From “Is the Tea Party becoming a religious movement?” by Jeff Sharlet at CNN.
Liberals and centrists wring their hands over Miller and giggle about O’Donnell, hoping that her political hopelessness somehow proves that the movement isn’t going. They compile lists of what they take to be her craziest statements, such as her confession that as a young woman she dabbled in witchcraft.
That’s a strategic mistake, because they’re mocking what is, in fact, a mainstream evangelical view — that witchcraft and “spiritual war” are real — and a narrative with powerful resonance in American life. Consider not O’Donnell’s words, but her theme: Once I was lost (making bad choices), but now I’m found. Who didn’t do something stupid in their youth?
But it’s the “found” part that reveals the religiosity of the Tea Party movement, spirituality not at odds with the Tea Party’s economics but intertwined with it.