MAYOR PETE AND THE DAWNING OF A NEW POLITICAL ERA

“First Family” splashed across a TIME magazine cover prominently displaying presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Glazman.[1] The subtitle read, “The Unlikely, Untested and Unprecedented Campaign of Mayor Pete Buttigieg.” Indeed, amidst the largest Democratic candidacy pool in modern history,[2][3] a virtually unknown 37-year-old Midwestern mayor has surged into the nation’s top tier of presidential candidates,[4] polling third in Iowa,[5] New Hampshire,[6] and Indiana.[7] Mayor Pete Buttigieg is an Episcopalian, a Harvard graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, and a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, but his true claim to fame is his status as Indiana’s first openly gay executive and the highest elected official in Indiana to come out as gay.[8][9] Now he serves as America’s first presidential candidate in a same-sex marriage, and if he secures the Democrat nomination,[10] he would be our nation’s first openly gay nominee from a major political party.[11]

 

As a Millennial, Buttigieg appeals to younger voters, being a fresh face in a year when Millennials are poised to become the largest eligible voting bloc.[12] TIME reports, “Many Democrats are hungry for generational change, and the two front runners are more than twice his age.”[13] However, generational change for the sake of change can be a terrifying prospect, and clear policy positions have been strikingly absent in Buttigieg’s campaign. Indeed, his preference appears to be storytelling—wrapping his ideology in an authentic and youthful persona that appeals to the heart rather than the mind.[14] Mayor Pete Buttigieg is more concerned about connecting people to his story than he is about connecting people to his politics.

 

Where he has been clear on policy issues, Buttigieg has shown himself to be equally as radical as many of his opponents:

  • He wants to change the composition of the Supreme Court by adding six new Justices.[15][16][17]
  • He wants to replace the electoral college with a popular vote,[18][19] essentially eliminating middle-America’s voice in elections and letting the major cities determine all future presidents.[20][21]
  • He wants to grant Washington DC and Puerto Rico statehood, something that would likely tip the electoral balances toward Democrats.[22][23][24]
  • He believes stripping Thomas Jefferson’s name from buildings, honors, and events is “the right thing to do.”[25]
  • He supports raising taxes, including “a ‘fairer, which means higher’ marginal income tax, a ‘reasonable’ wealth tax ‘or something like that,’ a financial transactions tax, and closing ‘corporate tax loopholes.’”[26]
  • He wants to use state and federal monies to pay the entire tuition cost of middle-income families at public colleges.[27]
  • He wants to expand military service, Peace Corps service, and domestic service-year opportunities through efforts like AmeriCorps “until service becomes a universal expectation for every American youth.”[28]
  • He believes the Socialist model of a single-payer healthcare system is “the right place for us to head as a country,”[29] despite its estimated $32.6 trillion price tag over 10 years.[30]
  • He wants to recommit to the international accord on the environment known as the Paris Agreement.[31]
  • He thinks the Green New Deal is a very attractive framework,[32] and supports it as “the right beginning” to dealing with climate change, something he calls “a national emergency.”[33] This despite an estimated $600,000 per household price tag ($93 trillion total)[34] and unrealistic expectations like upgrading or replacing every building in the United States, eliminating air travel, providing free education for life, and providing every American with a government-guaranteed job that includes a “family sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and a pension.”[35][36]

 

Despite his radical politics, Buttigieg comes across as being reasonable and brilliantly ordinary. Part of this is in how he speaks. The BBC reports, “He has a Midwesterner’s plain-spokenness and, as a practising [sic] Episcopalian, regularly leavens his public remarks with Biblical quotes and allusions.”

 

Indeed, he has made faith a key component of his campaign. He presents himself as a values-based candidate who can heal a divided nation.[37] TIME reports, “He believes independents and moderate conservatives could get behind a happily married Christian veteran.”[38] But what are the values that Mayor Pete Buttigieg espouses, believing that they should guide our nation into a new political era? And are these values consistent with the Bible?

