In Washington, politics is the two-party argument that never ends.
That’s enough to induce a yawn or two, which is one reason election time is so interesting: Every few years, we get to watch a gaggle of people on the same team point out how crappy one another is.
And on Sunday, 2020 candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a swipe at competitor Beto O’Rourke in light of the aspiring hunting rifle thief’s recent comment on tax exemption for churches.
In case you need a reminder, let’s take a walk down memory lane with the Catholic News Agency:
On Thursday night, during an Equality town hall hosted and broadcast on CNN, Robert Francis O’Rourke, a former congressman, was asked by CNN anchor Don Lemon if he thought that “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage?”
O’Rourke answered “yes,” and after applause and cheers from the crowd, added, “there can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break, for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so, as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”
Pete Buttigieg says he disagrees with fellow 2020 Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke on using tax-exempt status to reinforce anti-discrimination laws with religious institutions: “I think that’s just going to deepen the divisions that we’re already experiencing.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/8DOR9yZRpL
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 13, 2019
And here’s what Pete had to say about that, on State of the Union with Jake Tapper:
“I agree that anti-discrimination law ought to be applied to all institutions, but the idea you are going to strip churches of their tax exempt status if they have not found their way toward blessing same sex marriage, I’m not sure he understands the implications of what he’s saying.”
He asserted it’d be a gigantic, messy war:
“That means going to war, not only with churches, but with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do. But also because of the separation of church and state are acknowledged as nonprofits in this country.”
Pete believes Beto’s proposition’s nothing but an investment in deep division:
“[G]oing after the tax exception of churches, Islamic centers or other religious facilities in this country, I think that is just going to deepen the divisions that we’re experiencing at a moment when we’re seeing more and more people motivated often by compassion and by people they love moving in the right direction on LGBTQ rights. Which is obviously extremely important to me personally.”
This isn’t Pete’s first anti-Beto rodeo; he previously dogged O’Rourke’s plan to go into the business of arms theft.
“It shows me we are doing something right.”
Sticking to that translation, with a 2% rating in the polls, Beto’s on track to be told by voters he’s the rightest man in the world.
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