by Matthew Boose
When South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg accused Vice President Mike Pence of having a problem with his sexual orientation, the openly gay Episcopalian was employing a tired, but increasingly common, progressive sleight of hand.
“If you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me—your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” Buttigieg said.
This was a political stunt steeped in prejudice against Pence’s religious beliefs. Of course, not only has Pence not attacked Buttigieg, but it would seem he has had nothing but nice things to say about him.
Buttigieg’s “gotcha” exemplifies a common strategy of on the Left to shame others into accepting their ideas. Leftists, while loudly championing infanticide, have taken to co-opting a religion they don’t actually believe in to push their own agenda.
Buttigieg’s message is predictable and banal, but it’s the kind of thing that impresses progressives who find TED talks edifying and consult “the data” to settle moral questions: Pence and all evangelicals who support Trump are hypocrites. If they were real Christians, they’d follow the Left’s interpretation of the Gospel, which is really just secular liberalism in faux-Christian garb.
One sees this rhetoric, particularly with open borders. As the immigration crisis has unfolded, liberals have taken to pointing out the hypocrisy of Christians who believe in immigration restrictions, citing the Bible’s message of compassion for the persecuted.
While most progressives are content with selectively quoting a book they don’t read or believe in, some, like Buttigieg, take it much further, claiming to profess faith while accusing others of hypocrisy for not sharing their Woke, pseudo-religious beliefs.
In a stop at a progressive chapel, Buttigieg continued to bully Pence on Ellen Degeneres’s show. “I don’t have a problem with religion. I’m religious, too,” he said. “But if he wanted to clear this up, he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind” on gay marriage.
Buttigieg called Pence’s beliefs “bad policy.” To Buttigieg, it would seem, morals and “policy” occupy two different worlds. In Buttigieg’s trendy, non-committal, neoliberal moral universe, policy and morality should be kept strictly separate. He’s “religious too,” but morals have no place in government and society—unless, of course, they’re progressive.
Pence, Buttigieg says, is not a good Christian because he is intolerant of gay marriage and supports a “porn star” president. Buttigieg effectively accused Pence of blaspheming God by making an idol of the president, even asking at a CNN town hall whether Pence “stopped believing in Scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump.”
But what does Buttigieg make of abortion? The “openly pro-choice” Buttigieg thinks abortion is an “unknowable” moral question that will “never be settled by science.”
Who stopped believing in Scripture exactly? When he referred to “my creator,” did he mean Moloch?
To pious folks like Pete Buttigieg, Christianity has become indistinguishable from the cult of Woke. The Bible’s message of tolerance and love becomes the equivalent of the reigning moral and cultural relativism buttressed by Jesus talk.
For Buttigieg, abortion is okay, but supporting a man like Trump because he opposes abortion is a moral outrage. Buttigieg is blinded by the “unbelievable hypocrisy” of Christians who accept a president so impious and worldly. They have been led astray by a president who is “pretending to be pro-life” from the Bible’s core message, which is “about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants.” If they were real Christians, he says, they’d open the border and stop fighting abortion.
Buttigieg seems to see the Bible as a supporting document for his progressive beliefs. To Buttigieg, Scripture is indistinguishable from progressivism’s agenda to give marginalized groups “more visibility in the public sphere.” Christianity is really about tolerance of all peoples, cultures, and lifestyles.
The Christian injunction to withhold judgment is interpreted as extreme permissiveness toward sin, even the sin of infanticide. It’s not Buttigieg’s place to judge, he says: leave the moral decision-making up to mother and abortionist, not “a male government official imposing his interpretation of his religion.”
While America has taken a marked turn toward secular liberalism, there is clearly still some lingering pressure for politicians who think killing infants is permissible to show a token belief in morals and the nation’s religious heritage. Hence Buttigieg.
Take it from the left: True Christianity is liberalism. The rest is heresy.
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Matthew Boose is a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller.
Photo “Pete Buttigieg” by Pete Buttigieg.