Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tea Party moments: God and country


Field McConnell took a long and rather devout path to Nashville for the National Tea Party Convention.

And he says he feels a special connection to 9/11.

He lives in Minnesota. But he flew from Fargo, N.D. to Minneapolis, then to Atlanta. He picked up a vehicle Monday in Canton, Ga. It was not just any vehicle. It was a stretch limousine painted purple to show honor to God. The limo sits in the parking lot this week at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. It's just one more sign of the diverse nature of Tea Party activists.

"I think a majority of the people attending the convention will be proven to be patriots," McConnell said. "I think a majority of those patriots are probably Christians or even people who recognize people of any faith as being a good thing."

He said the person who sold him the car picked him up at the Atlanta airport.

"I did not pick the color because the man who painted it is a Christian, and the man who sold it to me was a Christian, and I wanted to prove my faith to them," said McConnell, who cited biblical references to purple being the color associated with the robe on Christ when he was put on the cross.

McConnell said he was a career military pilot and a concurrent airline pilot and said a personal prayer on Dec. 4, 2006, offering his service to God, "because I told him that I thought for 7-8 years he had something more important for me to do than be an airline pilot."

The same day of that prayer, McConnell said he "started getting a lot of unsolicited information."

"I've become an activist for patriotic issues, the responsible treatment of Americans by our government," he said. "The one thing I bring to the party is I have a great deal of information about what really happened on 9/11, simply because of where God put me in my working history."

He said the captain of American Airlines flight 77, which is believed to be the plane that hit the Pentagon, was his Naval Academy classmate. McConnell said the F-16s flying over Washington that day was his National Guard unit.

"I just have a real fluency on the flying events of 9/11," he said. "And that day on Dec. 4 of '06, I started getting unsolicited information from people around the world who are very concerned for the United States, the sovereignty of our country, the treatment of our citizens and the removal of the global elitist banks from the control of this nation."

McConnell is hoping the convention is part of something that can bring the country back full-circle.

"I'm coming here with an open mind," McConnell said. "I think what we're going to find here is people from various parties looking to see if the Tea Party might be an organization of grassroots patriotic Americans who might be able to come together to bring our country back to the way it was created. That was by a bunch of Christian immigrants, most of whom were Christian pastors. This nation was created to serve God.

"God's been removed in your lifetime. We've seen that."

McConnell was asked if he considered himself aligned with any particular political party.

"Others would have judged me to be a Republican," he said. "But I've always voted for issues, not for names, or for 'R's and 'D's. I would say I'm a fierce independent today."

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