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Tony Perkins’ Remarks Highlight Growing Schism Between Tea Party Movement and Christian Right

Pictured: Tony Perkins is not a fan of teabagging.

My sense has always been that the Teabagger crowd is more glibertarian than fundie, but these comments from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins–one of the most important right-wing Christian leaders in the Bush/Rove coalition–betray a real hostility brewing.

There’s no centralized tea party organization, and anecdotes suggest that many tea party participants hold socially conservative views. But those views have been little in evidence at movement gatherings or in public statements, and are sometimes deliberately excluded from the political agenda. The groups coordinating them eschew social issues, and a new Contract From America, has become an article of concern on the social right.

The contract, sponsored by the grass-roots Tea Party Patriots as well as Washington groups such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform, asks supporters to choose the 10 most important issues from a menu of 21 choices that makes no mention of socially conservative priorities such as gay marriage and abortion.

“They’re free to do it, but they can’t say [the contract] represents America,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a veteran of the Christian right. “If they do it they’re lying.”


Tony Perkins, who had veto power over Bush’s SCOTUS picks, just called the Teabaggers a bunch of un-American liars, while pissing all over their oh-so-awesome Contract.

And how do we know this is a serious problem for the Teabaggers? Because wingnut bloggers are freaking out over this piece. For example, after failing to note the scathing remarks by Perkins and Mike Huckabee, Teabagger-in-Chief Glenn Reynolds rushes to assure everyone that everything’s just peachy.

I think they’re afraid of this movement, and since marginalizing it hasn’t worked, they’re trying to divide it.

Smells like fear to me.

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