Brooklyn Tea Party protests mosques, big government at rally

Share
Dr. John Press (onstage), president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, speaks at the group's Sept. 19 rally on the 69th St. Pier. (Evan MacDonald/The Brooklyn Ink)

Dr. John Press (onstage), president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, speaks at the group's Sept. 19 rally on the 69th St. Pier in Bay Ridge. (Evan MacDonald/The Brooklyn Ink)

By Evan MacDonald

Dr. John Press, president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, doesn’t believe in multiculturalism. Instead, he believes in “culturism.”

Press believes in America’s roots as a Judeo-Christian society, and as such, his group believes in an adherence to the values associated with Judeo-Christian cultures.

“When they say that all cultures are our friends, and anybody who supports having a border is racist, they undervalue us and do us a disservice, and quite frankly endanger the continuation of America,” Press said. “That’s why we’ve got to replace multiculturalism with culturism.”

The Brooklyn Tea Party attracted a crowd of about 125 people recently to the 69th Street Pier on Sept. 19 as they protested the planned Islamic center near Ground Zero, increased government spending, and the health care bill, among other things. Nine speakers, including both former and prospective politicians, spoke during the three-hour rally.

“The fact is, in Albany and in Washington, our governments have been hijacked by people who do not share our values, and do not value our freedom,” said one speaker, former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughney, as cheers broke out around her.

The rally was the second headed by the Brooklyn Tea Party, which formed five months ago in the wake of similar Tea Party movements that have sprung up across America. It is growing in size, according to Press. He said the group’s first rally, which in June protested the planned Islamic center near ground zero, only had about 25 attend.

The organization was the brainchild of Press and a few friends, who had seen the Staten Island Tea Party achieve success. What began as small meetings at a local pizza shop grew through word of mouth, paper flyers, and a Facebook page. Now the group meets every Sunday at Kosher Hut on King’s Highway.

During the recent rally, Tea Party members walked around handing out small American flags, and many brought signs protesting big government, national health care, and President Barack Obama.

When Frank Santarpia, president of the Staten Island Tea Party, told the crowd it would be a few short years before President Obama may be voted out of office, many broke out in cheers.

At one point, when the discussion of stronger national borders came up, one man shouted “Get them out, get them all out!”

And while supporters of the Brooklyn Tea Party don’t agree on everything, many rally around a core set of beliefs. One speaker, Susan Kone, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Congress in New York’s 8th District, said she identifies with the Tea Party movement because it represents political activism.

“I think [being politically active] is a positive thing, and that’s what America is all about,” Kone said. “And there shouldn’t be stigma because we want to get involved, and we think our government and our country are headed in the wrong direction.”

Press and his organization’s views on “culturism” have been met with their fair share of criticism. One protestor at the rally called Press a terrorist, and anonymous writer “John Galt,” in an Aug. 28 post for the online blog Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn, called on Republicans to denounce the Brooklyn Tea Party.

Members of the Brooklyn Tea Party, however, say they aren’t going to let the opinions of others deter them from their message.

“That’s just part of the game,” said Francisco Pohole, a member of the Tea Party. “Ping-pong requires two players.”

Press says he is not a racist, but instead a “culturist.” He says that multiculturalism does not work, and that all countries have a core set of cultural aesthetics — like Judeo-Christian teachings in America, for example — they need to sustain themselves as nations.

“If this was racism, there would be no hope, because people are not going to change their skin color,” Press said. “But this is culturism. People can change their culture.”

16 Responses to “Brooklyn Tea Party protests mosques, big government at rally”

  1. Bob
    September 26, 2010 at 11:59 PM #

    Scared, old, white people out protesting again, eh?

  2. Jan
    September 27, 2010 at 7:15 AM #

    Go the Tea Party Obama’s New York Mosque is an abomination!

  3. KM
    September 27, 2010 at 12:03 PM #

    Change your Culture? I can’t really wrap my head around that one…It seems more than negative, hateful. How would that work, to become American? And what is it asking? How is it decided that Judeo-Christian is the correct American Culture and is that not asking to adopt a Biblical way of life? It sounds like a messy convoluted way to be Racist.

  4. Theresa
    September 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM #

    This breaks my heart.

  5. Alisa
    September 27, 2010 at 10:56 PM #

    I ran into them on the bridge.. they were wack!! They wont get anywhere.. just a bunch of fringe wierdos.. totally closeminded right wingers.. scary… I hope I wasn’t included in that survey of 125.

