One of America’s most prominent evangelists accused South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of flaunting his homosexuality.
At Monday night’s CNN townhall with five of the Democratic presidential primary candidates, Buttigieg was asked about his plans to unite people of different political beliefs and responded by talking about his Christianity.
“God does not have a political party,” he said.
“It can be challenging to be a person of faith who’s also part of the LGBTQ community and yet, to me, the core of faith is regard for one another. And part of God’s love is experienced, according to my faith tradition, is in the way that we support one another and, in particular, support the least among us.”
To many, this might seem like a milquetoast statement from a politician, staying positive about Christianity without getting too specific.
The people who have spent decades saying that God is a Republican, though, had to respond.
On Facebook, the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and son of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, wrote a long post explaining why Buttigieg is wrong, especially because he’s gay.
“Mayor Buttigieg says he is a gay Christian,” Graham wrote, as if there’s any reason to doubt that Buttigieg is, in fact, both gay and Christian.
“But as a Christian I believe what the Bible says,” he wrote. “God’s Word defines homosexuality as sin, something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised, or politicized.”
Graham didn’t explain exactly what he meant by “flaunted” other than simply existing as a gay man and not hiding his husband from public view.
Graham went on to politicize homosexuality: “The Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman — not two men, not two women.”
About Buttigieg’s statement that the “core of faith is regard for one another,” Graham responded that he agrees, but….
“But that does not come above believing and being obedient to what God says is truth. Without that foundation, we really can’t help anyone in a way that impacts their eternity.”
This isn’t the first time Buttigieg has drawn Graham’s ire. Earlier this week, Graham cited Leviticus to say that Buttigieg can’t be Christian because he’s gay.
Graham is a strong supporter of adulterer, liar, and admitted sexual assault perpetrator Donald Trump.