Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’

Religion News Service | 8/29/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has garnered a lot of attention for using God-talk during his presidential campaign. From regular discussions of his own faith to a willingness to challenge those who invoke the divine while supporting the policies of President Trump, the millennial Episcopalian has made religion a centerpiece of his pursuit of the Oval Office.

Buttigieg spoke with Religion News Service to discuss sin, immigration, being a religious millennial and whether he can rally the support of a burgeoning religious left movement. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Role - Religion - Politics

What do you see as the appropriate role of religion in American politics?

The New Sanctuary Movement has protected undocumented immigrants in houses of worship. You support legislation that would prevent ICE from raiding those churches, but would you urge your faith community take in an undocumented immigrant in defiance of a federal government?

Church - Traditions - Part - Iowa - Woman

I certainly don’t speak for my church, but I can certainly speak for faith traditions that I am a part of (who are) encouraging that. Recently in Iowa a woman shared a story about being a teacher in a community where one of these raids just emptied out this rural town. Like a third of the community was effectively gone the next day. And there was a family that remained in a church and stayed there and lived there for a while.

When I’ve experienced people sleeping in a sanctuary, it’s a much more tame stuff. Our church puts up a bike-and-build group that bikes across the country and builds Habitat for Humanity style projects as they go. We let them camp out in sanctuary for a day or two.

Part - History - Centuries - Idea - Church

But certainly that has been part of (religious history) for centuries — the idea of literally refuge in a church. It’s something that shows you...
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