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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg seemed to send contradictory messages Tuesday night, claiming he doesn’t see “any compatibility” between supporting President Trump and the teachings in Scripture after declaring that God “does not belong to a political party.”
During a televised town hall event, Buttigieg was asked how he would promote the idea that one could be both a “Democrat” and a “Christian” to combat a narrative that conservatives “own” Christianity.
“It starts with sending the message that God does not belong to a political party,” Buttigieg said, drawing applause. “And by the way, it’s also very important to make clear that the presidency and the Constitution and my presidency will belong to people of every religion and of no religion equally. This is not about imposing my faith on anybody.”
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Minutes later, CNN anchor Erin Burnett recalled a remark Buttigieg made during a previous televised town hall, where he said, “Faith calls upon you to help the marginalized, those who are afflicted, to comfort people, to strive for humility and decency as the Christian faith does. … I just can’t imagine that requires of you that you be anywhere near this president.”
“Do you think that it’s impossible to be a Christian and support Trump?” Burnett asked.
“I’m not going to tell other Christians how to be Christian,” Buttigieg responded, “but I will say I cannot find any compatibility between the way this president conducts himself and anything I find in Scripture.”
“I’m not going to tell other Christians how to be Christian, but I will say I cannot find any compatibility between the way this president conducts himself and anything I find in Scripture.”
— Pete Buttigieg
He continued, “Now, I guess that’s my interpretation but I think that it’s a lot of people’s interpretation and that interpretation deserves a voice.”
Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Ind., has frequently discussed his faith on the campaign trail and similarly expressed conflicting messages.
Last May, Buttigieg said religion shouldn’t be used as a political “cudgel,” but then immediately suggested God wouldn’t be a Republican.
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“You also spend a fair amount of time talking about your faith. Why?” NBC’s Craig Melvin asked.
“It’s important to me,” Buttigieg responded. “I think it’s also important that we stop seeing religion used as a kind of cudgel, as if God belonged to a political party. If he did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”
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