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- Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor running for president, condemned what he called the "hypocrisy" of evangelicals and other Christians who support President Donald Trump.
- Buttigieg, an openly gay Christian, has questioned Trump’s belief in God and Vice President Mike Pence’s interpretation of Christian scripture.
- "I can’t believe that somebody who was caught writing hush money checks to adult-film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person you want to be leading this nation," Buttigieg said on Sunday’s "Meet the Press."
Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend, Indiana mayor running for president, condemned what he called the "hypocrisy" of evangelicals and other Christians who support President Donald Trump during a Sunday interview.
Buttigieg, an openly gay Episcopalian Christian, has questioned Trump’s belief in God and argued that a man who has "never … humbled himself before anyone" shouldn’t earn the support of Christians.
"It’s something that really frustrates me because the hypocrisy is unbelievable," Buttigieg said during an interview on NBC News’ "Meet the Press."
"Here you have somebody who not only acts in a way that is not consistent with anything that I hear in scripture or in church, where it’s about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants, and making sure that you’re focusing your effort on the poor, but also personally how you’re supposed to conduct yourself."
Buttigieg called Trump the "diametric opposite" of a devout Christian, and argued that he gets such strong evangelical support because he "pretends to be pro-life."
He went on, "Even on the version of Christianity that you hear from the religious right, which is about sexual ethics, I can’t believe that somebody who was caught writing hush money checks to adult-film actresses is somebody they should be lifting up as the kind of person you want to be leading this nation."
In an interview last week with USA Today, Buttigieg said he finds it hard to believe that the president believes in God or is a real Christian.
"I’m reluctant to comment on another person’s faith, but I would say it is hard to look at this president’s actions and believe that they’re the actions of somebody who believes in God," Buttigieg said. "I just don’t understand how you can be as worshipful of your own self as he is and be prepared to humble yourself before God. I’ve never seen him humble himself before anyone."
And Buttigieg has repeatedly been explicitly critical of Vice President Mike Pence, the evangelical former governor of Indiana, arguing that Pence’s "interpretation of scripture" has more to do with sexuality and "a certain view of rectitude" than "protecting the stranger and the prisoner and the poor person."
"How could he allow himself to become the cheerleader of the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump? I don’t know," Buttigieg said during a March CNN town hall, referencing Trump’s alleged affair with adult-film star Stormy Daniels.
Addressing Pence’s opposition to gay rights on Sunday, Buttigieg told an audience of LGBTQ rights advocates at the Victory Fund Champagne Brunch in Washington, DC, that his marriage to his husband Chasten "moved me closer to God."
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