In an interview with NBC’s Today show, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said God would never be a Republican, saying he discusses religion so people will “stop seeing religion as a kind of cudgel as if God belonged to a political party.” In the next breath, the supposedly tolerant presidential candidate followed by saying, “And if he did, I can’t imagine it would be the one that sent the current president into the White House.”

Unfinished, Buttigieg continued, “What we see (in the White House) is so different than what I hear in scripture when I am in church … I hear about taking care of the marginalized and defending the weak and supporting the poor and visiting the prisoner and welcoming the stranger and humility and decency. These are the things that are taught in Sunday schools around this country. And so the idea that that is the property of the Republican Party, especially this Republican Party and some of the choices they have made in recent years, it just doesn’t add up to me,” as CNN reported.

In April, Buttigieg told CNN, “It can be challenging to be a person of faith who’s also part of the LGBTQ community and yet, to me, the core of faith is regard for one another. And part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us … I get that one of the things about scripture is different people see different things in it. But, at the very least we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party.”

In March, Buttigieg attacked devoutly Christian Vice President Mike Pence, saying, “How would he allow himself to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump? I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Buttigieg added that he “used to at least believe” that Pence “believes in our institutions and was not personally corrupt, but then how could he get on board with this President? … His interpretation of scripture is pretty different than mine to begin with. My understanding of scripture is that it’s about protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person and that idea. That’s what I get in the gospel when I’m at church and his has a lot more to do with sexuality … and a certain view of rectitude.”

The novelty of Buttigieg’s campaign as the first openly gay presidential candidate to gain any traction seems to be wearing off; Buttigieg has been placing third behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in most polls, but a Morning Consult poll released on Monday found him trailing not only Biden and Sanders but also Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Biden garnered a whopping 40% of the vote; Sanders 19%; Warren 8%; Harris 7%, and Buttigieg lagged behind at 6%.

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