Following in the footsteps of former U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is quoting the Bible to make a political point.
During the first Democratic primary debate of the week on July 30, 2019, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor utilized Scripture to rationalize a higher minimum wage. In the process, he attacked conservative Christians.
“The minimum wage is just too low,” he said. “And so-called conservative Christian senators, right now, in the Senate, are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when Scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.”
The verse the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate referenced is Proverbs 14:31, which reads “He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.”
Like so many others, the issue of a minimum wage hike isn’t black and white.
While Buttigieg, who is openly gay, used this direct quite from Scripture to throw shade at conservative Christians who oppose the minimum wage, he’s often criticized Vice President Mike Pence and others for standing by a literal interpretation of the Bible regarding sexuality and marriage.
In April of this year while speaking at the LGBTQ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch, the 2020 Democratic presidential contender stated, “My marriage to Chasten has made me a better man. And yes, Mr. Vice President, it has moved me closer to God.”
Buttigieg remarked, “You may be religious, and you may not. But, if you are, and you are also queer, and you have come through the other side of a period of wishing you weren’t, then you know that that message, that this idea that there is something wrong with you, is a message that puts you at war, not only with yourself, but with your maker. And, speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade.”
Taking a shot at the Vice President, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor continued, “And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
According to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, Buttigieg lags front-runner and former vice president Joe Biden badly. The poll, taken between July 31 and August 1, had the South Bend Indiana Mayor at a paltry four percent. The poll showed Biden leading the crowded 2020 Democratic field with 34 percent. The survey was conducted after Buttigieg’s debate performance, but some responders might have given their opinions before the second Democratic presidential debate of the week, featuring different candidates than the first one, on July 31.