, 15 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Thoughts on this, I has them! Stand by for thread...
First, to @TheRaDR's point, I think Buttigieg is using "Pharisee" in the narrower sense of Jesus' named opponents in the New Testament, rather than the broader sense of "hypocrites." It's still problematic, and unfortunately, not enough Christians understand that.
2. I don't know how or why someone running for national office doesn't understand that there *is* already a religious left in the US. @jackmjenkins, @MichaelRWear and I might disagree with the contours of that movement, or how effective it is, but it is certainly there.
3. If you have to go back to Jimmy Carter for your model of a religious left, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION.
4. I mean, how in the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen have you not heard of William Barber? Jim Wallis? Barack Freaking Obama or Hillary Freaking Clinton? I'm honestly confused by this.
5. Confronting the Religious Right from the perspective of "they're hypocrites because Trump is a slut" is just dumb. Mike Pence doesn't give a shit. Conservative evangelicals do not give a shit.
6. CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ABOUT PERSONAL MORALITY. Despite anything they might tell you, it's about preserving social order, specifically a social order that puts straight white men at the top of the food chain.
7. It's fine to say, as Buttigieg or Elizabeth Warren does, "my faith instructs me to care for the marginalized." But if you don't understand that the Religious Right's conservatism does not stem from honest differences in faith, if you don't get that it's about power...
8. ...you badly misunderstand the situation, and you are not ready for prime time. You're going to get eaten alive in a debate with that framework, Mayor Pete, pilloried in a thousand op-eds by people you thought you could reach, all while ignoring the work of your real allies.
9. It's also not wrong to say, "On a personal level, I know some conservative Christians who are pretty okay, even if they read their faith differently than I do mine." So do I!
10. But presidential candidates in particular have to understand that they represent - and are responsible to - the dynamics of social power and how it is used.
11. When Buttigieg forgets that the religious left exists, and explains away the Religious Right's use of power on a personal level, he diminishes how they've actually used that power, against people like him, among many others. That's actually selling out his own team.
12. I'm serious about this and do not mean it in a hostile way. @PeteButtigieg, you're a smart guy, read Niebuhr's Moral Man and Immoral Society, and internalize its lessons.
(I wish I could get every Dem presidential candidate to read Moral Man and Immoral Society, but that's a thread for another time.)
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