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Christian Leaders Call Pete Buttigieg to the Carpet after He Cites Proverbs to Justify a $15 Minimum Wage

Christian Leaders Call Pete Buttigieg to the Carpet after He Cites Proverbs to Justify a $15 Minimum Wage

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing criticism after he used a Proverbs bible verse during Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate.

Buttigieg was responding to a question about how he would help workers keep their jobs in auto manufacturing as the industry faces cutbacks in the Midwest.

“Well, this happened in my community 20 years before I was born. And when I was growing up, we were still picking up the pieces,” he said. “Empty factories, empty houses, poverty. I know exactly what happens to a community when these closures take place. And there will be more.”

“We actually need to put the interests of workers first,” he said, adding that the minimum wage is “just too low.”

“And so-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when scripture says that whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg was referring to Proverbs 14:31, which says “He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.”

“[It] never fails to baffle how progressives can appeal to the Bible to arrive at an exact minimum wage ($15, according to Buttigieg), yet ignore, reject, or plead ambiguity on the Bible’s teaching on marriage and abortion,” Andrew T. Walker, a senior fellow with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, tweeted Wednesday.

Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and author, tweeted that Buttigieg’s view of Christianity “seems to look more like himself than it looks like Christ.”

“Worshipping the ‘god’ he sees in the mirror rather than the God he sees in the Bible,” Piper said. 

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Many states and cities have approved laws to increase the minimum wage to as high as $15 per hour, but in Illinois and Michigan, the minimum wage is $8.25 per hour and $8.90 per hour respectively.

Previously, Buttigieg has been criticized for calling Vice President Mike Pence a “Pharisee.” Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff