A paradox only for those who don’t get religion

If Pete Buttigieg, an Episcopalian, receives the Democratic nomination for president, it’s a virtual certainty that the only churchgoing candidate—and the only candidate who speaks fluently and easily about the role of faith in his life and in his politics—will lose the churchgoing Christian vote (and lose the white Evangelical vote by a staggering margin) to a thrice-married man who bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, appeared in Playboy videos, and paid hush money to cover up an affair with a porn star. 

… I want to dig a little deeper and explain why—when Mayor Pete talks about faith—he doesn’t truly connect with millions of American Christians. When Buttigieg speaks, Evangelicals don’t hear one of us” and then choose to reject one of their own to support Donald Trump. Instead, they see a man of a related, but different, faith, where the differences are so profound that we often don’t speak the same spiritual language.

I appreciate Mayor Pete for putting his faith front and center in his campaign. Truly, I do. It’s a welcome act of transparency. After all, we all get our code of ethics from somewhere, and it’s worth knowing the source of Buttigieg’s forceful moral arguments. But if mainstream media figures believe that Mayor Pete speaks the same Christian language as Trump’s Evangelical base, they need to think again. He’s a sincere proponent of a faith that is very different from theirs.  

David French

November 25, 2019

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