 

  1. Homosexuality is normal and good

According to Buttigieg, his marriage to Chasten has made him a better person and has brought him closer to God.[39] Furthermore, he is a homosexual because God created Him this way. “If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade,” Buttigieg said. “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me – your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”[40]

 

However, the Bible presents homosexuality as abominable acts of rebellion against God’s commandments and moral law, something for which God has judged nations (Lev. 18:22–26; 20:13). It is described as “dishonorable passions” that are “contrary to nature” and “shameless acts” that result from a “debased mind” (Rom. 1:18–28). The Bible lumps together men who practice homosexuality with the lawless and disobedient, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane, those who strike their parents, murderers, sexual immorality, enslavers, liars, and perjurers (1 Tim. 1:8–10). And those who practice homosexuality will not enter the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9–10).

 

  1. People should be able to choose their gender

Buttigieg wants to pass the Equality Act, reverse the ban on transgender military service, and support LGBT human rights around the world.[41] However, the Bible declares God to be the one who decides gender, and it limits gender to “male” and “female” (Gen. 1:27; Mark 10:6). Furthermore, although it does not bear the modern title of transgenderism, behavior associated with gender dysphoria is called sexual immorality in the Bible (1 Cor. 6:9–11). The Greek word translated as “effeminate” in the NASB is a term the first-century Jew named Philo used to describe those “who, accustoming themselves to be infected with a female disease, drain away both their souls and their bodies, leaving no ember of the male gender to smolder. . . . and with devotion practicing as an art to transform the male nature into female, they do not blush.”[42]

 

  1. Religious liberty is less important than sexual liberty

Passing the Equity Act is important to Buttigieg.[43] This would effectively revoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and require churches to hire staff who identify as homosexual, force adoption agencies to place children in homes where sodomy is practiced, and would revoke the licenses of therapists who try to help teens overcome unwanted same-sex attractions.[44]

 

  1. Marijuana should be legal

Buttigieg told the Boston Globe, “The safe, regulated, and legal sale of marijuana is an idea whose time has come for the United States, as evidenced by voters demanding legalization in states across the country.”[45] He supports legalizing marijuana, not for medicinal purposes but for recreational use.[46] However, the Bible commands us to be sober and self-controlled at all times (1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8; 2 Tim. 1:7). Moreover, the Bible associates drugs with witchcraft—a practice punishable by death because it created gateways to the spirit realm that could result in demonic possession (Exo. 22:18; Deut. 18:10). The Greek word pharmakeia, from which we derive the English word “pharmacy,” is often translated as “sorcery” in our English Bibles (Rev. 9:21; 18:23). Such drug use is a sinful practice of the flesh that will keep people from entering heaven, according to the Bible (Gal. 5:19–21; Rev. 22:15).

 

  1. Life in the womb is not important

Asked during a Fox News town hall whether there should be “any limit on a woman’s right to have an abortion,” Buttigieg answered, “No, I think the dialogue has gotten so caught up on where you draw the line, that we’ve gotten away from the fundamental question of who gets to draw the line, and I trust women to draw the line when it’s their life.”[47] According to Buttigieg, the moral line of when a life becomes valuable should be determined by expecting mothers rather than God. However, the Bible teaches that life begins in the womb (Psa. 139:13–16; Luke 1:44), and we do not have the right to take that life (Gen. 9:5–6; Exo. 20:13). Moreover, God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov. 6:16–17), and He warns that a nation who allows the innocent to be murdered pollutes the land and is guilty in God’s sight until the guilt of that murder is purged from the land (Num. 35:33; Deut. 19:10).

 

 

It would seem that, despite his professed Christian faith, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s values are not Christian. In fact, several of his values which he believes should guide our nation into the next political era are practices that provoke God’s judgment upon nations. He may be a good person who genuinely cares about people and the betterment of our nation, but he has centered his campaign around his values, and his values are at odds with God’s values. This means that, if elected, he will lead our nation away from God’s will.

