My Faith Votes | Election Watch - Feb 11, 2020

Election Watch

Election Watch - Feb 11, 2020

Buttigieg on the Bible, Abortion, and Trusting Women

The Iowa caucuses did not go as expected. Vote counting troubles aside, it was supposed to be Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden neck and neck in the race. That was only half right. It turns out it was Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg instead (pronounced “buddah-judge”). Joe Biden came in a distant fourth and may be in trouble.

It makes me wonder if the focus on impeachment this past month actually ended up hurting Joe Biden more than it did the President. Perhaps some Democrats were scared off by the Ukraine scandal and preferred a candidate that wouldn’t have to deal with that in the general election. I don’t know that we can ever be sure, but it seems plausible at least.

Now, as the next state, New Hampshire, heads out to vote today (Tuesday, February 11), Pete Buttigieg is suddenly surging in the latest polls there as well. He even leads the early delegate count with 13 to Bernie Sanders’ 12. Will he be the “non-socialist” alternative to Sanders, rather than Joe Biden? If so, who is Pete Buttigieg anyway?

If you haven’t heard his name until recently that’s not surprising. His only political experience is as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, where he was elected in 2012 and 2015. Buttigieg was the Democratic nominee for state treasurer of Indiana in 2010 but lost to a Republican. He is openly gay and legally married. He was raised in the Catholic church but today he is Episcopalian and has spoken on the campaign trail numerous times about his Christian beliefs.

However, he has drawn criticism for his religious statements, perhaps none more so than on the topic of abortion.

In the abortion debate, there is no question more foundational than this -- “when does human life begin?” Pete Buttigieg has come up with a scary way to answer, and also dodge that question.

He has commented that he believes the Bible may support the idea that a child’s life doesn’t begin until after the child is born and starts to breath on his own; our lives don’t begin until we draw the “breath of life.” Not all see it that way, he admits. So as to who gets to decide when life begins, Buttigieg says, “I trust women to draw the line.”

Christian or not, the first question is, does the Bible really say that? Does our life begin when we start to breath outside the womb? Buttigieg has never actually cited a Scripture as far as I can tell, though he has said “there’s (sic) a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath.” The only verse I know of that remotely fits is Genesis 2:7, in the creation story. 

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”

It is true, this verse is talking about the creation of human life, but it does not tie it at all to life beginning when we begin to breath -- notice who is doing the breathing here. 

It is not Adam. It’s God. It is God’s breath that is the breath of life, not man’s. It's God's breath that begins human life. This verse, and all the context around it, tells us it is God and God alone who is the Author of life.

To take this passage in which God creates life and then use it to justify the killing of God’s creation is a vicious twisting of the Scriptures. It brings to mind the stories of Satan tempting Jesus in the desert, or slave owners of the 1800s, trying to use the Bible to advance their own agendas, without a thought as to the actual will or design of God.

If you are a parent, you probably remember holding your new-born child in your arms. The notion that your child was not human, not a person, but just some inanimate meaningless thing 30 minutes before that is beyond comprehension. Does Buttigieg really believe that oxygen traveling through the child’s lungs rather than the umbilical cord is what begins our humanity? Or that a woman’s “line drawing” is what creates life? 

Honestly, I don't think even Pete Buttigieg believes what he’s saying. If the woman decided her life was too difficult with a 2-month-old baby in it, would he trust her to draw the line on whether that baby was worthy of life or death? I doubt it. Should we decriminalize theft for women as well, since he trusts them not to shoplift? How about child abuse, tax evasion, or speeding? When it comes to the fairer sex, should we replace all of our laws with trust?

“I trust women,” is his phrase. So I would like to hear to what degree that is true?

Does he trust women when it comes to sending their children to the school of their choice? It turns out, he does not. He went to a private Catholic high school, but he opposes expanding charter school options and parent vouchers for others. Once the children are born, he doesn’t trust women with the education of their children. Unless they can afford otherwise, they will send their kids to the local public school, whether they like it or not.

But even if they can afford a private school, he isn’t too trusting of those schools either, or of Christian adoption centers and charities often run by women. He supports the Federal Equality Act, which would place heavy restrictions and impositions on conservative Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Women who don’t comply with LBGTQ requirements will not be trusted; they will be discriminated against.

Does he trust women when it comes to paying their employees? Also no. He believes the government should decide the minimum wage that small business owners should pay, regardless of the circumstances or needs of the business. Women can’t be trusted to make these tough decisions.

Does he trust women to handle firearms responsibly? No. He wants to register every person with the government, male or female, who owns a firearm. That doesn’t sound very trusting. He also wants to ban “assault weapons”, which isn’t a thing but usually means AR-15s, the easiest guns for a woman to use to defend her home, due to their light weight, lack of recoil, and high-capacity magazines.

On issue after issue, Mayor Pete shows he doesn’t actually trust women to make their own decisions. He wants a great deal of government oversight, except when it comes to deciding when human life begins. Then all of a sudden he’s super trusting. On that most essential of human questions, it’s up to each woman to decide if her child deserves to live or not.

Pete Buttigieg has repeatedly said he is a Christian, which means God is the most important thing in his life. The next time he pauses to pray, I hope he will ask God, “When do you say our lives begin?” I believe God has made his answer clear to those who care to seek it (Psalm 139). Every human life is a priceless being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Unless we can say with certainty that the new life growing inside the womb is any different, it is a grave sin for any of us to ignore that and allow that life to be taken.

The next state to vote is Nevada on February 22, and then South Carolina on February 29th. It will be interesting to see which candidates are still standing come Super Tuesday, March 3rd, when numerous states vote at once.

Caleb Backholm is a married father of three and a small business owner. A “political nerd” since childhood, he first started publishing social and political news commentaries in the Jr. High school newspaper and has been writing ever since. He attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN where he studied Broadcast Communications, Biblical Studies, and History. Originally from Washington State, he currently lives in Ft. Worth, Texas and is a student at Southwestern Seminary. Caleb can be reached at calebbackholm@gmail.com.

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Comments

Kurt KuhneFlag

Isaiah 49:1,5
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name…

Kurt KuhneFlag

The homosexual lifestyle is like a spiritual virus not good for a healthy society = a poisonous "leaven in the loaf" - "tares in the wheat" - the opposite of normal...

A GeorgeFlag

The Bible on Marriage
Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh”
Leviticus 18:22-24 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled
Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”
Romans 1:26 “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.”
Romans 1:27 “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Romans 1:28-32 “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
1 Timothy 1:9-11 “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.”
Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Kings 14:24 “And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

Beverly BrownFlag

In regards to Mr Buttigieg's gay life style perhaps he should read 1Corinthians 6:9 &10.

Polly ApplebyFlag

Why are we ignoring the issue of gay marriage regarding Pete Buttigieg? How can Christians support this?

hshanno@gmail.comFlag

Well said and analyzed though more could be said: "It is true, this verse is talking about the creation of human life, but it does not tie it at all to life beginning when we begin to breath -- notice who is doing the breathing here. It is not Adam. It’s God. It is God’s breath that is the breath of life, not man’s. It's God's breath that begins human life. This verse, and all the context around it, tells us it is God and God alone who is the Author of life."

e.magnab@gmail.comFlag

I’m surprised you didn’t mention the fact he claims to be Christian and a “man of God” while he subverts the Holy Sacrament of Marriage and promotes such a subversion and mockery of God.

Caleb Backholme.magnab@gmail.comFlag

That's a good point. I have written on this topic in the past but for brevity's sake did not address it in this article. I agree that Mr. Buttigieg has misinterpreted the Bible in both the area of abortion as well as marriage. -Caleb