Birth of the Teavangelicals

Birth of the Teavangelicals April 20, 2012

A Republican candidate for the House from North Carolina named Ethan Wingfield is being called a “teavangelical” by Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, the first time I’ve seen a candidate boldly embrace that label. He’s putting out press releases about it.

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) has taken notice of conservative Christian businessman Ethan Wingfield and his campaign for Congress. On Friday, CBN became the first media outlet in the nation to debut Wingfield’s first TV ad, dubbing Wingfield a “Teavangelical.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have found yet another Teavangelical, a conservative Christian running for office who is combining his evangelical values with the umbrella of the Tea Party platform,” wrote CBN’s Chief Political Correspondent David Brody in his story. “If Wingfield wins, he’d be part of a new generation of Teavangelicals set to start making serious changes up on Capitol Hill.”

In Wingfield’s debut ad, he has a simple message for the people of North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District: America’s $15 trillion debt is not just wrong. It’s immoral. Wingfield speaks directly to the voters of North Carolina and frames America’s growing fiscal crisis in the moral terms that truly underlie it.

“Congress should stop reading Obama’s book, give up the New York Times, and pick up The Bible,” said Wingfield. “They can start with Proverbs 22:7. ‘The borrower is slave to the lender.’ Washington either hasn’t read that, or doesn’t care. But I do. We’re borrowing trillions of dollars from countries like China. Our debt is 100% of GDP. And if we don’t act soon to cut spending and get a handle on this immoral debt, things are only going to get worse. America needs bold, conservative solutions, not more of the same. And that’s why I’m running for Congress.”

Shall we start a pool on how long it takes before they suddenly decide that calling them teavangelicals is a terrible slur used by evil liberals to denigrate them?

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  • Didaktylos

    What’s the phrase – “… about as useful as a chocolate teapot”?

  • …a conservative Christian running for office who is combining his evangelical values with the umbrella of the Tea Party platform…

    What, like the Tea Party were all atheists and never had any connection to conservative Christians before? Please. This “new development” is as transparently bogus as just about everything else we’ve heard from the Tea Party (and all other Republican sock-puppets) from day one.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure the word “teavangelical” isn’t new either — I remember hearing it over a year ago, if not earlier.

  • Michael Heath

    I’d prefer they use a more descriptive label, like Fascists Under Christianists’ King.

  • Ellie

    I consider him more bold if he admitted that teavangelicals worship at the altar of Ayn Rand.

  • America needs bold, conservative solutions, not more of the same.

    And yet, somehow I doubt his solutions will be bold, but instead will consist of more of the same slashing of social security and other safety net spending that are so popular with most of Congress right now.

  • Congress should stop reading Obama’s book, give up the New York Times, and pick up The Bible,” said Wingfield. “They can start with Proverbs 22:7. ‘The borrower is slave to the lender.’

    Well, lobbying and campaign donations ARE a serious problem…

  • Michael Heath

    Deen writes:

    And yet, somehow I doubt his solutions will be bold, but instead will consist of more of the same slashing of social security and other safety net spending that are so popular with most of Congress right now.

    I suggest finding a video of this guy and watching it. He’s a kid, and not a mere a generic type of kid, but an indoctrinated fundamentalist who demonstrates he knows jack shit about anything coupled to a complete lack of applicable experiences. He’s the child who lapped up the throw-off rhetoric of the authoritarians in his midst as if they conveyed the Truth.

  • TX_secular

    I like Micheal’s label, very descriptive. The K could be kooks.

  • John Hinkle

    “They can start with Proverbs 22:7. ‘The borrower is slave to the lender.’

    Well sure, this country needs congress people whose politics are informed by the Bible. So Ethan Wingnut, how do you apply Proverbs 22:14 to governing:

    14The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.

    Hmm? C’mon now Mr. Smartypants. How does this work?

  • thalwen

    @5 bold = new level of crazy.

    And of course America should be governed by the Bible… I’m waiting for the imposition of the death penalty for those shrimp-eating, poly-cotton wearing abominations to the Lord.

  • Jordan Genso

    @7 Michael Heath

    I suggest finding a video of this guy and watching it. He’s a kid, and not a mere a generic type of kid, but an indoctrinated fundamentalist who demonstrates he knows jack shit about anything coupled to a complete lack of applicable experiences.

    I have deep respect for you Michael, but as someone who is occasionally derided based solely on my age (I’m 26), I would request that you don’t use age as an ad hominem. If his positions are wrong, then they’re wrong, regardless of whether he is 18 or 81.

    I know you were relying on his words to come to your conclusion that he knows “jack shit about anything”, and you used his age to say it was “coupled to a complete lack of applicable experiences”, but the same could be said of him even if he wasn’t a ‘kid’. There are adults who lack applicable experiences as well, and there are kids who have more experience than we would normally assume.

    This is a very minor criticism though, and I could very well be flawed in my thinking, as it could just be that I’m overly sensitive to this issue at the moment (I was just mocked for my age two days ago on a different site, as if that precluded me from having a valid opinion on the issue).

  • Yeah, because who can forget Jesus’ famous saying, “I’ve got mine, so fucketh thou.”

    More accurately, if their imaginary friend existed, he would tell them, “Depart from me, I knew you not.” And then point out how when he was hungry they didn’t feed him, when he was naked they didn’t clothe him, and when he was in prison they never even so much as sent a card.

