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Buttigieg, Buggery, and the Episcopal Church

Buttigieg, Buggery, and the Episcopal Church
The former small-town mayor has made religion a central theme in his campaign for the presidency

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
February 14, 2020

VOL is not a political blog and over the years we have studiously avoided getting involved in taking political sides apart from the odd Facebook observation. It is outside VOLs mandate.

However, the rise of a number of political figures who claim the mantle of being both Christian and Episcopalian, such as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (a former Roman Catholic) and the more recent rise of Pete Buttigieg, cannot go unanswered, largely because, in the case of Mr. Buttigieg, he has publicly injected his faith into the political discussion as no other present-day politician seeking the highest office in the land has done.

It was Jimmy Carter who made famous that he was "born again", and Mr. Reagan inserted God talk in his various speeches, though he never attended church while in the White House.

However, Buttigieg has gone a step further, hoping, by means of injecting his faith into the discussion, to normalize his homosexuality by cross referencing it to his faith. (For the record,' most news reports refer to Buttigieg's 'Episcopal faith.' But being an Episcopalian is not a faith, it is a denomination which claims to adhere to the Christian faith.) More on that later.

So, the first question to ask is, why is it so important for Buttigieg to tell us he is an Episcopalian?

He wants us all to know that he is distinguishing himself from evangelicals who support Donald Trump, while his faith is socially concerned, inclusive of all people, but especially homosexuals, and that he can speak across the moral and theological divide with the clarity of a Rhodes scholar and the patriotism of an American hero.

It is a brilliant strategy, and it would seem to be working. He came in first in Iowa and a close second in New Hampshire. Of course, how it will all play out in middle America is another story. When it dawns on millions of Americans that two men will be sleeping together in President Lincoln's bedroom in the White House, a monumental revulsion by ordinary Americans could occur.

But it is his theological views and the alliance of his faith with left wing political ideology which is catching millions of Americans off guard.

Buttigieg has been careful not to call himself a socialist, has separated himself from such hot button views as Medicare for all and is positioning himself as the centrist everyone should love. He is young, modestly good looking, has made public his sexual preferences, but he has not given the homosexual community fully what they want, hence they have been critical of him for not being more outspoken. He is not gay enough they say. That, too, has worked in his favor.

His message is, don't push buttons that could adversely affect one, keep focusing on the main issues and appeal to a growing voter bloc called millennials.

Interestingly enough, the Episcopal Church has not been publicly touting Buttigieg's Episcopal religion, mindful that most Episcopalians are white, rich and politically conservative. They pay TECs bills and not even Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wants to upset them. It is one thing for General Convention to embrace homosexual marriage when you know it will not affect 98 percent of episcopal parishes, it is quite another matter to openly embrace a homosexual Episcopalian politician that embarrasses them. The Episcopal News Service has run only one story about Buttigieg's marriage to his partner in 2018 and an invitation by a black Episcopal dean to African American theologians to bolster Buttigieg's stand amongst blacks. Overall, there has been silence.

On the issue of abortion, Buttigieg has been declarative. When asked if there was a place for pro-life Democrats, he said no. You were either on board with a woman's right to choose or get lost.

Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler, in a piece on Buttigieg put it like this; "We are being told over and over again that he is the moderate in the race...but Pete Buttigieg himself last week said that if were to gain the nomination, he would be the most progressive or liberal nominee in the history of the Democratic party. Which is right? They're both right. The Democratic party has moved so far left that if Pete Buttigieg gained the nomination, he would be the most liberal nominee of the party ever, but he would be in the context of the leading energy in the Democratic party right now a moderate."

"It comes down to this: the Democratic party is now so insistently enthusiastic about the LGBTQ revolution that they actually don't need an openly gay candidate to make that point. Put it another way. Let's say that Pete Buttigieg does not get the 2020 Democratic nomination. Does that mean that the Democratic party is backing up even a millimeter or reducing in energy even a tiny bit when it comes to pushing the LGBTQ revolution? The answer is no. The party is so insistent, committed, and steadfast on that agenda that there's no risk it could go anywhere else. So, they actually don't have to have an openly gay candidate. But we'll see," wrote Mohler.

Homosexual marriage is firmly ensconced in the culture (Obergefell v. hodges) and because it has now swallowed up the mainline denominations, there is no need to make an issue of it. One might as well yawn and call for another round of drinks. There is no need for Buttigieg to say anything to defend his lifestyle. Not even Trump has dared to comment on it; the backlash would make his recent impeachment look like a Sunday school picnic. Buttigieg has kissed his partner in public, been seen holding hands and the background noise of photo ops are all enthusiastic.

Of course, there is the possibility that the reason Buttigieg is making his faith central to his campaign is the hope he can win over conservatives who can't stand Donald Trump. One doubts that strategy will work. Conservatives have other alternatives, but it is a shrewd campaign strategy nonetheless.

In a sermon he said this; "Look at what they do...using faith as a way to tell some people they don't belong." He then added, it was "Okay for us to talk about how each of us are formed, and where our faith takes us, God does not belong to a political party in the United States of America."

Perhaps not, but the Christian Faith does inform us about how we should behave sexually and Mr. Buttigieg's behavior is way outside the norm of biblical revelation and historic Christianity.

Historically, blacks who are mostly evangelical and conservative in faith and morals, have never gone along with homosexuality, arguing, "don't confuse your sin with my skin." That should be a wakeup call to Buttigieg.

Undeterred, Buttigieg said his faith got a jump start in England when he was a student and attended Anglican services. In an interview with CNN, he discovered "that there were forms of truth that I was not going to be accessing through reason" alone.

Every Sunday when he is not traveling the country campaigning, he attends the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in South Bend, where he married his husband, Chasten, in 2018.

The one line that he has used effectively against the evangelical VP Mike Pence who believes that homosexuality is wrong is, "Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator." This is the fiction that God creates homosexuals when there is not one shred of biblical, medical or psychological evidence that God ever created a single homosexual. Buttigieg was not born that way, he became that way, by choice.

"If Buttigieg thinks evangelicals should be supporting him instead of Trump, he fundamentally does not understand the roots of Christianity," tweeted formerly "Never Trump" conservative Erick Erickson. "But then he is an Episcopalian, so he might not actually understand Christianity more than superficially."

But as I have documented in my book THE SEDUCTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, the Episcopal Church has long ceased to be a Christian Church, and those who remain in it do so out of loyalty to an institution they don't want to admit is dying before their eyes. With no future generations coming along to fill emptying pews, the die is already cast.

END

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