5 Reasons ‘Teavangelicals’ matter
The cover of the new book "Teavangelicals." by the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody.
June 27th, 2012
04:05 PM ET

5 Reasons ‘Teavangelicals’ matter

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) — It’s a match made in political heaven - evangelical Christians and the Tea Party. Starting in 2010, the two huge conservative flanks started coming together, forming what Christian Broadcasting Network Chief Political correspondent David Brody calls the "Teavangelical" movement.

Sure, the Tea Party was supposed to be all about money matters, its name an acronym for "taxed enough already." The conventional wisdom was that the group didn’t care much about social issues like gay marriage and abortion – those were the province of evangelicals.

But it turns out that the two groups overlap – a lot. That was one of the takeways from a Wednesday National Press Club panel I sat on that was tied the release of Brody’s new book, “The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America.”

Here are 5 reasons why should care about "Teavangelicals":

1. Remember 2010?

In the 2010 midterm elections, the Tea Party helped the Republicans take back control of the House of Representatives. And evangelicals made up a big part of that group. According to a September 2010 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, nearly half of self-identified Tea Partiers in 2010 said they were part of the Religious Right or the conservative Christian movement.

2. They might swing the presidential election for Mitt Romney.

Ralph Reed's group, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is the prototypical Teavangelical group, working to ensure that the Tea Party and evangelicals play nice together. Reed has long been an evangelical whisper for politicians and Brody writes that he has the cell phone numbers of 13 million evangelical voters. Sounds like a strong ground game.

3. Teavangelicals made the GOP primaries more interesting.

2012 was supposed to be Mitt Romney's year. He’d run once before and the GOP establishment liked him. But he was not an early favorite of the Teavangelicals, who variously rallied around Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. When those politicians talked about the free market and opposing abortion with equal gusto it was music to Teavangelical ears. At the press club panel on Wednesday, National Review columnist Robert Costa said Santorum’s Iowa caucuses win testified to the Teavangelical power.

4. They're planning to stick around for a while.

The Tea Party may have disappeared from national headlines, but they’re active at the grassroots. Brody said that Teavangelicals are winning seats on school boards, city councils, and county commissions. "The Teavangelicals have realized it's nice to get on FOX News and hold up a sign and be on the Sean Hannity show, but that's not going to get it done,” he said. “Ultimately you have to start at the bottom up.” He says small-time local positions are proving grounds for the next generation of GOP leadership.

5. They’ll be a crossword puzzle clue soon.

Brody coined the term Teavangelical the day after the 2010 midterm elections, when we were both at a press conference organized by the Faith and Freedom coalition. Ralph Reed’s involvement means the Teavangelical concept has legs. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes a crossword puzzle clue.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. Star Performer

    At least I can use the power of subliminality far better than the Devil!
    What do you think I'm using now?

    June 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Bob spelled backwards

      Thorazine. Lithium. A few others.

      June 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Give me librium or give me meth"

      June 28, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  2. glorydays

    If ruining the country makes elections "more interesting", I'd rather be dull, thank you. These folks are speeding up the dumbing down of America.

    June 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • J2


      June 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  3. Star Performer

    I rejected the Devil & all his false works!
    What did you reject?

    June 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • midwest rail

      A theocracy.

      June 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Frank

      Dogma and delusions.

      June 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • fintastic

      The non-existent devil and god.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  4. JC

    I believe the author of this story meant M0R0NGELICAL T-BAGGERS .....

    June 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  5. J2

    They are the people who don't care what Jesus taught/said.

    June 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  6. Star Performer

    Criminals have been admiring my innocence today!
    This is how I break down my enemies – with THE SHIELD OF TRUTH!
    At least I can prove THE SHIELD OF TRUTH WORKS!
    Yessirree! Criminals have been admiring my innocence today!

    June 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • The Corrector

      I've been using THE SHIELD OF TRUTH myself!
      Yes! It WORKS!
      This is how I will break down my enemies too!

      June 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Star Performer

      Translation: I troll here under a bunch of names like bubbles and clown question bro and others.

