Elder Patriot – Vice President Mike Pence is deeply committed to his Christian faith. Despite the fact that he’s been nothing but congenial towards Pete Buttigieg – by Mayor Pete’s own admission – candidate Pete thought it would be wise to challenge Pence’s faith.
It should be known that Buttigieg is gay. That doesn’t matter to me, but apparently it matters a whole lot to the mayor. So much so that he decided to make that a central focus of his campaign.
In an effort to grab some imagined high ground in the attempt to claim a higher connection to God, Mayor Pete began referring to Vice President Mike Pence and other evangelicals as “Pharisees.”
In this case, Mayor Pete’ effort to divide in such an unseemly manner was immediately met with objections from Jewish leaders.
The Jerusalem Post explained why Jews objected to Buttigieg’s repeated use of the word “Pharisees:”
Although almost no Jews describe themselves as Pharisees today, the word is still anti-Semitic because it refers to Jews, said Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, an author who has criticized Buttigieg in the past for using the term. She compared it to a kid on a playground using the word “gay” as an insult. Even though the kid may not be referring to sexual orientation, Ruttenberg said, using the word in a negative light still perpetuates homophobia.
“When you use that as an insult, you’re saying that Jews are bad,” she said. “It perpetuates anti-Semitism: Jew as bad guy, as Christ killer, is one of the ways people have justified murder and pogroms and the Inquisition and the Holocaust for centuries.”
Buttigieg’s first reaction was to defend his use of the word. Bad decision.
I’m not sure how he can recover from this because we now have a snapshot into the soul of the man.
His communications advisor Lis Smith certainly didn’t help the presidential candidate give comfort to those he offended.
Smith announced on Twitter that the campaign would change their approach.
We appreciate the people who have reached out to educate us on this. While intended to highlight political hypocrisy, we listened and learned and won’t be using it going forward. https://t.co/373XmOBXFi
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) April 16, 2019
“We appreciate the people who have reached out to educate us on this. While intended to highlight political hypocrisy, we listened and learned and won’t be using it going forward.”
What kind of promise is that? We won’t use it but Mayor Pete will continue in his belief that he’s somehow closer to God precisely because he’s gay.