- - Sunday, April 28, 2019

In the April 23, 2019, edition of the NPR Update, Tom Gjelten posted a column he titled “How Would Jesus Vote?” In that column, Mr. Gjelten presents the South Bend, Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg, as a new kind of “Christian” politician a “married” homosexual who favors the eisegesis of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance rather than the exegesis of doctrine, dogma and clear definitions.

In other words, Mayor Buttigieg’s “Christianity” is one of subjective feelings over and above the authoritative facts of The Faith. Mr. Buttigieg redefines religion to suit his own personal preferences and priorities. He chooses to change Christianity to better accommodate himself rather than change himself to better accommodate Christianity. Mr. Buttigieg, thereby, redefines what it means to be a Christian.

Mr. Gjelten, to his credit, does mention that there are those within the historically orthodox Christian Church who disagree with such a progressive and freewheeling reconstruction of a definition that has been pretty much settled for some 2,000 years. More specifically he cites, one “conservative academic [who] argued that Buttigieg doesn’t get to make up his own [Jesus]”.

I am that “conservative academic.”

Why do I have a problem with Mr. Buttigieg’s cavalier treatment of the definition the “Christian” faith? Why do I have difficulty with playing loose and free with the meaning of such a word? The following illustration might help drive home the point.

Let’s assume you just read this headline: “My name is Everett Piper and I’m running for president of the United States.” Let’s also assume that as a self-confessing “conservative academic” I’m going to turn the tables a bit and run as a “self-identified Democrat.”

“But you’re not a Democrat,” you might say.

“Why?”, I might ask in return.

If definitions are merely about feelings and have nothing do with objective facts, who’s to say I am not a “Democrat?”

So what if I’m pro-life and pro-capitalism?

So what if I’m anti-socialism, anti-big government and anti-gay marriage?

So what if I believe religious freedom should always trump sexual preference?

So what if I think the Constitution actually means what it says and not what Ginsberg, Kagan and Sotomayor tell us it means?

So what if I think the state should stay out of the church’s business?

So what if I think the Green New Deal is insane and “climate change” (or is it now called global warming again?) is an empirically verified hoax?

So what if I think women should have the right to their own sports, their own showers and their own restrooms?

So what if I think men using women’s restrooms should be arrested rather than affirmed?

So what if I believe a female is a fact and not just the fabrication of a delusional male who wants to play dress up and make-believe?

So what if I think our national borders should be defended rather than disregarded?

So what that I think a nation without borders is an oxymoron?

So what if I believe Scripture defines Christianity; not you, not me and certainly not Pete Buttigieg?

So what if I believe all human beings are morally culpable and can, therefore, choose their sexual behaviors. So what if I think anyone claiming otherwise is as crazy as someone claiming he has no choice but to lie, cheat and steal?

So what? What difference does all this make?

If progressives can redefine everything as they see fit what’s the problem with conservatives choosing to redefine what it means to be a progressive? If Democrats can flip everything on its head so that words come to mean the exact opposite of what they were originally intended to mean, then why can’t I?

“But none of the values make you a Democrat,” you say.

Says who?

If I “identify” as something I actually am not a “Democrat” who will support Donald Trump rather than persist in Maxine Walters’ insane fixation of impeaching him, who is she to cry foul? If I “identify” as a “Democrat” who will appoint originalist justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who is Cory Booker to care? If I “identify” with all who support gun rights and believe we should stop illegal immigration; if I “identify” with all who believe marriage is a sacrament of the Church and not a sacrilege of the Courts; and if I “identify” with everyone who stands against Islamic butchery and stands up for Christians who are being butchered, who are Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar to tell me any different?

If Mr. Buttigieg can pretend to be a Christian and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can pretend the world is going to end in 12 years because of cow farts, who says I can’t pretend to be something equally absurd and counterintuitive: a morally consistent and constitutionally faithful Democrat party candidate who can think his way out of a paper bag?

If words mean nothing other than what one “feels,” they mean then why would anyone even raise an eyebrow if I announced that “My name is Everett Piper and I’m running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States!”

If you all can make up your own definition of Jesus, then surely, I can make up my own definition of “Democrat.”

• Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).

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