Where is the Tea Party going to lead American Conservatism? Some faux Christian Theocracy? Many familiar with its tenets would say Libertarianism precludes alliance with religion. Yet, with Rand Paul winning the GOP Senate primary in Kentucky—heralded as the first true Tea Party victory—the whiff of civil religion veiled as Christianity is in the air.
The influence of R.J. Rushdoony’s “Christian Reconctructionism” within the Rand Paul wing of the Tea Party, home-schoolers, right-wing culture-warriors, and value-voter Republicans is nothing new. Reason documented this trend toward theocracy over 10 years ago. To see how complicated this is getting see Friday’s NY Times analysis by Sam Tanehaus, that points out inherent conflicts within Paul’s worldview, and Sarah Pozner’s parsing of Paul’s Brody File gaffe, where he explained that “We wouldn’t need laws if everyone were Christian.”
Rand Paul: “I’m a Christian. We go to the Presbyterian Church. My wife’s a Deacon there and we’ve gone there ever since we came to town. I see that Christianity and values is the basis of our society.”
Rand Paul: “98% of us won’t murder people, won’t steal, won’t break the law and it helps a society to have that religious underpinning. You still need to have the laws but I think it helps to have a people who believe in law and order and who have a moral compass or a moral basis for their day to day life.”