      June 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Linda P

      Go gerrem Star Performer aka JESUS!

      June 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  7. Andrew

    Christian Reconstructionism was on the front page of Christianity Today waaay back in 1988 and yes, these crazy, hypocritical, unchristlike motherF@#ers want to drop OT law on YOU. Even if you aren't Xian. They're a cult.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  8. Mark Gibson

    Where in the Bible did it say God was going to put a plague of yahoos on us? These people have got to be aligned with the devil, because they've done more to ruin Christianity than even the ancient Romans.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      "Plague of Yahoos" has been added to my vocabulary. Thank you.

      June 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      I like the phrase "Parliament of W-h-o-r-e-s"

      June 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  9. tony

    The T stands for Treason in reality. Democracy and religious government have always been opposites and these folk are taking it to the level of actually being enemies.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  10. Bob

    I'd be interested in reading that book, but I'm definitely not interested in paying for it.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • GAW

      If they come to power we will all pay for it.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Bob

      Good point. In many ways we already are. I grieve for my countrymen.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Andrew

      If they come to power, I will be killing them. Period.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  11. Doh

    Stop calling t-baggers conservative – they're not.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • fintastic

      Backwards? ignorant? harmful? which would you prefer?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  12. mickey weedon

    These nut bags worship some dead guy on a stick. They eat his flesh and drink his blood. They believe they are getting beamed up to some invisible space daddy in the sky...THESE PEOPLE ARE DANGEROUS for America!

    June 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Barney

      Only a "nut bag" would believe that all things are to be measured by his personal ignorance. And that shoe fits!

      June 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  13. GAW

    But rest assured they will do what most Evangelicals do best......They will divide.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Peter Bopper, Christian

      That is just lying atheist propaganda, you slime-sucking low-down no-good Lake of Fire bound loser! How can Evangelicals divide when we can't even add and subtract!

      You moran!

      June 27, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • GAW

      Facepalm time.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  14. mickey weedon


    June 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  15. Jack

    Good evening. Everyone is invited to visit ... thestarofkaduri.com

    June 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Rush Limbaugh

      I can vouch for thestarofkaduri! It is my favorite child brothel in the Dominican Republic!

      June 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • GAW

      I thought it was an Indian restaurant..

      June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  16. maxine howard

    They are no one. It is a new term (word)made up by the press, to sell news in a hate denigrating fashion.I am sure the news that lean to the right, can make one up for the liberals as well.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Perhaps you should read the flavor text underneath the picture on the top of the page.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • maxine howard's brother Moe

      No, maxine is exactly correct. Christian Broadcasting Network is using the term to sell news in a hate denigrating fashion.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  17. Barneyjake


    June 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  18. Sean

    Good thing there isn't a third party that actually aligns with the 'Teavangelical' ideology, within arm's reach of access to enough electoral votes to be viable in the general election, that would've been worth including in this discussion... Oh, wait, the Const-itution Party is still a thing? Okay, then. Shame on you for pretending this inane garbage is "news," and shame on us for accepting it as legitimate, comprehensive discussion. (For the record, I won't even be voting for Virgil Goode. I'm just heartbroken to see that it's considered naive to want the election to serve as, I don't know, a representation of the views of the people voting in it.)

    June 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  19. Tim Knecht

    I grew up during the Sold War. When I became old enough to think for myself, I quickly became much more afraid of the Fundamentalists (and evangelicals) than of the Communists. I still feel that way. In their own way, the fundamentalists (Teavangelicals) are brain-dead; God tells them what is right and what to do, no matter how screwy or perverted. If God says it, it's great! These people need to be stopped; as far as I'm concerned, a bullet for each one of them is proper and necessary. They shouldn't mind, because they'll get to meet God sooner.

    June 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • IntlSeensta

      There is such a thing as "Christian Sharia Law" and that is what the fundamentalists are their Teabagger puppets are trying to do in this country.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • tony

      FLDS for all!

      June 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  20. Portland tony

    This whole article is inane and "full of pixie dust".

    June 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Andrew

      Is that supposed to make you sound smart? It doesn't.

      June 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.