 

As long as God’s people are unwilling to voice this, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will continue to promote and normalize his unbiblical values at a national level, swaying the thinking of potentially millions and influencing the next generation of political leaders. As such, this is something that we as Christians should be talking about. We cannot afford to be silent on this matter.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Alter, Charlotte. “Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented Presidential Campaign.” May 2, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. http://time.com/longform/pete-buttigieg-2020/.

2. Lee, Jasmine. “The 2020 Democratic Field Is the Largest in Modern History.” The New York Times, n.d. Last Updated May 14, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/14/us/politics/2020-democratic-candidates-president.html.

3. Burns, Alexander, Matt Flegenheimer, Jasmine Lee, Lisa Lerer and Jonathan Martin. “Who’s Running for President in 2020?” The New York Times, n.d. Last Updated May 16, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/us/politics/2020-presidential-candidates.html?action=click&module=inline&pgtype=Article.

4. Sparks, Grace. “New Poll Shows Pete Buttigieg Surging into Top Tier in New Hampshire with Biden and Sanders.” CNN, n.d. Last Updated April 22, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/22/politics/unh-poll-march-buttigieg-biden-sanders/.

5. “Health Care, Environment Top Dem Issues.” Monmouth University Polling Institute, April 11, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/monmouthpoll_ia_041119/.

6. Soucy, Alexis. “Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg Lead Crowded Field in April Poll.” Saint Anslem College, New Hampshire Institute of Politics, April 10, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.anselm.edu/new-hampshire-institute-politics/biden-sanders-buttigieg-lead-crowded-field-april-poll.

7. “Indiana Statewide Survey of Registered Voters.” We Ask America, May 9, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. http://www.weaskamerica.com/surveys/2019/5/9/indiana-statewide-survey-of-registered-voters.

8. Blasko, Erin. “South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Announces He’s Gay.” Governing, June 17, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.governing.com/topics/politics/south-bend-mayor-pete-buttigiegs-is-gay.html.

9. Buttigieg, Pete. “South Bend Mayor: Why Coming Out Matters.” South Bend Tribune, June 16, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/south-bend-mayor-why-coming-out-matters/article_4dce0d12-1415-11e5-83c0-739eebd623ee.html.

10. McMahon, Adam. “Pete Buttigieg Is the First U.S. Presidential Candidate in a Same-Sex Marriage. Here Are 3 Reasons that Matters.” April 10, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/04/10/mayor-pete-buttigieg-is-countrys-first-presidential-candidate-same-sex-marriage-here-are-reasons-that-matters/?utm_term=.bc1092d053a0.

11. Associated Press. “Democratic Mayor Pete Buttigieg Running for President; Would Be First Openly Gay Nominee.” NBC News, January 23, 2019. Last Updated January 23, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/democratic-mayor-pete-buttigieg-running-president-would-be-first-openly-n961596.

12. Alter, “Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented Presidential Campaign.”

13. Ibid.

14. Burns, Alexander. “Pete Buttigieg’s Focus: Storytelling First. Policy Details Later.” The New York Times, April 14, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-2020-writing-message.html.

15. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.” Pete for America, n.d. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://peteforamerica.com/issues/.

16. Driscoll, Amanda and Michael Nelson. “These Two Arguments Make Americans Less Opposed to Court Packing.” The New York Times, March 27, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/03/27/should-democrats-try-add-more-justices-supreme-court/?utm_term=.2ab8a6198f56.

17. Fox News. “Can South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Break Out of a Crowded Field of Democratic Presidential Hopefuls.” YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y97QknIG-Eo (accessed May 20, 2019).

18. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

19. Janes, Chelsea. “Kill the Electoral College? Stack the Supreme Court?” The New York Times, April 1, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kill-the-electoral-college-stack-the-supreme-court/2019/03/31/f83d0486-4ff0-11e9-a3f7-78b7525a8d5f_story.html?utm_term=.d069fbca2c9b.

20. McLaughlin, Dan. “What the Electoral College Saves Us From.” National Review, April 5, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/what-the-electoral-college-saves-us-from/.

21. Guelzo, Allen and James Hulme. “In Defense of the Electoral College.” The Washington Post, November 15, 2016. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/15/in-defense-of-the-electoral-college/?utm_term=.ea41edae5afc.

22. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

23. “2020: Pete Buttigieg on Freedom and Farting Cows.” Pod Save America Podcast, March 1, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://crooked.com/podcast/2020-pete-buttigieg-on-freedom-and-farting-cows/.

24. Pete Buttigieg. Twitter Post. February 7, 2019, 6:19 PM. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://twitter.com/petebuttigieg/status/1093695702608367617?lang=en.

25. Cawthorne, Cameron. “Buttigieg on Renaming Things Named After Thomas Jefferson: ‘It’s the Right Thing to Do.’” Washington Free Beacon, May 17, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/politics/buttigieg-on-renaming-things-named-after-thomas-jefferson-its-the-right-thing-to-do/.

26. Re, Gregg. “Buttigieg Takes on Trump, Pitches Four New Tax Hikes in Fox News Town Hall.” Fox News, May 20, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pete-buttigieg-fox-news-town-hall-donald-trump.

27. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

28. Ibid.

29. Beavers, David. “Buttigieg: ‘Medicare for All’ Wouldn’t End Private Insurance.” Politico, February 3, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/03/pete-buttigieg-medicare-for-all-1144293.

30. Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo. “‘Medicare for All’ Would Cost $32.6 Trillion Over 10 Years, Study Says.” Bloomberg, July 30, 2018. Last Updated July 30, 2018. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-30/study-medicare-for-all-bill-estimated-at-32-6-trillion.

31. “Buttigieg Unveils Wide-Ranging Policy Positions.” NBC News, May 16, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.nbcnews.com/card/buttigieg-unveils-wide-ranging-policy-positions-n1006731.

32. “Pete Buttigieg: Democrats Have to Reclaim the Values Argument.” MSNBC, April 15, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/pete-buttigieg-democrats-have-to-reclaim-the-values-argument-1494493763929.

33. Watkins, Eli. “Buttigieg: Green New Deal Resolution ‘the Right Beginning.’” CNN, n.d. Last Updated February 10, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/10/politics/pete-buttigieg-green-new-deal-cnntv/.

34. Re, Gregg. “Green New Deal Would Cost Up to $93 Trillion, or $600G Per Household, Study Says.” Fox News, February 25, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/green-new-deal-would-cost-93-trillion-or-600g-per-household-study-says.

35. Harsanyi, David. “The 10 Most Insane Requirements of the Green New Deal.” The Federalist, February 7 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://thefederalist.com/2019/02/07/ten-most-insane-requirements-green-new-deal/.

36. “Green New Deal FAQ.” Scribd, n.d. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.scribd.com/document/399182602/Green-New-Deal-FAQ#from_embed.

37. McManus, Doyle. “Pete Buttigieg has Everything Except Positions on Major Issues.” April 17, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-buttigieg-campaign-trump-20190417-story.html.

38. Alter, “Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented Presidential Campaign.”

39. Cole, Devan. “Buttigieg to Pence: ‘If You Got a Problem with Who I Am, Your Problem Is Not with Me – Your Quarrel, Sir, Is with My Creator.” CNN, n.d. Last Updated April 8, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/08/politics/pete-buttigieg-mike-pence/.

40. Ibid.

41. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

42. Gagnon, Robert. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, 308–309. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001. 

43. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

44. Fischer, Bryan. “‘President’ Pete Buttigieg – the Biggest Threat to Religious Liberty in History.” One News Now, April 12, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/bryan-fischer/2019/04/12/president-pete-buttigieg-the-biggest-threat-to-religious-liberty-in-history.

45. “Marijuana Is No Longer a Fringe Issue for 2020 Presidential Candidates.” Boston Globe, February 26, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://apps.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/graphics/2019/02/president-2020-candidates/issues-marijuana/.

46. “It’s Time to Reclaim the Values that Drive Our Policy Decisions.”

47. Fox News. “Town Hall with Pete Buttigieg | Part 1.” YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p97xg-keEKg (accessed May 20, 2019).