    As for “teavangelical,” I can recall it being used in a derogatory manner for some time.

  • slc1

    According to the tea party in North Carolina, Mr. Wingfield is a RINO who supported left wing pinko commie RINO Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island while a student at Brown.

    http://caldwellteaparty.org/2012/02/23/ethan-wingfield-conservative-or-fraud/

  • We need, right now and without question a t-shirt that says:

    “Tea-bagging for Jesus 2012.”

  • The word “teavangelical” manages to combine two terms that each poll terribly. I guess they’re hoping for a double-negative in that they’ll cancel out and people will like it.

  • America’s $15 trillion debt is not just wrong. It’s immoral.

    Glad we cleared that up. And all this time, I was thinking that immorality had nothing to do with “wrong”.

  • kermit.

    Area Man – to be fair, “immoral” is a subset of “wrong”. A car repair can be wrong without being immoral. As for teavangelical, yeah. But these folks “think” emotionally. They have positive reactions to “Tea-Partier” and “Evangalical”, so they think this is a good choice. Pointing out to them that these poll poorly is too abstract for them to parse.

  • Michael Heath

    Jordan Genso writes:

    I have deep respect for you Michael, but as someone who is occasionally derided based solely on my age (I’m 26), I would request that you don’t use age as an ad hominem. If his positions are wrong, then they’re wrong, regardless of whether he is 18 or 81.

    I didn’t use it as an ad hominem, I used it as as disqualifying factor for someone running for the U.S. House of Representatives. I don’t think it’s possible for someone this young of age to have had a sufficient set of experiences necessary to develop the emotional intelligence required to be a successful manager of a U.S. House of Representative office, let alone use the necessary judgment to develop and vote/oppose legislation as a Representative. And as I pointed out, this kid was even more sheltered than the average kid.

    As someone who has recruited and groomed dozens of young people into supervisors, managers, and middle management, I never encountered one person out of this relatively high percentile group even remotely ready to take on the responsibilities for a successful stint in the U.S. Congress at the age of this young man, nor have I encountered any impressive young leaders seeking this level of office.

    Being an effective administrator, manager, leader, and policy-maker at the level of responsibility he seeks requires demonstrated intelligence, character, and experience. I’m not prepared to dilute my own standard of expectation for someone hasn’t hasn’t acquired some relevant seasoning and demonstrated that seasoning made them smarter, more ethical, a better leader, pragmatic, and judicious – which can’t even be demonstrated without some number of years of experience.

  • “Area Man – to be fair, “immoral” is a subset of “wrong”. A car repair can be wrong without being immoral.”

    Yeah, but I’m pretty sure that when people say that excessive debt is wrong, they mean it’s morally wrong, not “incorrect” or “not done right” or something like that.

    Aside from the strong possibility that this guy isn’t very bright, I suspect that “immoral” to him means ungodly, or anti-biblical, and has a strong religious aspect that supersedes our normal secular notions of wrongness.

  • LightningRose

    How could the term “Teavangelicals” be anything but derogatory?

    But I still prefer their original, self-chosen, moniker – “Teabaggers”.

  • Jordan Genso

    @ Michael Heath

    Fair enough. Although I would be willing to bet that there are young adults who would be better able to fulfill the duties of Congress than some who are currently serving. They would not be fully qualified, but it would be better than those who should be dis-qualified.

  • Michael Heath

    Jordan Genso:

    I would be willing to bet that there are young adults who would be better able to fulfill the duties of Congress than some who are currently serving. They would not be fully qualified, but it would be better than those who should be dis-qualified.

    Hence my support for Barack Obama in 2008. Mr. Obama demonstrated little management successes and almost almost* no executive level accomplishments when I decided to support him in the Spring of 2008. But the only choices we had was someone who’d demonstrated managerial failures – John McCain in the Navy with no executive experience, along with two seemingly capable people who lacked much management experience and also had virtually* no executive experience – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    I did think and remain convinced Obama had preternatural emotional intelligence for someone in his late-forties running for president, and I also thought he possessed a ton of capability to be a great executive, but clearly some time successfully serving as governor of Illinois or as Chief of Staff to a previous president would have better prepared him for the presidency.

    Given I wasn’t comparing this young person to someone else I had no need to judge him relative to another but instead judge him relative my standards alone. I’m highly confident I’d vote for Barack Obama immediately after he graduated from Harvard than Michelle Bachmann as she is now. I wouldn’t like those choices, but of course I’d pull the lever for Mr. Obama.

    *Executive skills are required to run a successful presidential campaign so I can’t make the claim they’ve had zero experience. But it’s such a simple exercise on the administration-end relative to the enormity and complexity of being president. So I consider that effort to be relatively trivial to the more substantial executive experience like being the CEO of a global conglomerate, the governor of a large state, the commander of a big war, one of the chiefs the military branches, or a cabinet head.

  • America needs bold, conservative solutions, not more of the same.

    As a foreigner I have had some trouble getting used to how Americans use the words “liberal” and “conservative”, but surely that sentence is a contradiction in terms, right?

  • stumbledin

    I do so love the speed with which our remarkably flexible language grows. Now, if I could just figure out the direction!