Perhaps Mayor Pete Buttigieg would have a better shot at appealing to Christian voters if he would not go to such extreme lengths to contort Scripture to rationalize his party's abominable stance on abortion.
The Democratic presidential candidate openly expresses his Christian faith and was the first candidate to hire a national faith outreach director. He believes political conservatism is less compatible with Christianity than political liberalism.
Buttigieg says the GOP likes "to cloak itself in their language of religion" and accuses Republicans of hypocrisy for their alleged callousness about family separations at the border.
"For the party and the movement known for beating other people on the head with their faith, or their interpretation of faith, it makes no sense to -- we'll literally vote to take away food from the hungry, to essentially be practicing the very thing that not just the Christian scriptural tradition but so many others tell us we're not supposed to do in terms of harming other people," said Buttigieg in an interview with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough. "I do think there's going to be a reckoning over that because there are a lot of people I think sitting in the pews hearing political conservatism all around them, wondering whether that really matches what we're being told to do, not to mention how we're supposed to do it."
It is undeniable that Jesus repeatedly and emphatically commands us to care for the poor, and Christians take these directives lightly at their own peril. But these commands are directed at individuals, not governments. They are anything but a mandate for socialism.
Progressives, especially those contemptuous of biblical Christianity, have long claimed a monopoly on compassion for the poor and insisted conservatives are greedy and indifferent. Their support for an ever-growing welfare state has seductive appeal to those who equate government-coerced redistributions of wealth with personal charity. It is attractive to those who don't understand or who willfully ignore socialism's historical record of impoverishing and enslaving people.
Conservatives don't believe you show your compassion through virtue-signaling advocacy of large wealth transfers when those transfers reduce individual liberties and suppress economic growth and prosperity for all -- not just the wealthy. There is nothing noble in using government force to equalize incomes, and nothing about it is consistent with the American idea.
It may be counterintuitive to contend that capitalism is more compassionate to the poor, but it makes sense if your yardstick is results and not supposedly good intentions. It makes sense if you understand that free markets have played a central role in making America the most prosperous nation in history.
Few conservatives oppose a reasonable safety net, but most resist open-ended programs that disincentivize work for able-bodied people, thereby perpetuating the dependency cycle, which is detrimental to people's financial well-being and dignity.
It's one thing to argue that the Bible endorses a mammoth welfare state but entirely another to suggest that it remotely supports the pro-choice position, much less abortion on demand up to the point of birth and after (infanticide), as many prominent Democrats now do. Their willingness to twist Scripture to justify their radical position is instructive.
During a recent radio interview, Buttigieg attacked Republicans for their stance on abortion and defended, on biblical grounds, abortion throughout the term of pregnancy. "Right now, they hold everybody in line with this one ... piece of doctrine about abortion," he said. "Then again, there's a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. And so, even that is something that we can interpret differently."
There are plenty of verses to contradict Buttigieg's sophistry here, and he knows better than to make these arguments. Advancements in science and technology have made it almost impossible to deny that an unborn baby is a human life. This is why most leftists have abandoned the absurd claim that the unborn child is merely a clump of cells and have instead turned to the more brazen argument that the mother has a right to kill a human being in the womb. It is hard to believe, but that's where the left is today.
Buttigieg himself effectively admits that when life begins is not the deciding factor for him on abortion. "I might draw the line here. You might draw the line there. But the most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision," he declares.
Thank you for your momentary honesty, Mayor. The woman's sovereign choice prevails over the innocent baby's life -- and God's Word, which you cynically invoke.
Buttigieg's brother-in-law is having none of it. Pastor Rhyan Glezman has strongly rebuked Buttigieg and called him to repent for distorting the words of the Bible. "I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, 'No, that's not true,'" he explained. "'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.'"
Buttigieg is free to argue whatever he wants, but he is doing himself no favors by lying to himself and to us about his (and the Bible's) position on abortion.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.