Does Pete Buttigeig represent the religious left?
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg | Charlie Neibergall/AP

Of all the candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, one in particular has used religion as a center stage for his political campaign. That individual is none other than the now former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete—Pete Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg has brought up his religious background and used his religious views as one of his many talking points on the campaign trail. Mayor Buttigieg is a member of the Episcopal faith, which is a traditional yet progressive branch of Christianity. With the Episcopal Church being strongly pro-LGTBQ and progressive on social issues, it only seems fit that someone like Mayor Buttigieg would represent the more religious left.

On the campaign trail, Mayor Buttigieg likes to point out that the GOP and their supporters are not the only ones who can claim religion as part of their identity. For too long religion has been claimed by the conservatives, while members of the Democratic Party and others tend to shy away from discussing religion in general. Though Mayor Buttigieg acknowledges that religion can divide people, he also goes on to remind people that it can be a unifying factor for all. So with that being said, is Pete Buttigieg really the one to represent and unify on behalf of the religious left?

The answer is a resounding No.

Now it’s understandable his more progressive views can be seen as perfect for someone who wants to represent the religious left and bring them together. However, there are two major factors that halt everything in its tracks.

The first factor is his lack of support for Medicare for All. For someone who likes to represent the religious left, especially those of the Episcopal faith, one would think he would endorse and work for a plan to provide all people with healthcare. His support of a Medicare for All plan for only those who want it is quite troubling and doesn’t truly fit with the rest of the faithful who consider themselves part of the religious left. Mayor Buttigieg has used the Gospel of Matthew saying if he was in office you wouldn’t ask yourself whatever happened to, “I was hungry and you fed me; I was a stranger and you welcomed me?” However, a little later in that same verse it also mentions those who are sick and in need. If he really wants to push his point across using his faith, then it’s time to also include the parts about helping those who are sick. Letting people continue to take part in the corrupt, disastrous healthcare system we have now is not living by the real message behind the verses he’s used.

Second, it’s hard to unify the religious left if you are in the pockets of the 1%. Mayor Buttigieg has been consistently criticized for his private donor events, including the recent hullabaloo over the wine caves. But Mayor Buttigieg is quite open to taking money from billionaires. He’s definitely made himself a friend to high net worth individuals. Being cozy and comfortable with billionaires and trying to unite those very people who are against them is nearly impossible. How does he expect to unite religious leftists when his own faith states that, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). The Bible alone, not to mention many other streams of thinking, discusses the evils of money countless times, yet this doesn’t stop the Mayor one bit while still claiming God to be the center of his campaign.

If Mayor Pete Buttigieg wants to unite the religious left, then it’s time to support Medicare for All and stop accepting the help and donations of billionaires who have made their money on the backs of the working class through the catastrophic system that is U.S. capitalism.


CONTRIBUTOR

Garron Daniels
Garron Daniels

Garron Daniels is a young activist in Missouri doing campus organizing. He plans to attend an Episcopal seminary.

Comments

comments