people listed in the Boston phone directory than the two thousand who comprise the faculty at Harvard University."