  6. joel
    September 28, 2010 at 7:59 AM #

    Dr. John Press, Please stop leading people towards desolation…… it is very clear you hate islam.American natives were not judeo-christians…your ancestors took away their land and decimated them with guns… then imposed judeo-christianism to them….they never ascribed to the culture of the land they landed in, after fleeing persecution from their motherland. You also allow even cultism, devil worship,homosexuality….ad infinitum…stop hate attitude and behaviour and become a good christian ambassador , preach peace, tolerance and love…. you surely would not like to be denied to practice your faith…lets say you went to india..would accept to be denied your judeo-christianism. Please stop asphyxiating freedom. America’s greatness is borne out of its freedom, freedom of worship being one of them….Kind Doctor, please be a good example to the future generation!

  7. joel
    September 28, 2010 at 8:11 AM #

    Some people are very interesting… they sow conflict where non exists….One is burning korans… the other believes his religion should be the only one… why is this land of diversity breeding such extremists?..do unto your brother as you would want him to to do unto you…All are created by God…for a purpose that non can defeat…for only God protects all… love thy neighbour…Go to the lord with supplications and thanksgiving… God will decimate whom he wants and preserve whom he wants..

  8. benjamin
    September 29, 2010 at 1:16 AM #

    Does anyone else find it hilarious that they are preaching judeo-christian values, yet they meet on Sundays at Kosher Hut?

  9. FJASYR
    September 29, 2010 at 2:56 PM #

    OUR CONSTITUTION IS UNDER ATTACK
    The uproar over the construction of a house of worship because it is a Muslim Mosque and violates the “sacred soil” of “Ground Zero,” prompts me to ask: “Which is more sacred, “Ground Zero” or the U.S. Constitution?”. During this election season, one of the first questions we must ask every person running for public office, “Are you prepared to swear that you will defend the Constitution of the United State, without equivocation or reservation?”
    Most Americans memorializes the 9/11 innocent victims of terrorism but at the same time as worshipers of freedom we must defend one of our most precious freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution of the United State. Many persons may challenge the motives behind the selection of the site for the mosque. However, regardless of motive, the First Amendment is very specific in protecting the “free exercise” of religion and certainly building a church, a synagogue, a mosque, or a temple is to “exercise” one’s faith.
    It is very distressing that “Tea Party” members and current and former members of Congress who stress the importance of our Constitution, seek to deny the mosque’s construction in deference to the Congressional oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    Their claim that they defend the Constitution because Americans who practice the Muslim religion are “enemies, foreign and domestics” makes a mockery of not only the First Amendment, but also Article VI of the Constitution recognizes the importance of defending religious freedom by stating that all government leaders “both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Today our Constitution is under attack from the self-proclaimed “patriots” of the right. Their leaders wrap themselves with the Constitution, shouting “We the people!” but only the way they want it, from Constitutional issues such as Arizona’s infringement on the powers of the Federal Government by enactment of that state’s own immigration laws, to repealing the 14th Amendment in order to deny natural birthright citizenship to children of immigrant parents, and to denying the 1st Amendment rights to Muslims to build a house of worship.

    These Tea Baggers have become the Pied-Pipers of U.S. politics and like the naive children of Hamlin, they are leading naive voters to the destruction of sacred principles enscribed in our Constitution.

  10. Mara
    October 1, 2010 at 4:08 AM #

    Do they really think the Tea Partiers in other states want a bunch of Jews on their side? Out in other states (like the one I am in) Jews are just as much of a problem as Muslims are. (Not that I agree, it’s just funny that they are so self-loathing.)

  11. ???
    October 3, 2010 at 2:14 PM #

    Wait what??? so they are “protecting” their freedom by taking away another groups freedom. That is unconstitutional and corrupt.

  12. Michelle
    February 18, 2011 at 3:13 PM #

    Fantastic, completely agree with you on this one and couldn’t agree more.

  13. M.cawel
    September 20, 2011 at 4:49 AM #

    Their claim that they defend the Constitution because Americans who practice the Muslim religion are “enemies, foreign and domestics” makes a mockery of not only the First Amendment, but also Article VI of the Constitution recognizes the importance of defending religious freedom by stating that all government leaders “both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New York Online: Googling, Stealing Signs, and Tea Partying in Brooklyn - NYTimes.com - September 27, 2010

    […] you didn’t know were part of the neighborhood but very much are now: The Brooklyn Ink attended a 100-person rally over the weekend for the Brooklyn Tea Party. It was the group’s second rally since forming […]

  2. « Pledge for America Outpost19 - September 28, 2010

    […] priorities this week, calling for an “end to multiculturalism” and “an adherence to the values associated with Judeo-Christian cultures.” Which is close to the agenda Pat Boone tried to […]

  3. Choice and “Culturalism” « Dented Blue Mercedes - September 28, 2010

    […] Dr. John Press, president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, spoke at a September 19th rally, reported in The Brooklyn Ink, saying that America is rooted in Judeo-Christian principles, and therefore when people encourage […]

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.