Social conservative movement goes mainstream in 2012

With all the talk about the tea party eclipsing social conservatives as the most important grassroots base in conservative politics, … Continued

With all the talk about the tea party eclipsing social conservatives as the most important grassroots base in conservative politics, mainstream news outlets are finally picking up on the continued strength of the religious right. As the NY Times reported this weekend from Iowa, “a resurgent social conservative movement is shaping the first stage of the presidential nominating contest.” If you are planning on closely following the 2012 race, keep an eye on new organizations like Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition.

I never saw a real disconnect between the tea party and the social conservative movement. Folks like Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint, both national tea party leaders, have been influential voices in our movement for a long time and have not waivered on values issues while embracing the Tea Party’s message. The tea party is packed with veterans of Christian conservative activism.

Alex Brandon


In this photo taken Feb. 10, 2011, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.

Social conservatives have always been anti-tax, fiscal conservatives and it is natural for us to join up and even lead the tea party. The Public Religion Research Institute reported that, “nearly half of tea party movement supporters also identify with the Christian conservative movement.” Further substantiating my claim, the survey found that those who identify with the Tea Party “are mostly social conservatives, not libertarians on social issues. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.”

The same presidential candidates who receive strong tea party support will undoubtedly be socially conservative. Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, along with a popular New Jersey governor who continues to say he will not run although he tops many polls, are pro-life. Bachmann, who has the potential to be a leading GOP presidential contender, rightly proclaimed to a crowd of social conservatives in Iowa that, “We’ve been told that we need a truce on social issues. I highly disagree with that. Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism.”

Question our influence all you want. The social conservative movement is stronger and more mainstream than ever before.


Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark Jordan Sekulow is executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Matthew Clark is an attorney at the ACLJ. Follow them on Twitter: @JordanSekulow and @_MatthewClark.
  • genapo12

    I would like Tea Party in general, and particularly Christian Conservatism spoke out more often about justice, (or rather injustice),the poor of our country, single parenting, crime, and those topics that most all politicians avoid to talk like cats hot water.
    People would believe in you, and would follow you without hesitation if, instead of criticize and backbite your opponents you start making a deep analisis of the issues, finding out the cause of the problem, giving solutions. Then, we would trust you, giving you all our support. We Christians are not here to please everybody but obey God and His laws. When human laws do not conform to God´s law, well then here there is a problem; we shouldn´t support them.

  • OliviaRodanJacobsAuthorofTHEPOISONERSAGENDA

    I am a social conservative and support the Tea Party. That said, Sekulow’s analysis sounds right-on to me. And for President next time around? Personally, I’d vote for Palin or Bachmann. Maybe we could still have a male vice president, but I have a feeling a woman might actually DO what she says she’ll do in the campaign. I’ve voted for a lot of men who gave “real good speeches” over the years, but when the guy gets in office, he claims “political reality” won’t let him follow the program he promised. I know that government involves compromise, but seems to me certain leaders (like Reagan) were able to stick pretty close to their pre-election promises. Let’s give these gals a boost.

  • thebobbob

    From the recent University of Washington poll.
    TEA party conservatives are clearly fringe reactionaries and outside the mainstream of American politics. They sure get a lot of coverage by the Corporate Press. I wonder why?

    The UW survey took self-identified conservatives and partitioned them into two categories, those who strongly support the Tea Party movement and those who don’t. Some findings:

    –Sixteen percent of mainstream conservatives believe that President Obama is a practicing Muslin: 27 percent of Tea Party conservatives believe that;

    –Forty-six percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama is a practicing Christian; but just 27 percent of Tea Party conservatives believe that;

    –Fifty-five percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama was born in the United States, compared to just 40 percent of Tea Party conservatives;

    –Forty percent of mainstream conservatives believe Obama’s policies are pushing America toward socialism, but 75 percent of Tea Party conservatives say he is;

    –Thirty two percent of mainstream conservatives want Obama’s policies to fail, but 76 percent of Tea Party conservatives want this to happen.

    “Tea Party sympathizers refuse to support gay marriage, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, as well as the proposition that gay couples be allowed to adopt,” Parker reported.

  • WBTessore

    A “truce on social issues” eh? Ever notice when a bully starts getting his butt kicked he yells, “uncle”? Sounds like the social conservative movement as well as the Tea Party movement have begun to make the social pansies and perverts very desperate.


    Not standing are chooseing either side is a choice that forces you to the wrong side.

  • Zigeuner1953

    Now here is the other twit! The one from Alaska wasn’t bad enough, now we have one form Minnesota! What is it??? Their brains froze when they were young!

  • Zigeuner1953

    Well, you better think again! Women are no more prone to keep their promises as males. As a matter of fact, generally women fight dirtier than males. The very last thing we need is a Palin or a Bachmann. The thought alone is making me want to vomit! BTW, I am a woman who would vote for one that comes across level headed and could be viewed as a world leader. Neither Bachmann nor Palin fit that box. Actually they could be 2 peas in a pod…Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb!!!!

  • Zigeuner1953

    “People would believe in you, and would follow you without hesitation….” ! Never a follower be! It has fatal consequences as history has shown all over the world!

  • Zigeuner1953

    “We Christians are not here to please everybody but obey God and His laws. ” Then why don’t you go back to your churches and follow the laws it have laid down for you, but please stay out of politics!

