- South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg told NBC’s “Today” show if “God belonged to a political party” he “can’t imagine” it would be the Republican party.
- “It’s important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party,” Buttigieg said, adding, “If it did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”
- This comes after the Midwestern mayor has repeatedly attacked President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on religious grounds.
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South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg told NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday that if “God belonged to a political party,” it wouldn’t be the Republican party.
“It’s important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party,” Buttigieg told Today’s Craig Melvin in an interview that aired on Tuesday morning.
But, he added, “If it did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”
An Episcopalian Christian, Buttigieg has frequently discussed his religion and the intersection of faith and politics on the campaign trail, and has previously argued that neither political party has a monopoly over Christianity.
“I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it,” he said during an April CNN town hall. “But at the very least, we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 7, 2019
Ever since he joined the Democratic primary field, Buttigieg has cautioned fellow Democrats against attacking Trump, arguing that the focus should be on voters and their needs. But the Midwesterner has repeatedly criticised the president and Vice President Mike Pence, who Buttigieg worked with while Pence was governor of Indiana, on religious grounds.
He’s questioned Trump’s belief in God and called him the “diametric opposite” of a devout Christian.
“It’s something that really frustrates me, because the hypocrisy is unbelievable,” Buttigieg said last month.
On Pence, Buttigieg has said, “How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn-star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in Scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump?”
Pence responded to the criticism last month, arguing that Buttigieg was attacking him for political gain and that the mayor “knows better” than to say “things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally.”
“One of the great things about this country is our freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience, and we’ll continue to cherish our values, cherish our views,” Pence said.
Trump has been less vocal about his religion than Pence and Buttigieg, but has signed a number of executive orders dealing with “religious freedom” including a recent order, released May 2, that would allow doctors and healthcare providers to refuse to perform abortions or other medical procedures on religious grounds.
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