Recently on Facebook, I saw some pictures of the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church stating the sermon this coming Sunday is “Tea Parties: I Hate Hate Speech.” The description on the church’s website states:

There is trouble afoot in the nation, as if there weren’t enough already. But what might a religious liberal say about the tea party phenomenon?

Before I begin, the sermon has not been preached yet, nor would I even step foot in that place. So everything I write here is pure speculation.

I hate hate speech” What exactly does do they mean? Is this church insinuating that tea partiers are a bunch of haters? Or are the just expounding on the lie that participants are a bunch of racists? Yes, there was a guy at the first Houston Tea Party that had a racist comment on his sign, and he was promptly removed from the area. Real followers of the tea party will not and should not tolerate hate. We are not racist against a half-black President (we don’t like his white side either). What about the blacks that were at the Houston Tea Parties? Natalie Arceneaux and Apostle Claver both spoke at least once at these events. And I saw other blacks in attendance. Are they racist too?

But what might a religious liberal say about the tea party phenomenon? At one time a liberal would say “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it.” What happened to those liberals? Or did it become “You have the right to free speech until we disagree with it”? The first amendment right to free speech was created to protect those with unpopular messages and those who disagree with those in power.

Is this church that preaches tolerance of others being intolerant of a group that happens to be on the other side of the belief spectrum? It’s quite a stretch for liberals to call the tea parties hate speech. Yet, when a liberal begins to lose an argument, they pull the race or hate speech card. So much for tolerance…

Maybe the problem is that the federal government is doing the job that churches should be doing. The church needs to do a better job of helping their immediate community instead of worrying about how big their reserve account is or what color the new carpet will be or how big the new parsonage should be. I am glad to report that my church does work in the community with those in crisis pregnancy, homelessness, or homes that need some repair.

I wonder if all this has something to do with Glenn Beck’s outing of Sojourners’s Jim Wallis as a Marxist…