Scott Bixby from the left-wing Daily Beast has emailed this:
Good morning Erick –Hope all is well. I’m working on a piece about the skepticism of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s religiosity, rooted in his membership in the Episcopal Church. As a very public subscriber to the belief that most, if not all, Episcopalians aren’t Christian, I’m very interested in hearing more about your view — on Buttigieg specifically, or Episcopalians more broadly.Hoping to file something by EOD, but happy to speak at your convenience!Cheers,Scott Bixby
As the Daily Beast long ago stopped operating in good faith when it comes to reflecting conservatives and this is undoubtedly a piece championing Buttigieg, I’ll lay out my full thinking here. Additionally, given the lack of understanding of Christianity in America by your average reporter, perhaps this will be helpful for more than just the Daily Beast.
As a very public subscriber to the belief that most, if not all, Episcopalians aren’t Christian
No, this is not actually true. There are actually Episcopalians who are Christians. We have to draw two distinctions. First, there is a difference between the laity and the church. Second, we have to recognize that the laity, taught by the church, is less and less knowledgable about actual Christian doctrine. The Episcopal Church itself is no longer a Christian institution and those who remain will either walk into a Christian denomination or walk into atheism potentially with a helping of spirituality. Don’t believe me, believe the data on this. As the Episcopal Church has abandoned Christian doctrine, its membership is in decline.. Or consider these data points from Pew on the beliefs of Episcopalians today.
That is not a healthy denomination at all and the church itself does not operate as a Christian denomination. In fact, it openly flouts Christian doctrine. It now ordains gay and lesbian priests despite the New Testament, not just Old Testament, statement that homosexuality is a sin and Paul’s clear command that church leaders are to be the husbands of a wife. Likewise, the Episcopal Church chose to place as its presiding Bishop someonewho claimed St. Paul casting out a demon was harming a woman. While no longer in charge, it worth noting that the flight of Episcopalians into the North American Anglican Church has continued and escalated as the remaining believers flee.
The Episcopal Church has objectively moved on from the tenets of Christianity. Despite maintaining a public statement that abortion should be limited to instances of rape, incest, and the life of the mother, Episcopal leaders in the United States have routined marched for abortion rights and opposed legislation curtailing abortion.
Some Episcopal priests in the United States have been increasingly vocal rejecting the need to believe in the physical resurrection of Christ — a core component of Christianity — without discipline from the church. Several prominent Bishops of the Episcopal Church, upon retirement, announced they do not even believe in basic Christian doctrines. (See e.g. John Shelby Spong and James Pike)
The church has left the faith even as there remain many Christians in the church. Again, though, the data suggests these congregants are starting to flee to Anglicanism or other denominations or are moving towards atheism. The people remain behind are a bunch of rich, white people who want to feel good about themselves by feeling morally superior to their neighbors who really believe that whole “Jesus died for me” stuff.
As for Buttigieg himself, I can say no more about his faith than what he said about President Trump, i.e. “It is hard to look at his actions and believe they are the actions of somebody who believes in God.” Perhaps he does. Scripture tells me I cannot be the arbiter of a person’s faith.
What I can tell you is that Buttigieg attacks the President for not governing as a moral person on one hand and on the other claims we cannot govern morally when it comes to abortion. He has married another man, which runs contrary to scripture, and he not only thinks it is not sin, but thinks God made him that way, all of which is contrary to Christian orthodoxy.
But we are all sinner and sinners often tend to have sins and idols they do not recognize as sins and idols.
The larger issue is can a Christian vote for a gay person and what I suspect the reporter is really getting at. I have long come down on the side of “yes” on this issue. A Christian can vote for someone who is gay just as they can vote for someone who is three-times divorced and cheats on his wives with porn stars. Christians should go with the moral person, but in the absence of that moral person, I do not think they have to abandon politics when one of two candidates takes positions that support life and allows Christians to live their faith publicly and the other is openly hostile to the faith of orthodox, Bible believing Christians.
In this case, Buttigieg has not only take the extreme abortion-on-demand position, he has even blocked allowing a crisis pregnancy center in his city because it did not perform abortions. Buttigieg has also taken the position that Christian businesses should be punished for failing to provide for gay weddings. Opposition to Buttigieg should not be about his religion or his sexuality, but should be because he masks his far left positions behind a smile.
(Christians should also not try to affirm or defend the sinful behavior of politicians. They will not find their savior in a ballot box ultimately and so should be willing to speak out and call for their political leaders to repent.)