Pete Buttigieg doesn’t have the authority to define sin, evangelist Franklin Graham said Thursday in response to the openly gay Indiana mayor’s recent criticism of Vice President Mike Pence’s faith-based stance on same-sex marriage.
The 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, an Episcopalian, targeted Pence’s beliefs in a speech over the weekend to the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
“That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand … if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me – your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” said Buttigieg.
Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Association, reacted via Facebook.
“To set the record straight, Mr. Mayor,” he wrote, “the issue isn’t whether somebody has a problem with who you are – the issue is that we all have a problem with God because of our sin.
“And it applies to every single human being. God loves us, and the Bible says we are all sinners who need God’s forgiveness, which He offers if we repent and turn from our sin and put our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ,” Graham wrote.
“We don’t define sin, God does in His Word, the Bible. Using new terms like ‘Progressive Christianity’ and the ‘Christian Left’ may sound appealing to some, but God’s laws and standards do not change. He says, ‘For I am the Lord, I change not.’ I believe what the Bible says is truth.”
In his speech to the advocacy group, Buttigieg said his marriage to a man made him a “better human being.”
“Yes, Mr. Vice President,” he said, “it has moved me closer to God.”
Buttigieg said it was someone or something “far, far above my pay grade” that made him homosexual, and he said he fought those feelings for a long time.
“If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before I could get a sip of water,” he said.
He also promised he would support a federal “equality act,” which, according to the bill now in Congress, would threaten constitutionally protected rights of Christians.
Graham said Buttigieg is “attacking Vice President Mike Pence for his stand with the Word of God.”
“I have such a great respect for the vice president, for his leadership in our nation, for his personal integrity, and for his Christian faith,” he wrote.
CNN reported Wednesday Pence responded to Buttigieg’s attack with: “He knows better. He knows me.”
“Nineteen people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the left. And they’re all competing with one another for how much more liberal they can be,” Pence said.