  • pamelamjimenez

    I would like to know where all the Christians are? We need to have more Christians with moral backbones to stand up and be noticed. Our nation is headed down a very dark road from which, if not stopped, we can only sit back and watch. Especially if we as Christians don’t stand up for what we know is right. We can’t afford to sit and do nothing as our nations moral fiber and Christian based standards are deminished and attacked from all sides. We are a proud nation lets show God our Father we are not ashamed to stand up for our nation and our God. Our children depend on it,and we as a nation need it. Let us show God our Father we will defend our nation and become once again “one nation under God indevisible with liberty and justice for all” even Christians.

  • freedomfirst4

    Obama has continued to think that the tea party is filled with astroturf. I believe that those who identify with the tea party are those who want change in the way our country has been run. When we found out what Obama’s “change” was and saw how fast he could spend our money, we needed people in the streets with signs fast….to put one the brakes before our children’s country was submerged in debt! Thank God for the tea party filled with those who see what is right and are not afraid to get out and work hard to protect our freedoms. So many of us got out there in 2010 and voted in a big way to show the Democratic party just how much we were against the way they were running the government.. We need to continue to speak up and let others know how important our freedoms are and that our Constitution should be held high as the only way the US will stand firm.

  • jamesjimrob77

    I agree with Jordan’s article that the tea party includes the social conservative principles. I can personally verify that “The tea party is packed with veterans of Christian conservative activism.” The tea party is a strong and growing movement to reclaim and proclaim the foundational ideas of our great country.

  • veryconservativemom1

    I completely agree with Mr. Sekulow on this one!

  • Freedom111

    Tea Baggers all want that religious freedom to stomp out the rights of other religions. All hail freedom?

  • amyfunk3

    It is not dead! In fact, the movement is just advancing beyond traditional threads. It is still thriving, but even more, it is growing especially because of the Tea party, not despite it.

  • amyfunk3

    No, we want the same freedoms afforded so dominatley to other religions. We can learn about the evolution theory in school, but not the creationist theory? Why? It should be an equal learning opportunity so people chose what theory they believe. That is just one example of how Christianity is not provided the same freedom. Watch your ignorance as you are obviously naive in your presumption.

  • Bluefish2012

    I’m firmly against elective abortion and gay marriage.

    I don’t however subscribe to the economic theories of the right. I believe, for instance, that we need to get back to pre-1986 progressive tax rates. The rich need to do more to help the poor. Society needs to spend less time jailing and killing people and more time creating opportunities that foster social and economic progress for everyone.

    Pity people like me. Politicians who follow the party line present a Hobson’s choice for us.

  • acebojangles


    Evolution is taught in schools because it’s science. Creationism isn’t because it isn’t. Just what religion is being advantaged there?

    Christianity has a privileged place in American society. How is it disadvantaged?

  • quiensabe

    Ah, yes! TSOE (The Science of Evolution), what great faith you have acebojangles!

  • Sara121

    Again on what it means for something to be science:

    Science doesn’t “prove” or “disprove” in the mathematical sense. What scientific method does for you is reduce the probability that the results you get from analysis are the result of chance or sampling error. That is why science must be both public and repeatable, so that others can come along and retest someone’s work. If the second tester gets different results, all you’ve said is that the probability that either test results were due to chance is relatively high. If the second tester gets the same or similar results, all you’ve done is reduce the probability that the results were due to chance. As you reduce the probability that results are due to chance, you increase the confidence that the results are an accurate representation of the world around you.

    If you can go through that process and reduce the probability that god does not exist, which is to say, reject the null hypothesis, you’ve done science. If not, then you haven’t said anything meaningful about the natural world. Everything we’ve learned about evolution is in line with what Darwin wrote in 1859 (first edition).

    If I look at your family tree, I can give a percentage of relatedness between you and anyone else on that tree. For any whole gene you have there is a 50% probability that your mother has it, a 50% probability that your father has it, and a 50% probability that a full sibling has it. For any gene you have there is a 25% probability that a grandparent or aunt or uncle has it, and 12.5% probability that a first cousin has it. That is degrees of relatedness.

    The evolutionary family tree, relatedness between species as opposed to within species, is the same concept, except that you are looking at DNA from a different level of analysis. Instead of whole genes, you are looking at the two-letter base codes on the double helix itself. This is important when people say that humans and chimpanzees share 98% of DNA. You aren’t comparing whole g

  • maryp123

    “No, we want the same freedoms afforded so dominatley to other religions.”

    Ah yes, if only we christians were afforded the same religious freedoms as those lucky American Muslims. You know- the ones who aren’t allowed to build a mosque and who have been called to defend themselves in Congress. We want to be as free as they are.

  • joe_allen_doty

    It’s interesting that “Christian Conservatives” will vote for politicians just because they are Republicans. They ignore the sinful lifestyle of some of those politicians. Jesus said that anyone who remarried after a divorce committed adultery.

  • VisionFromAfar

    As a staunch social liberal / fiscal conservative, I’m completely torn about the Tea Party. Bachmann et al have exactly the right idea that social handouts like Social Security and Medicare need to be phased out if our country is to survive. On the other hand, I firmly believe it is not the right of anyone to tell someone else what they can and cannot do to their body. Also, governmental recognition of marriage needs to be completely secularized, so we can call it a civil union for one and all. Let the churches deny homosexual marrige, but the government must do so, if it is to truely be a free and just country we live in.
    Legislating religous views goes against everything the Founding Fathers and the Constitution stand for. The Iowa Protestand Inquision for President terrifies me in ways I cannot describe. I don’t want another four years of anti-American socialism, but I really, really don’t want four years of a Theocratic Fundamentalist America…

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