Christine O'Donnel's supportersMichael Gerson

Tea Party supporters and luminaries fashion themselves as constitutional conservatives, but in at least one significant area, their self-assessment betrays a basic lack of familiarity with the Constitution itself. The conception of America as a Christian nation carries profound weight among Tea Party conservatives, but it stands plainly counter to history and the Constitution itself. While an avowed reverence for the rights and dignity of all humanity is firmly rooted in the Christian heritage shared by many in the founding generation, it is precisely because of this that the original posture toward faith was fundamentally anti-institutional.

Gerson writes about politics, global health and development, religion and foreign policy.

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