In a recent interview, Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg voiced his belief that the Bible cannot be interpreted literally.
“Jesus speaks so often in hyperbole and parable, in mysterious code, that in my experience, there’s simply no way that a literal understanding of Scripture can fit into the Bible that I find in my hands,” he told Rolling Stone.
The outspoken presidential hopeful has been no stranger to speaking on the Bible and religion. As a frontrunner, Buttigieg has become a microphone for the growing religious left, taking on controversial topics such as abortion, homosexuality, and immigration.
“The Republican Party likes to cloak itself in the language of religion,” he said during the second primary debate. “But we should call out hypocrisy when we see it. And for a party that associates itself with Christianity to say that it is OK to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages, [that party] has lost all claim to ever use religious language again.”
In the interview, he explained that he did not grow up in a religious home, though he went to Catholic school. He is more comfortable with the Episcopalian faith, which is liturgically conservative and theologically liberal.
“Well, I think for a lot of us—certainly for me—any encounter with Scripture includes some process of sorting out what connects you with God versus what simply tells you about the morals of the times when it was written, right? For example, the proposition that you should execute your sister by stoning if she commits adultery. I don’t believe that that was right once upon a time, and then the New Testament came and it was gone. I believe it was always wrong, but it was considered right once, and that found its way into Scripture,” he said.
Buttigieg also touched on abortion, affirming the Roe v. Wade decision.
“No matter what you think on where life begins, the question is who gets to decide how to handle this situation,” he said.
In the interview, Buttigieg also placed himself in severe opposition to the “Pences and Falwells of the world” and believes that their “hypocrisy” will eventually fall apart.
“If you find that what you’re being told politically cuts against the idea of compassion, sooner or later that’s going to lead to a reckoning that just might invite people to reconsider their political commitments … But we all are, I think, really on the eve of a reckoning that could lead to something really good in this country.”
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