In the spirit of generosity and charity, when I clicked on the YouTube video of Pete Buttigieg’s interview on MSNBC, I set aside the fact that the 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful is violating God’s law concerning sexual ethics to hear what South Bend, Indiana’s mayor believes about Christianity. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, he’ll express an understanding of his faith that aligns with the Bible. Turns out, my hope was misplaced. Pete Buttigieg either doesn’t understand Christianity or is afraid to talk about it on national TV.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, after Joe Scarborough talked about how President Obama claims to have accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior, the host turned it into a question and asked Buttigieg if he identified with that. Buttigieg responded with an answer that has “dodge” written all over it, saying:
Yes, but maybe that means different things to different people. Because a lot of people feel like they had a Road to Damascus personal encounter with God. For me, just personally, I actually came to the faith more through an appreciation of mystery and a personal humility about the limits to which this part of me [his brain] could get, than believing I had found the answer. I struggle with a lot of doubt and a lot of ambiguity, but that is there in scripture just as that is there in life.
Anyone who has read the Bible, especially the four Gospels, knows that nothing in Buttigieg’s answer is, in fact, an answer to the question. Yes, there is some ambiguity in the Bible, but not about salvation. Jesus said that the only way to the Father was through faith in him. According to the Bible’s definition, repenting of your sins and placing your faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the only way to be saved from God’s wrath. However, again in the spirit of generosity and charity, maybe Buttigieg was just being a politician. Thankfully, Morning Joe gave him an opportunity to clarify and to publicly state that he is indeed a Christian the way the Bible defines it. Sadly, his answer got worse.
To me, salvation through Christ has to do with the fact that when God comes into this world—according to the teachings of my faith tradition—the world is basically out to destroy the divine. And yet, through this sacrifice, we see what it means to live out the idea of love, of God’s love.
That’s progressive “Christianity” 101. By that, I mean that Mayor Pete Buttigieg articulated one of the core tenets of
fake progressive Christianity, that Jesus died merely as an example of what it means to love others. According to Buttigieg, Jesus didn’t die to pay the penalty that the South Bend Mayor’s sins deserve. Like the rest of progressive “Christianity,” he doesn’t believe that he needs salvation; he believes that he just needs a model of how to live a good life. This is convenient because ignoring whatever parts of the Bible you don’t like allows you to construct a religion that lets you do whatever you want — ergo, his “marriage” to a man.
There are some who are going to want to counter my accusations by pointing out that after being pushed into a corner, Buttigieg did finally say, “Yes. And what we do. What I do.” To those people, he defined what he meant by that “yes” with his earlier statements. Not to mention that he wrapped himself into his own salvation by saying “what I do.” There is next to nothing in Pete Buttigieg’s answer that leads me to believe that he understands or accepts Christianity as defined by the Bible.
Watch the cringe-worthy video below. I’ve already done so with optimism and charity, so you probably don’t have to watch it with as much naivety as I did.