“God, life and family get little if any mention in statements or manifestos. The motto of the Tea Party Patriots, a large coalition of groups, is ‘fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.’ The Independence Caucus questionnaire, which many Tea Party groups use to evaluate candidates, poses 80 questions, most on the proper role of government, tax policy and the federal budgeting process, and virtually none on social issues…

“‘We should be creating the biggest tent possible around the economic conservative issue,’ said Ryan Hecker, the organizer behind the Contract From America. ‘I think social issues may matter to particular individuals, but at the end of the day, the movement should be agnostic about it. This is a movement that rose largely because of the Republican Party failing to deliver on being representative of the economic conservative ideology. To include social issues would be beside the point.’…

“Raising social issues, the movement’s leaders say, risks fracturing the strength it has built. ‘Every social issue you bring in, you’re adding planks to your mission,’ said Frank Anderson, a founder of the Independence Caucus, based in Utah. ‘And planks become splinters.'”

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“And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud.

“‘There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,’ said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. ‘The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.’…

[W]hile Land and other Christians sympathize with the movement’s limited-government focus, they have been repelled by another aspect of the contemporary right: The vitriolic attacks on Obama…

“‘What [liberal blogs] do with Sarah is just really unacceptable and dastardly, but that doesn’t mean we should respond in kind,’ [Land] said. Obama, he said ‘provides a tremendously positive role model for tens of millions of African-American men’ and ‘seems demonstrably fond of his wife and children, which is a positive role model for people of all ethnicities.’

“‘I would want to be free to attack the character of President Clinton — but this guy, he gives every indication of being a decent guy,’ Land said.”