Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party'

Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party'
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Democratic presidential hopeful Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg defends Kaepernick, NFL players who kneel during national anthem Journalism is now opinion-based — not news-based Buttiegieg backs NFL players' right to protest during anthem: I 'put my life on the line to defend' that MORE (D) on Monday responded to a question during a town hall event about uniting Christians in America by saying, "God doesn't have a political party."

During a CNN town hall event, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., was questioned by an audience member on how he planned to unite liberal and conservative people of faith behind his campaign.

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"I get that one of the things about scripture is different people see different things in it," Buttigieg responded. "But, at the very least we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party."

He continued by saying his view of religious scripture is different than that of members of the Trump administration, which he accused of believing that poor people have it "too easy" in American society.

"Frankly, it couldn't be more radically different than what I see certainly in this White House, where there is a lot of chest-thumping and self-aggrandizing, not to mention abusive behavior, but also a political agenda that seems to always be revolving around the idea that somehow it's too easy for poor people in this country," Buttigieg said.

"It's just so different than what I get when I read scripture," he added.

Buttigieg's faith has become a national issue in recent days as the 2020 candidate has publicly feuded with Vice President Pence over differing views on homosexuality and Pence's past support for so-called conversion therapy programs.

“The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs," Buttigieg, who is openly gay, said last week during a CNN interview. "My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people."

"That was a huge issue for us in Indiana when he advanced a discriminatory bill in 2015 under the guise of religious freedom, that said it was lawful to discriminate, provided you invoked religion as your excuse," Buttigieg continued, referring to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Pence signed into law.

Buttigieg's comments Monday came as he was the last of five 2020 Democratic hopefuls to take the stage in a series of town hall events on CNN.

Buttigieg spoke after Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar to roll out policy priorities for farmers in Iowa 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Samantha Bee slams 2020 Democrats who go on Fox News MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSan Francisco police chief apologizes for raid on journalist's home Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Calif.) had all had a chance to answer audience questions.