Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has been trying to get into a feud with Vice President Mike Pence over whether or not it’s a sin to live a homosexual lifestyle. Now evangelist Franklin Graham has weighed in.
To many observers, his attempt at starting a feud with Pence has mainly been to bring attention to his campaign — one of at least 19 Democratic presidential campaigns.
Pence is an evangelical Christian. Buttigieg, who is married to a man, considers himself Anglican. There is no universal agreement in the Anglican church over gay lifestyles and same-sex marriage.
"It can be challenging to be a person of faith who's also part of the LGBTQ community and yet, to me, the core of faith is regard for one another," Buttigieg, who is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, recently explained, according to the Washington Examiner. "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."
Buttigieg has tried to antagonize Pence over the issue, but the vice president has refused to take the bait.
"My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God," Buttigieg said during a CNN interview. "That's the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
“I’ve known Mayor Pete for many years,” the vice president finally replied the other day. “We’ve worked very closely together when I was governor, and I considered him a friend. He knows I don’t have a problem with him.”
“I don’t believe in discrimination against anybody,” he continued. “I treat everybody the way I want to be treated. The truth of the matter is, all of us have our own religious convictions. He has his convictions, I have mine.”
“I think Pete’s quarrel is with the First Amendment,” Pence concluded. “All of us in this country have the right to our religious beliefs. I’m a Bible-believing Christian.”
It was a very diplomatic response that indicated that Pence wasn’t eager to get into a theological debate with Buttigieg.
Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, however, is not nearly as hesitant to do that. He responded to the mayor on Twitter after CNN ran an article quoting Buttigieg saying, “God doesn’t have a political party.”
“Presidential candidate & South Bend Mayor @PeteButtigieg is right — God doesn’t have a political party,” Graham wrote Wednesday morning. “But God does have commandments, laws & standards He gives us to live by. God doesn’t change. His Word is the same yesterday, today & forever.”
“Mayor Buttigieg says he’s a gay Christian,” he continued. “As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized. The Bible says marriage is between a man & a woman — not two men, not two women.”
Graham concluded: “The core of the Christian faith is believing and following Jesus Christ, who God sent to be the Savior of the world — to save us from sin, to save us from hell, to save us from eternal damnation.”