Glenn Beck’s The Blaze reports:
This weekend [19 Feb], The Blaze has confirmed that Beck flew from Miami to Rome, where he had meetings with prominent Catholic Church leaders. In addition to holding discussions with them about important religious freedom issues, Beck also met with individuals from various countries to discuss the creation of an international Tea Party movement.
…During his dialogue with Cardinals, Monsignors, Archbishops and other Catholic leaders, the popular host pledged support for the church, while also discussing ways in which members of various faith communities can join in solidarity against secular attacks against religion.
Beck is adept with using religion to self-publicise: Christian Right figures such as David Barton and Jim Garlow gloss over his Mormonism; his 2010 “Restoring Honor” event featured “240 men and women of all faiths”; he has a “pastors and preachers panel”; and last May the Temple Mount “almost pulsated” as Beck approached.
…Additionally, Beck met with Tea Party leaders from Rome, Serbia, Milan, Germany, Austria, and London, among other localities, to begin discussing an international coalition that is being headed by FreedomWorks. Reflecting the ideals held by peace and freedom proponents in America, the persons involved discussed their goals for an integrated global effort to champion Tea Party ideals.
Speaking to Bill O’Reilly afterwards, Beck added Bosnia, Georgia, and Israel to the list of “Tea Party Leaders”, while O’Reilly himself mentioned Belarus. Tea Party Italia has posted a short set of photos from the Tea Party event; one shows Beck with Terry Kibbe of FreedomWorks (which organised the visit) and Giacomo Zucco, while the second shows Beck with Zucco and Alberto Mingardi, Director of the libertarian Istituto Bruno Leoni (Beck described Mingardi to O’Reilly as “Austin Powers”).
Nina Michael, writing on the CUNY School of Professional Studies blog in December 2010, gave some general background to the movement:
Sometime last year, David Mazzerelli, a 28 year-old advertising executive from Prato, Italy, developed something that makes liberals on this side of the pond cringe; a fascination for Sarah Palin’s Tea Party Ideology.
Inspired by the cries for lower taxes and less government, Mazzerelli had an epiphany; within a year, Tea Party Italia was born.
…While he may have been inspired by Sarah Palin and her devotees, Mazzerelli certainly follows a different path of action. US tea partiers, aside from complaining about taxes and pontificating as to the damaging effects of the involvement of government in just about anything, like to skirt the edge of relevance by taking up issues such as abortion, gay rights, evolution, creationism and other such issues that are hardly germane to any economic related issue. Italian Tea Partiers on the other hand, restrict themselves to issues of the state. Mazzerelli says; “Before everything we refrain from taking positions on ethical, moral and religious themes. We’re interested in economic themes: less taxes, less public spending and less government.”
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