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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats Sanders campaign adviser on what went right and what went wrong Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report 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 KlobucharHillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license Senators, bipartisan state officials press Congress for more election funds The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (D-Minn.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSteyer endorses Biden for president Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden faces tough task of uniting Democrats MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Mnuchin, Schumer in talks to strike short-term relief deal | Small businesses struggling for loans | Treasury IG sends Dems report on handling of Trump tax returns MORE (D-Calif.) had all had a chance to answer audience questions.