Tea parties and the need for respectful dialogue

If you were awake on Tax Day this year, you probably heard about tea parties happening across the nation. This July 4, many areas are organizing more tea parties. These tea parties are primarily put together by American citizens, who want to use their First Amendment rights to share their opinions.

Unfortunately, both politics and media in this country have grown increasingly closed minded to outside ideas, and many tea partiers have felt marginalized and misunderstood.

This video was a classic example of the kind of profiling aimed at many tea party attendees, even using disgusting sexual innuendo to discount the efforts of fellow Americans. Like many conservative writers, I wrote a response blog back in April, but the Dallas Tea Party organizers are doing much more. They invited Janeane Garofalo to their second tea party on the Fourth of July, challenging her to stop making judgments from a distance and come and see for herself.

The Dallas Tea Party’s response is an admirable one and a good reminder for Christians, especially if we value our civil liberties. If we cannot give another viewpoint a voice, who are we to demand our First Amendment rights when the need arises?

We may not agree with any of the tea party’s premises, or we may agree with some tea partiers. But no matter where we find ourselves this Independence Day, it’s important that we treat one another with the courtesy required of someone who is created in God’s image.

After all, as Job reminds us, we the people are all in the same boat when it comes to eternity. We will all face His judgment, and none of us can answer God on our own, no matter how “good” we’ve been or how “right” our opinions are.

“How then can I dispute with Him [God]? How can I find words to argue with Him? Though I were innocent, I could not answer Him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.” (Job 9:14-15)

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