Finally, a Tea Party held on a day–Thursday, April 15–other than a biblical feast day so I could attend. Unfortunately, I also left in disgust.
I’m good with Tea Partiers on most issues: less government, less taxes, balanced budgets, individual liberty. What I heard at the Peoria riverfront for an hour or so didn’t surprise me, but didn’t really enlighten me, either. It was pretty routine stuff. Just good, I thought, to be together and let the Powers know that some people do care about these things and are willing to take time out of their day to make that statement. Plus, I hadn’t been to a protest since I was in college, and it was a gorgeous day.
Things were OK, kind of boring, until one of the emcees spiced things up by announcing that some people shouldn’t have so many children. At that point, I left.
The discussion between the male emcee and whoever the woman was up there with him had devolved to our tax money going to support those in need. The woman said we did need to help women with children, and we do. There are ministries in Peoria that do that well, and there is need for more. Churches and other charities need to do a better job. But then the emcee jumped in with something along the lines that “some people” shouldn’t have children, or so many children. I can’t remember the exact quote.
And that’s the problem with movements like this. Even leaders at events like today’s buy into an anti-life line. “If you can’t afford kids, don’t have them.” Well, yeah, I guess. I do agree that couples need to be responsible: Have kids if you’re married and if you can afford them. If you can’t, then wait. Maybe. I believe God will provide no matter what, and that it’s the extended family’s job first and the church’s job second to help with that. Problem is, many of these women who would take the emcee’s advice would either be aborting them or using abortive contraception. For him to throw something like that out lends credence to the claims that the Tea Party movement is racist, since many racists complain about blacks having a lot of children. It certainly doesn’t paint a family-friendly picture. It’s reactionary garbage, is what it is, with no thought behind it. It was an ugly moment at an otherwise boring event.