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Tea Party: a symbol of a better life for all

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The recent tragedy in Arizona shines a biased light on the Tea Party.

So far, all evidence points to the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner as having acted alone in his rampage on Saturday. So why is the left, attacking the right? How much more does the right, the Tea Party groups in particular, need to be blamed for before our nation can truly come together and heal? If this unfair, baseless attack against free speech and conservatives is allowed to continue, there will be more victims of the January 8th shooting than the precious lives that were lost. The repercussions of words spoken in the aftermath have the potential to be far reaching, exacting, enduring and irreversible.

The Tea Party got its name from the ultimate symbol of freedom and defiance, the Boston Tea Party in which no lives were lost. Tea, that most wonderful of beverages, was being heavily taxed by the English King. The colonists were feeling over taxed and under represented so they decided to send a very loud and clear message to the government. (This is why tea was not drunk as much in the colonies for so long and why it is not usually considered an, 'American' drink. Many colonists gave up drinking tea as a show of support for the move toward independence from English rule. These days, when someone says they are 'into tea' or enjoy tea parties, it is assumed they are part of the political Tea Party. While this may or may not be the case, tea has a history of being associated with independence, limited government and self sufficiency.)

The Tea Party is not out for blood or martyrs. The ultimate goal of the Tea Party is less government and more freedom for all. One, lone, seemingly unhinged, gunman is not the face of the Tea Party. If Loughner had shot up a group of people not engaged in a political rally, would the conservative right have still been blamed? Loughner acted alone. Perhaps he was even looking for his 15 minutes of fame. To blame his alleged actions on one political party is immature at the least and bad reporting for all the news people participating in the accusations. It is easy to point fingers when we are wounded. We want someone, or something to blame for why a tragedy happened. We want others to hurt as bad as we hurt, but blaming an entire group of people for one man's actions is not the way to start the healing process.

The best way for healing to begin and to stop the hate from spreading is to have those who are openly accusing the conservative right of this tragedy to apologize and retract their statements. Free speech is one thing, but slandering an entire group of people is a whole different ball of wax.

Just in case you do not know the difference:

Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. It is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed.

My prayers go out to the victims and families involved in this tragedy that should never have happened. I also pray that Miss. Giffords would have a full and speedy recovery. No matter on what side of the political fence one stands, our opponents are human beings, sharing this journey together. Extend to them the same measure of grace and mercy you would like to have shown to you.

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