South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been making waves in recent weeks as he explores a 2020 presidential bid. For many, the 37-year-old former Rhodes Scholar and Afghanistan War Veteran
However, despite being cordial and friendly as a whole, one man seems to have drawn out a few fierce swipes from “Mayor Pete” — and that man is none other than Vice President Mike Pence.
Delivering an address at the LGBTQ Victory Fund brunch in Washington D.C. Sunday, Buttigieg spoke candidly about how, upon realizing he was same-sex attracted, he struggled deeply with his sexual identity.
“It’s hard to face the truth that there were times in my life when, if you had shown me exactly what it was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife,” he said. “If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would’ve swallowed it before you had time to give me a sip of water.”
Then, the Navy veteran took aim at Mike Pence with a pointed remark. Speaking about how his marriage to his husband, Chasten, had made him a better person, Buttigieg also remarked that this union had brought him closer to the Lord.
“Yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God,” he said.
Again referencing Pence, this time to criticize his biblical view of marriage, Buttigieg said that anyone who opposes gay marriage from
“If me being gay was a choice,” Buttigieg said, “it was a choice that was made far, far above my paygrade.”
“That’s the thing that I wish the Mike
Pence’s personal religious convictions
What marks this series of comments as bizarre is the fact that Buttigieg is picking on and attacking Pence’s deeply held biblical beliefs on the sanctity of marriage.
As a conservative Christian, it is likely, though not abundantly clear in more recent times, that the vice president ascribes to a traditional view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Has Pence legislated on the issue? Well, all the way back in 2004, serving as a congressman representing Indiana, Pence did co-sponsor a bill that put forward a constitutional amendment that would seek to preserve heterosexual marriage as the only permissible type of marriage in the United States.
However, from a Christian standpoint, Pence’s beliefs are not at all shocking. Indeed, there are millions upon millions of Americans who believe this exact same thing — namely, that God has ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.
Jesus himself specified in Matthew 19 that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.”
So Pence’s beliefs are not (or should not be) in any way controversial or bigoted, as Buttigieg would have you believe.
A wild misrepresentation of Mike Pence?
Buttigieg’s characterization of Mike Pence as a man who actively hates those who oppose his values appears seriously off base. Indeed, just last month, Pence welcomed openly gay and pro-abortion Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and his partner to his residence for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Even Varadkar himself remarked that he and his partner had received a “really warm reception” at the Pence home. It was a civic meeting of huge significance, not least because it pierced through the left’s
Buttigieg’s attacks are out of sync with his message
Despite Buttigieg’s billing as a progressive Democrat who is staking his claim on bringing people of all walks of life together, one could argue that his comments appear to be achieving the exact opposite — serving only to divide and isolate.
His inability to deliver a heartfelt speech without swiping at political figures and criticizing the veracity of their religious beliefs should be concerning to us all and certainly speaks to the uncompromising political era in which we find ourselves.
All in all, for a presidential hopeful who is attempting to embody an energetic resurgence of the “Christian left,” it is not a promising start.
Referencing Buttigieg’s attack on Pence’s marital beliefs, political commentator Ben Shapiro summed it up quite nicely when he tweeted that “it seems a lot of people care a lot more about what Pence thinks than Pence does about what they do.”
The question, then, has to be: Are we able to disagree with each other’s lifestyles, political beliefs
You can watch Buttigieg’s full address below: