Michael Shannon: Pastor Pete delivers another homily
The Opposition Media and other leftist cultural arbiters have finally found a ‘Christian’ presidential candidate with whom they are not embarrassed to be seen in public. This religious token is Pete Buttigieg, whose day job is mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
It’s not that these leftist stenographers posing as journalists have become more open to the Christian message. They’re as ignorant of the Bible and elementary Christian beliefs as they’ve always been. Reading an OpMedia journo’s take on basic theology is like listening to Ann Coulter discuss quinceanera preparations with Vicente Fox.
That doesn’t really matter though, for as the Atlantic says, “Democrats who are drawn to him are embracing him not because of his faith but because of his liberalism. They’re willing to indulge the former so long as it advances the latter. For many Democrats, faith is an instrumentality.” In Buttigieg’s case the instrumentality is part of his niche marking effort.
As CNN described his appearance at its town hall, “Pete Buttigieg opened up about his faith Monday night, expressing confidence that he will be able to unite many different groups of people because ‘God does not have a political party.’”
I predict a sweep of Unitarians, dissident Methodists, squishy Presbyterians and his own heretical Episcopalians.
And there’s Pastor Pete’s problem. He’s a Burger King Christian who wants to have the Bible his way. Pete’s another mainline Protestant who failed to realize as his church became more ‘relevant’ the membership became more absent.
Buttigieg won’t appeal to any church attendee who’s not already voting Democrat.
The portions of his bio that are so appealing to the left are what disqualify him with believers. Pastor Pete is an alphabet apostate who is married to a man.
The Godless media can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Trump is a serial adulterer who refuses to turn the other cheek and has never bought into the theory of a kind word turns away wrath - while Pastor Pete is a low--key Rhodes Scholar who talks about compassion and never talks about cheating on his husband.
So, what’s not to like?
Buttigieg theology for starters. During the town hall, he offered to meet those close-minded bigots who think marriage is one-man-one--woman halfway when he opined, “I get that one of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it.”
I would go so far to say people who are different might try to soft-pedal or ignore inconvenient Scripture, but that’s my limit. The Bible isn’t a Magic 8-ball providing enigmatic answers when shaken. The centuries old theological basis for sex and marriage is not up for grabs.
Pastor Pete doesn’t even like to use the ‘C’ word. On CNN he was a “person of faith” who told the audience, “And part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us.”
A “faith tradition” is Baptists refusing to dance or Lutheran’s strange attachment to hot dish dinners. The clear prohibition against homosexuality and limiting marriage to one man and one woman is a foundational belief, not a “tradition.”
My advice is to keep that bit of self-righteous boasting about “the least” in mind when Buttigieg finally releases his tax returns.
If he’s part of the hypocritical one-percent-to-charity club Pastor Pete is going to have to explain why he leaves the collection plate empty.
Buttigieg also lines up with the rest of the Democrats on the wrong side of the second great moral issue that has faced this country: abortion.
Here he’s biblical, but only in the sense he’s channeling Pontius Pilate. On Meet the Press Pastor Pete just washed his hands, “But in my view, [abortion] is a question that is almost unknowable. This is a moral question that’s not going to be settled by science.”
Buttigieg is just as relentless in harvesting the souls of the unborn as is the governor of Virginia, Ralph ‘Blackface’ Northam. I would venture that most of his supporters on the left like him in spite of his diluted ‘Christianity.’
An authentic Christian writer named Rod Dreher has looked at Pastor Pete and devised an excellent question that will really test the depth of Buttigieg’s belief in the Christ of the Bible, “I hope some journalist asks Buttigieg to talk about an instance in which his faith caused him to break with the progressive consensus in a meaningful way.”
In the unlikely event it happens, I predict the articulate Pastor Pete will suddenly fall silent.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.