The Democrats are a funny party, aren’t they? For legitimately decades, at this point, Democrats cry out that religious Christians are doing the wrong thing by forcing their religion down the throats of their opponents. From polarizing issues like abortion to whether or not a baker must provide a cake for a same-gendera wedding, from whether or not G-d should be in the Pledge of Allegiance to whether or not people should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” the Left has constantly portrayed Conservatives as Bible-thumping weirdos who either don’t understand or refuse the concept of separation of church and state.
Now before I get your angry letters, the point of this is not to discuss those arguments. Each one of those can be debated in a separate article, and they all have logical reasons to come down on the Conservative side without mentioning religion at all. The actual reason I bring this up is because of one particular candidate running for president on the Democratic side. Pete Buttigieg, formerly known as “Mayor Pete,” made the claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with him on raising the minimum wage is going against the Bible. His claim comes from the Book of Proverbs (Mishlei) 14:31 – “He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker.” There are several issues with this claim, but let’s get one thing straight: This is not the first time Buttigieg has quoted the Bible. He does so quite often during debates, stump speeches, and when meeting with constituents. Therefore, I propose that he has lost his “Mayor Pete” moniker. He’s now “Pope Pete, Savior of the American Christians.”
Now, I’m not denouncing Pope Pete for being open about his religion. I wish more people would do that. I am, however, quite perturbed that he tends to do exactly what Liberals have been complaining about for a long time – making assertions based on his interpretation of the Bible, and claiming that if you disagree with his assertion or interpretation, you are obviously anti-Christian. Let’s handle the Pope’s claim from last week’s debate first. Follow the logic: Minimum wage is too low à We must raise the minimum wage à The Bible says, “He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker.” à By not raising the minimum wage, you are oppressing the poor, and therefore are a bad Christian.
That is quite the leap to make. The definition of oppress is “to keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority.” People making minimum wage are not being forced to remain in that position due to authority. Their boss is not standing over them with a shotgun, threatening them with their life if they quit. Now, it is true that some people have to remain in certain jobs due to hardships, but none of those hardships are caused by the unjust exercise of authority. They are in a financial situation, or have a lack of skill, ability, or opportunity. While those are certainly areas we can discuss, none of them are anywhere close to oppression. But no, Pope Pete will rule with an iron fist (and maybe, if he gets his way, an iron hammer and sickle as well). His interpretation of Biblical phrases is the ultimate determination of how we should practice governance, and how we define good Christians. By the way, no word yet on Pope Pete’s interpretation of “Thou shalt not steal” and how it relates to forcing employers to pay higher wages to employees.
However, showing why Pope Pete is wrong is only half the battle. It’s the reaction from the media that, all of a sudden, likes it when politicians use the Bible to make their points. The New York Times praised Buttigieg as being “particularly deft at citing Scripture to highlight the hypocrisy of Trump and the GOP.” CNN has explained why it’s amazing that the Pope’s faith influences his politics in a piece by Father Edward Beck. Left-wing sources like The Atlantic and Vox sing the praises of their Pope when he uses the Bible to hit his political foes. On this topic, the Left is wildly inconsistent. Either we should be allowed to use the Bible as a source, or we shouldn’t be allowed to do so. But this pick-and-choose mentality that is based solely on whether or not you agree with the point is obviously wrong.
Now I will point out that the Washington Post did run an op-ed by Kate Cohen with the title “Pete Buttigieg, please don’t equate religion with morality,” in which she bemoans the fact that The Pope is using the Bible to do the same thing that Republicans do. She also calls him out for picking and choosing which Bible verses to use. And I agree. If you’re going to use the Bible to prove a point, you have to agree that the whole Bible has to be true. This is a great tactic if your goal is to win over Evangelicals, but is a rather bold move for an openly gay man to be making.
All that we have here is yet one more instance of a politician trying to make a political move. If you are on his side, you love it (for the most part). If you are against him, you hate it. But it seems to highlight the difference in how the media has handled Pope Pete when it comes to Bible citations. Liberal media love that someone is using a club against their opponents, especially one that they had previously wielded, a stance that flies in the face of every opinion they have ever had on the matter up until this point. On the Conservative side, nobody is arguing that Buttigieg is not allowed to use the Bible; they are simply debating him on his interpretation. On his podcast, Ben Shapiro explained why the interpretation is incorrect. Fox News invited theologian Jonathan Morris on to explain why the remarks were a poor misinterpretation. Conservatives are pretty consistent on this. Use the Bible, but don’t expect to be able to get your interpretation out there without being called to question on it. The Left, on the other hand, allows you to use the Bible so long as your interpretation of the Bible agrees with their political beliefs.
Otherwise, it’s oppression.
Izzo Zwiren works in healthcare administration, constantly concerning himself with the state of healthcare politics. The topic of healthcare has led Izzo to become passionate about a variety of political issues affecting our country today. Aside from politics, Izzo is a fan of trivia, stand-up comedy, and the New York Giants. Izzo lives on Long Island with his wife and two adorable, hilarious daughters.