Mayor Pete Is a 'Modern-Day Pharisee,' Brother-in-Law Says

On Friday, 2020 Democrat Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., defended abortion by twisting the Bible, insisting that "life begins with breath." This seems to have been the last straw for Michigan Pastor Rhyan Glezman, the older brother of Buttigieg's husband Chasten.

In an interview with The Washington Examiner's Jon Brown, Glezman accused Buttigieg of having "manipulated" and "weaponized" the Bible to appeal to liberal Democrats. Adopting clear language from the Bible, he called the presidential candidate a "false teacher" and a "modern-day Pharisee."

Jesus repeatedly warned about false teachers (Matthew 24:24; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Matthew 7:15-20) and He frequently rebuked the Pharisees, a 1st-century Jewish sect that applied the Torah's rules extremely harshly. In order to avoid breaking God's law accidentally, they created their own extensions of God's law that actually ruined the purposes of the law (Mark 2:27).

"Buttigieg is a person who's making up their own rules and regulations and, basically, if we don't celebrate and endorse their interpretation of Scripture, our religion is fallible. And that's just not true," Glezman said.

Glezman focused on the issue of abortion, but Buttigieg seems to have melded his interpretation of scripture with far-left Democratic politics to a dangerous degree. "Mayor Pete" has impugned the faith of conservative Christians who disagree with him on immigration and the minimum wage. Just last week, he said not acting against climate change is "a kind of sin."

Yet the issue of abortion really struck a chord with Glezman, and for good reason. Contrary to Buttigieg's suggestion, the Bible does not suggest life begins with breath — in fact, the Old and New Testaments both insist that God's work in a person's life predates his or her birth, and even while He was in the womb, Jesus was referred to as "Lord." Both the Bible and the Early Church consistency condemned abortion.

"This isn't a little issue, especially when we're talking about life," Glezman said. "This is not just a political conversation. We're talking about human life. These are human beings."

"I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, 'No, that's not true,'" Glezman added. "God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn't start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother's womb."

The pastor condemned Mayor Pete's use of scripture to defend late-term abortion as "outrageous." He also condemned it as hypocritical. "If we're going to say we're for all people and we love all people, but we don't value human life in the womb, that's being a hypocrite. You're hypocritical if you don't stand up for all life. So that's why I'm speaking out," he said.

Glezman warned that Buttigieg's strategy fits a growing trend among the Democratic Party to silence dissent with the fervor of an Inquisition. "I can love someone who disagrees with me. I love my brother, I love Pete, I love all people, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to change my beliefs. In their eyes, if we don't celebrate or endorse their marriage views or their abortion views, then all of a sudden we become the homophobic bigots, which is just not true. You can love people and have a disagreement."

"And that's what I'm seeing with this false religion," the pastor added. "That's why I compared them to the Pharisees of today, with their new laws that they're trying to instill. And they're saying, 'If you don't believe the way I do, then you're a hateful, bigoted person; you're homophobic, you're anti-woman.' It becomes this hostile division."

The division has driven a rift in Glezman's family. "Everything went downhill" when he became a Christian, he said. He and his brother do not speak, but the few interactions he has had with Mayor Pete have been cordial. "This isn't a personal thing. He's treated me fairly, he's been nice to me," the pastor said.

He also condemned the other 2020 Democratic candidates. "When I look at every single one of them, their policies, their beliefs, it's very anti-American. It's very anti-life. It's very anti-God," he told The Examiner. "They all have the same rhetoric, and that's the path they're deciding to go down. You see it right down the board. I don't understand why a Democrat can't come out and say, 'I believe life in the womb is valuable.'"

Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.