Evangelist Franklin Graham has offered his take on the faith and sexuality of Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg.
Graham, who adheres to a traditional reading of the Bible that argues the practice of homosexuality to be objectively sinful, warned in a post on Facebook that true followers of Jesus must have a faith in God’s word “that transforms our lives.”
Citing one example of scripture, Old Testament passage Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination,” Franklin added “That’s what God says and that settles it for me. I stand with the Word of God. I care enough about people to tell them the truth and to warn them about the judgment to come for all sin.”
Responding to a number of protestors who recently, in a rather unpleasant manner, implored Buttigieg to turn away from his homosexuality, the Mayor of South Bend simply responded that, “the condition of my soul is in the hands of God …”
That, Graham said, is absolutely the case—for all of us. “Mayor Buttigieg is absolutely right—His soul is in the hands of God, so is everyone’s,” Graham wrote, noting that, as Christians, we should be sure to follow the commands of the Bible and live in accordance with God’s will.
“Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15),” Graham added. “The Bible makes it very clear that homosexuality is a sin.”
What has Pete Buttigieg said about his sexuality and faith?
Buttigieg, a professed Christian, has been open about his sexuality and recent marriage to school teacher, Chasten Glezman. Speaking at a recent LGBT event, Buttigieg insisted that his gay marriage had “brought him closer to God.”
He has, however, also spoken candidly of his own struggles with his sexuality—admitting that it took him some time to get it squared away with his faith.
“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,” Buttigieg said in a speech at the LGBT Victory Fund April 7. “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.”
However, now living as an openly gay man, and with a husband, Buttigieg said he strongly believes God made him this way.
In a recent CNN interview, Buttigieg called himself “liturgically conservative” who feels at home in the Episcopal Church.
“If there’s going to be music, I want an organ, not a guitar,” Buttigieg said of his church style preferences, noting that he has “always struggled with prayer as a concept.”
He added: “Granted, in a literal sense, [prayer is] asking for things, but that’s problematic, too, as though we encounter God, and he hasn’t already figured out what we need. So I guess in that sense I do find that ritual organized prayer makes sense because it is a way to tune my own heart to what is right.”