The Atlantic

Pete Buttigieg’s Very Public Faith Is Challenging Assumptions

His tone separates him from many evangelical leaders—but in one crucial way, he might be replicating a mistake of the religious right.
Source: Mary Schwalm / Reuters

The mayor of a medium-size midwestern city, Rhodes Scholar, and war veteran who is liturgically conservative and cites Saint Augustine as one of his religious influences is running for president. He’s also a Democrat. He is criticizing the current president, a Republican, for his infidelity and lack of family values. And he’s gay.

Sometimes politics unfolds differently than you might expect.

What makes Pete Buttigieg an intriguing figure isn’t his political experience, which is minimal (he became mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in 2012, at age 29); or his political philosophy, with which I disagree. (He’s a progressive, while I’m a conservative who is a critic of Donald Trump and of progressivism.) It’s that Buttigieg speaks openly and easily about in a party that is becoming more and more secular and , and he does so in a manner that stands in marked contrast with the evangelical leaders who support Donald Trump.

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