Rita M. Dunaway: No, Pete Buttigieg, God is Not a Progressive

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 08: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a meet-and-greet at Madhouse Coffee on April 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Buttigieg recently launched an exploratory committee to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and has seen a surge in the polls amid a crowded field of Democratic candidates. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

You can almost hear the gears turning in the heads of campaign managers for Democratic presidential hopefuls. They’re thinking Mayor Pete Buttigieg may have been on to something when he claimed recently that Christian faith leads in a “progressive” direction. If the Democrats can make persuasively make that case, they just might tap into the powerful bloc of conservative, heretofore-Republican, voters.

The recent media attention on Buttigieg shines a glaring light on a particularly large elephant that has long been standing silently in the corner of the Republican living room. Sure, the Republican platform appeals to Christians in its stance on abortion and religious freedom, but what about those pesky “social justice” issues?

At first glance, Mayor Pete seems to have a great point. After all, Jesus Christ is the ultimate example for the Christian. He spent much of his life ministering to the poor and healing the sick. And didn’t Jesus himself say that whatever we do to care for “the least of these” we do for him?

These are the points trotted out by proud liberals, often in an effort to shame Christians into getting on board with their policy initiatives. I have personally stood on the receiving end of such shaming efforts.

Several years ago, during the heat of the debate over the Affordable Care Act. I wanted to learn more about how the law would work, so I attended a forum where a renowned health-care law expert was speaking about it. At the end of the evening, I still had questions. So I e-mailed the speaker, who knew me as a conservative Christian.

This was his response to my policy-focused questions: “My basic orientation to public policy issues is as a Christian. Jesus said repeatedly in various ways, ‘Insofar as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.’ He never said that we would get to heaven by being fiscally conservative. Indeed, he said give all that you have to the poor and follow me.”

Frankly, I found this insulting. Of course I don’t think that being fiscally conservative will get me to heaven. But certainly supporting a government health care program doesn’t either. In fact, any Bible-believing Christian will tell you that even if I were to give all that I had to the poor, that wouldn’t get me to heaven. But beyond the bad doctrine, this is an example of a liberal yanking Scripture out of context in order to support his political position.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Rita M. Dunaway