One progressive Christian believes that Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana who is currently running for president, has the ability to completely turn the religious right’s political game on its head.
Writing in New York Magazine, Christian Democrat Ed Kilgore argues that Buttigieg’s willingness to openly talk about his Christian faith, combined with his identity as an openly gay former Navy service member, is scrambling the narrative about what a progressive Democrat is supposed to be.
“Pete Buttigieg offers a particularly interesting contrast with the 45th president,” Kilgore argues. “Would anyone be confident in accusing this married, churchgoing Afghanistan veteran of being ethically inferior to Donald Trump? Not without risking hellfire.”
Buttigieg also offers a powerful counter to much of the religious right’s spin on what it means to be a politically active Christian in the United States, Kilgore argues. In particular, he says that Buttigieg blows up myths that you need to be opposed to LGBTQ rights to be a “true” Christian in the United States.
“To him, LGBTQ folk aren’t third parties who are the subject of some argument between Christians and progressives: He’s Christian, progressive, and gay,” he writes. “So conservative Christians who like to imply that their more accepting co-religionists aren’t ‘real’ or ‘orthodox’ because they don’t exclude gay people need to be willing to tell Buttigieg he’s taking the Lord’s name in vain. And that may be — and certainly should be — uncomfortable for them.”