Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr. discussed the conundrum of Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg talking about personal salvation in Jesus while other Democrats appear to find that view bigoted.
In an episode of his podcast “The Briefing” that aired on Monday, Mohler addressed the news headlines about South Bend, Indiana Mayor Buttigieg, in particular those that speak about his Christian beliefs.
For example, Mohler mentioned a Religion News Service article in which Buttigieg stated that “you should be able to offer messages that anyone of all religions or of no religion should find meaningful.”
“Now, let's just stop for a minute. How can you create a message that is going to appeal equally to persons of all religions or of no religion? Well, you have to basically say nothing that is religiously religious,” commented Mohler.
“… just enough religion to sound vaguely religious to people who are vaguely religious and who are looking for a vaguely religious reference coming from a Democratic presidential candidate.”
Mohler then responded to an interview Buttigieg did on MSNBC, in which he said that he believed that Jesus Christ was the only way to salvation, but before explaining more was cutoff by host Joe Scarborough.
“We also have to recognize that the question won't end here. Even though the mayor was apparently cut off, he's going to have to answer that question now, and there's a particular pinch there for Democrats,” continued Mohler.
“Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who after all is running for the Democratic presidential nomination … have both made very clear that belief in the exclusivity of the Gospel is considered a form of bigotry in their sight.”
A practicing Episcopalian who is in a same-sex marriage, Buttigieg has garnered many headlines for his religious rhetoric, often trying to take conservative Christians to task on faith matters.
For example, in a debate in late July, Buttigieg cited Proverbs 14:31 when going after conservative Christians in Congress who opposed raising the minimum wage.
“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,” stated Buttigieg.
Evangelical Pastor Rhyan Glezman, Buttigieg’s brother-in-law, has been a critic of the candidate’s religious rhetoric justifying politically progressive views.
For example, last week Glezman denounced a claim by Buttigieg that the Bible condones abortion, with the candidate claiming the Bible says life does not begin the first breath.
"I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, 'No, that's not true,'" said Glezman, as reported by the Washington Examiner last week.
"God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn't start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother's womb."