Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, says he tries to live his life “consistent with Christian teachings.”
“First of all, I try to live a life that is consistent with Christian teachings. I know that it is my responsibility not to ever do anything that would in public life, not be equally beneficial or make as much sense to people of another faith or people of no faith.
“But in my life, I believe in that Christian ethic, the idea that was drilled into me in Catholic school even though I’m not Catholic, I’m Episcopalian,” he said during a Q&A at The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals over the weekend.
Buttigieg was answering a question about the role that faith in his life.
“That idea of the invitation of Christ, this sense that when God himself comes to earth, he is rejected in many ways largely because he tells the truth. He concerns himself with what’s going on with those who are marginalized. He understands his role on earth not to be glorified but to serve,” Buttigieg said.
“Foot-washing is one of the most powerful images in the New Testament … Feet are gross and even more so then, right. Not what you would expect the divine to be doing when He comes down to earth. And then the Old Testament full of the complexity of trying to be in contact with the absolute. Wrestling with God, these images. And so I try to live a life that’s consistent with that,” he said.
During the conference Q&A, Buttigieg also challenged the faith of Vice President Mike Pence, saying that the vice president has chosen to support President Donald Trump’s “porn star presidency” over his own personal religious beliefs.
“I thought, well, at least he believes in our institutions, and he's not personally corrupt. But then, how could he get on board with this presidency? How could somebody who — you know, his interpretation of Scripture is pretty different from mine to begin with.”
"But even if you buy into that, how could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency?" Buttigieg added. "Is it that he stopped believing in Scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don't know, I don't know."
Buttigieg is 37 and is currently serving as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from Harvard University and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
He was also deployed to Afghanistan where he earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal for his work in counterterrorism. He lives in South Bend with his husband.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Alex Wong