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January 19, 2012

Tea Party Jesus: 'Blessed Are the Mean'

Scathing video depicts 'Sermon on the Mall' as if Christ were speaking for Tea Party


So, there's a new animated video online, picturing Jesus giving a speech to thousands in Washington, D.C., as if he had based his teachings on the sayings of the Tea Party.

In what the creators are calling the "Sermon on the Mall," Jesus begins his famous talk by saying, "Blessed are the mean in spirit, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven." Behind him, cheering him on, are his "disciples," including Gingrich, Perry, Romney, Santorum, Bachmann, Limbaugh, and Beck.

Jesus goes on: "Blessed are the pure in ideology, for they can demonize any who disagree." And the zingers continue:

"Blessed are you when you revile and persecute and utter all kinds of evil falsely. Rejoice and be glad. Great is your reward, for in the same way the prophets Beck and Limbaugh have persecuted others before you."

"For any who believe our governments should help the poor show contempt for their Maker and whoever ignores the needy honors God."

"You have heard it said [Matthew 5:33], “Don’t swear falsely,” but I say to you, if uttering falsehoods furthers our cause, it is righteous."

And these are just the tip of the not-so-niceberg. Learn more at TeaPartyJesus.org, and check out the entire "Sermon on the Mall" (just less than seven minutes) here:


"Blessed are the pure in ideology, for they can demonize any who disagree."

The video makes fun of people and accuses them of following a false Jesus. The pot is calling the kettle black.

We don't need more hypocritical political lobs at each other.

@David, I don't think it's hypocritical at all. I feel like the Republicans have stopped our country from moving forward on just about every issue that matters, especially when it comes to helping poor people who are suffering now more than ever.

David, I assume you aren't arguing that Jesus really believed the things the one in this video says. The video says all quotes are cited, and I went and checked. They are. So it's not hypocritical to ask Christians who follow the Tea Party if they think Jesus would hold the positions they do and associate with those using the rhetoric the Tea Party does. It's a simple WWJD question? It may be a hard question to hear, but it's not hypocrisy to ask it. They don't attack their opponents. They just have Jesus using their words, which I agree is very troubling and hard to hear. But that is kind of the point, isn't it?!

Suffering now more than ever? You mean the era of tenement housing, contaminated drinking water, no meat standards, depression-era poverty, dust-bowl farming, and Jim Crow laws pale in comparison to now? Who knew...

The problem is that this group has done exactly what they claim the Tea Party and religious right do: God is on their side and they know it. If they want to imply Conservatives don't care about the poor because they prefer non-governmental interventions instead of the government they'd gone straight into "Bearing False Witness" territory.

David, what is "their side?" They don't state a side or claim God is on it or supports any policy positions or political ones. They just point out how horrible it sounds to imagine Jesus saying the things said at Tea Party rallies. True, they do quote Jesus' exact words at the end, but if your complaint is that they share the Gospel and the Gospel words make you feel they are arguing for certain policy postion, that's not something you can fault this group for. It's not like their real Jesus lines are taken out of context or anything.

David, "more than ever" is an overstatement but also beside the point. This satire does not claim that God is liberal, it juxtaposes God with the Tea Party and shows that there is a conflict. (It's not a binary logic -- "not Tea Party" does not mean "liberal," it just means "not Tea Party").

The Tea Party has not been all about other ways to help the least among us. They have stirred up fear and resentment and promoted the idea that anyone getting help is an undeserving parasite. I do know and respect quiet conservatives who are going about the business of "non-governmental interventions," but unfortunately they are not the public face of conservatism nor does that position gain Republican votes.

There is not an exclusive choice between "non-governemental" religious charity and government programs to cushion the blow of an economic system that can be brutal. Promoting one is not to oppose the other. People who think so are ideologues, and it's not a helpful position.

Every Christian voter should watch this.