As candidate for President Pete Buttigieg enjoys a “boomlet” these days according to this article, I’ve been pondering whether or not the country would actually elect an openly gay man to be President of the United States. This particular gay man is smart, thoughtful, patriotic, and a devout Christian.
Like many Progressive followers of Jesus, Buttigieg identifies one of his favorite Bible verses as Matthew 25:40:
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Earlier verses in that passage go like this:
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
Jesus doesn’t say anything about either homosexuality or voting – here or anywhere else in the Gospels. But what if God is calling this person – or any other LGBTQ+ person – and we reject that person for his/her/their orientation? (Note: there are apparently thousands of people who believe that God chose President Trump in spite of his less than noble – much less pious – words and actions. Could the same people believe that God might also choose a married gay man who is also a scholar and a veteran?)
I’m not sure about God choosing candidates as much as I believe that God allows us to elect candidates and we often get what we deserve. I believe in “calling” whether someone is up for President or county commissioner. And sometimes God calls people outside of the dominant sexual orientation.
The newly elected mayor of Chicago is a lesbian and there are other mayors in other cities who self-identify as LGBTQ+. But would we elect a gay President? (I’m still surprised that this country elected a Black President.)
Just this week, the nation of Brunei implemented stoning LGBTQ+ people to death. You read that right: stoning. people. to. death.
And even in the United States, there are many people who would like to bring back (the incorrectly named) sodomy laws. But as I work with people in large urban congregations and small rural congregations and everything in between, almost all of those churches have LGBTQ+ members and/or members with children, siblings, and/or friends who identify as LGBTQ+.
But could a gay man be elected President of the United States in 2020? I don’t know. Maybe.