Buttigieg: Can a true Christian be gay?
Pete Buttigieg is trying to win the presidency by breaking “the Republican lock on God,” said Timothy Egan in The New York Times. The 37-year-old Rhodes scholar, Navy veteran, and mayor of South Bend, Ind., formally entered the Democratic presidential race this week after surging to third place in several polls. “Surprisingly for a modern Democrat,” he’s a proud Christian, eloquently explaining how faith informs his desire for a compassionate immigration policy and universal health care. “Mayor Pete,” as he likes to be called, is gay; he proudly shows off his husband, Chasten, and has said their marriage has “moved me closer to God.” That’s a pointed challenge to social conservatives like Vice President Mike Pence who insist on their right to view homosexuality as a sin and gay marriage as a moral wrong. To the “Mike Pences of the world,” Buttigieg recently said, “your quarrel is not with me—your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
Buttigieg shouldn’t lecture anyone about Christianity, said Erick Erickson in TheResurgent.com. He attacks President Trump for ignoring biblical commands to care for “the least of these,” but Buttigieg himself ignores “the inconvenient parts of faith,” namely the “express statements in Scripture” that homosexuality is a sin. Pence, meanwhile, has been unfailingly courteous to his fellow Hoosier, said Ben Shapiro in NationalReview.com. Yet at virtually every campaign stop, Buttigieg paints the VP as a “closed-minded bigot.” If Buttigieg truly understood Christianity, he would know that Pence’s traditional reading of the Bible doesn’t mean he has any personal “animus” against gay people.
If not animus, then ignorance, said Ed Kilgore in NYMag.com. Conservative Christians’ homophobia “is based on the belief that being gay is a choice made in conscious defiance of God and nature”—an assumption that’s fading away as straight people get to know openly gay friends, family members, and colleagues. Pence and his allies like to hide behind the old canard of “loving the sinner but hating the sin,” said Bob Moser in NewRepublic.com. But Buttigieg is using the “powerful platform” of his presidential candidacy to point out that the dehumanizing laws, public policies, and court rulings evangelicals seek would make gay people second-class citizens—which is anything but loving. His eloquence on this topic has left champions of Bible-based intolerance “furious—and scared.” ■