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MATTHEW BOOSE: The false piety and patriotism of the left
When Pete Buttigieg accused Mike Pence of having a problem with his sexual orientation, the openly gay Episcopalian mayor was employing a tired, but increasingly common, progressive sleight of hand.
“If you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” Mayor Pete said.
This was a political stunt steeped in prejudice against Pence’s religious beliefs. Of course, not only has Pence not attacked Buttigieg, but it would seem he has had nothing but nice things to say about him.
Buttigieg’s “gotcha” exemplifies a common strategy on the left to shame others into accepting their ideas. Leftists, while loudly championing infanticide, have taken to co-opting a religion they don’t believe in to push their own agenda.
Buttigieg’s message is predictable and banal, but it’s the kind of thing that impresses progressives who find TED Talks edifying and consult “the data” to settle moral questions: Pence and all evangelicals who support Trump are hypocrites. If they were real Christians, they’d follow the left’s interpretation of the Gospel, which is really just secular liberalism in faux-Christian garb.
One sees this rhetoric particularly with open borders. As the immigration crisis has unfolded, liberals have taken to pointing out the hypocrisy of Christians who believe in immigration restrictions, citing the Bible’s message of compassion for the persecuted.
While most progressives are content with selectively quoting a book they don’t read or believe in, some, like Buttigieg, take it much further, claiming to profess faith while accusing others of hypocrisy for not sharing their Woke, pseudo-religious beliefs.
In a stop at a progressive chapel, Buttigieg continued to bully Pence on Ellen Degeneres: “I don’t have a problem with religion. I’m religious, too,” he said. “But if he wanted to clear this up, he could come out today and say he’s changed his mind” on gay marriage.
Buttigieg called Pence’s beliefs “bad policy.” To Buttigieg, it would seem, morals and “policy” occupy two different worlds. In Buttigieg’s trendy, non-committal, neoliberal moral universe, policy and morality should be kept strictly separate. He’s “religious too,” but morals have no place in government and society — unless, of course, they’re progressive.
Pence, Buttigieg says, is not a good Christian because he is intolerant of gay marriage and supports a “porn star” president. Buttigieg effectively accused Pence of blaspheming God by making an idol of the president, even asking at a CNN town hall whether Pence “stopped believing in Scripture when he started believing in Donald Trump.”
But what does Buttigieg make of abortion? The “openly pro-choice” Buttigieg thinks abortion is an “unknowable” moral question that will “never be settled by science.”
Who was it stopped believing in Scripture? When he referred to “my creator,” did he mean Moloch?
To pious folks like Pete BOOT-EDGE-EDGE, Christianity is really, at bottom, indistinguishable from the cult of Woke. The Bible’s message of tolerance and love is really one of moral and cultural relativism.
For Buttigieg, abortion is okay, but supporting a man like Trump because he opposes it is a moral outrage. Buttigieg is blinded by the “unbelievable hypocrisy” of Christians who accept a president so impious and worldly. They have been led astray by a president who is “pretending to be pro-life” from the Bible’s core message, which is “about lifting up the least among us and taking care of strangers, which is another word for immigrants.” If they were real Christians, he says, they’d open the border and stop fighting abortion.
Buttigieg seems to see the Bible as a supporting document for his progressive beliefs. To Buttigieg, Scripture is indistinguishable from progressivism’s agenda to give marginalized groups “more visibility in the public sphere.” Christianity is really about tolerance of all peoples, cultures, and lifestyles.
The Christian injunction to withhold judgment is interpreted as extreme permissiveness toward sin, even the sin of infanticide. It’s not Buttigieg’s place to judge, he says: leave the moral decision-making up to mother and abortionist, not “a male government official imposing his interpretation of his religion.”
While America has taken a marked turn toward secular liberalism, there is clearly still some lingering pressure for politicians who think killing infants is permissible to show a token belief in morals and the nation’s religious heritage. Hence Boot-edge-edge.
But the left does not only take up the mantle of religion to push their own cult beliefs. The left also trumpets a false patriotism to push the same agenda.
Another incident involving an audacious Democrat serves to illustrate the latter point. Ilhan Omar, not one known for her love of country, came under fire recently for downplaying 9/11. Speaking at a CAIR conference, Omar amounted the worst terror attack in American history to “some people did something.”
Striking a cavalier tone on this subject would seem as good an indication as any of less-than-sincere love of country. But Omar and her defenders quickly made the story about her and her victimhood. Omar’s critics are just bigots and Islamophobes, they said; her critics are “inciting violence.”
For the left, Omar has the impervious shield of identity; belonging to a “marginalized” group, she is beyond reproach. It is never okay to question the patriotism of an “oppressed” person, no matter what they say.
But how does Omar feel about the United States? In a 2017 manifesto, Omar writes that America is a nation “founded on genocide.” These sentiments are widely shared by Omar’s allies. America, to progressives like Omar, is a nation born and living in hate.
The “essence of the American dream,” she writes, is diversity, the only true redemption from this “hate.” “We” must educate Americans about the nation’s shameful history and “collectively overcome and make amends with” the country’s past.
“No one,” Omar writes, can choose to stand on the sidelines. All must be conscripted. But who is this “we?” One gets the sense that she’s not talking about the United States at all, but the intersectional coalition of the marginalized.
For the left, true patriotism means undermining American sovereignty and the rule of law to make way for a “diverse” future and rewriting the nation’s “hateful” history. Omar, like the illegal migrants her party champions over American citizens, is a patriot because she is oppressed, because she knows that America is really an evil place. If you don’t see it, too, you’re not a patriot — you’re part of the problem.
Take it from the left: True Christianity is liberalism. True patriotism is recognizing that America is and always was a hateful place. It’s all the same thing.
The left has one aim, to subjugate everyone else to their agenda. They will do whatever necessary to make this happen, whether pretending to be Christian, or signaling faux-patriotism to a country they really hate.
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