Most tea partiers view the Constitution as a secular covenant whose terms the citizens and institutions in our republic are bound to honor. As Professor Randy Barnett argued in his 2004 classic, Restoring the Lost Constitution, we observe the meaning of the words in that document, as they were written. We are “originalists” and consider proponents of “a living constitution” to be usurpers of that original intent.
A more modern variation of the “living constitution” school was presented in a 2009 New Republic article by Damon Linker, who argued that “moralistic therapeutic deism,” which he called “theologically insipid,” is perfectly suited to become our new civil religion. In effect, Linker called for this philosophy to replace the Constitutionalism to which the Tea Party movement and the rest of America adheres.
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