Principled Or Betrayer: Pete Buttigieg’s Brother-In-Law, Pastor Rhyan Glezman [Corrected]

 

Pastor, brother, candidate..

In what appears to be a case of the Popeyes (“It’s all I can stand, ’cause I canst stands no more!”), the evangelist minister brother-in-law of cult candidate for the Democratic Party nomination Pete Buttigieg found it necessary  to publicly rebuke the young mayor of South Bend.

Buttigieg, who has hardly been an unqualified success in his only elected executive office so far, has also distinguished himself, if that’s the right word, by embracing Ocasio-Corte- level climate change fear-mongering, has suggested that the nation should not honor Thomas Jefferson, and is all-in on with his party’s determination to remake our system to make it easier to dictate progressive policies to the public, as he has endorsed abolishing the Electoral College, packing the Supreme Court, and eliminating the Senate filibuster. He has called for a National Service, forcing or enticing teens to participate in government-dictated social programs.

Most significantly, Buttigieg has been at his most arrogant and obnoxious when he uses Christianity and God as crude weapons against conservatives.

For example, he has accused Christians who don’t support the $15 an hour minimum wage of being poor Christians and hypocrites. Paul Miragoff nicely explains the intellectual bankruptcy in that claim, writing, ” Why isn’t Buttigieg a hypocrite for not supporting a $20 an hour minimum wage? For the same reason that other Christians aren’t hypocrites for opposing $15 an hour. The Bible doesn’t address the minimum wage rate and there are public policy arguments against raising it.”

Ah, but God is on this candidate’s side, you see.

Now he is arguing that the Bible can be read to favor late-term abortions, meaning that if one opposes killing the unborn, one is a bad Christian. In an interview this morning on “The Breakfast Club” radio show, Pete Buttigieg said,

[Pro-life people] hold everybody in line with this one piece of doctrine about abortion, which is obviously a tough issue for a lot of people to think through morally. Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. Even that is something that we can interpret differently. . . . No matter what you think about the cosmic question of how life begins, most Americans can get on board with the idea of, ‘I might draw the here. You might draw the line there.’ The most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision.

Of course, there’s a lot more than just this creative reading of scripture to find outrageous in this both sinister and slippery statement. ‘”I might draw the here. You might draw the line there.”—you know: my baby is a human being at six months, yours is just a parasite that can be killed with impunity. I’ll draw the line where it’s more convenient for me, and the life of the unborn child be damned; you draw it where it’s more convenient for you! Pay attention, now…this is a Godly man telling you that you can kill your fetus.

This latest use of religion to try to bludgeon people into accepting that Progressism is the Will of God rousted Pastor Rhyan Glezman, Buttigieg’s brother-in-law, into attack mode. He told the Washington Examiner  that Buttigieg was deliberately distorting scripture, and his assertion that the Bible can be read to declare  life does not begin at conception but only when the infant first breathes is “outrageous.” Sayeth the good pastor,

“I feel a sense of responsibility and stewardship of my faith to stand up and say something, to say, ‘No, that’s not true.” God places a very high value on all human life. Everyone is created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God with intrinsic value. That doesn’t start at the first breath, it starts when we enter our mother’s womb….If we’re going to say we’re for all people and we love all people, but we don’t value human life in the womb, that’s being a hypocrite. You’re hypocritical if you don’t stand up for all life. So that’s why I’m speaking out.”

But my Ethics Alarms Quiz today doesn’t involve the substance of Glezman’s argument, but rather this:

Was it ethical for him to do this?

We have a clash of ethical systems here. One, ironically, is The Golden Rule. Another is Absolutism: isn’t it wrong to turn against one’s own family? And, of course, there is Utilitarianism. the pastor evidently thinks  it is in the greater interests of society for him to announce that his brother-in-law is cynically manipulating scripture to make it easier to obliterate the unborn.

I have seen a few cases where a family member goes to the news media to oppose a candidate for office, but it is rare. It is rare for a reason: it’s a pretty lousy thing to do. The criticism is bound to carry more weight because the critics is a family member, and the turncoat has to realize this.

A comparison would be George Conway, Kellyanne’s husband. The only reason anyone cares what he thinks of Donald Trump is because of his wife: people assume there is extra integrity to his opposition, because he is presumed to believe it so passionately that it over-comes the natural loyalty to and respect for his own wife.  Well, that’s one explanation, certainly. Another could be that George Conway sees a route to some national prominence, and is such vile jerk that he’s willing to betray his wife to get it.

I can conceive of situations where a family member might feel that it is an ethical duty to come forward, but those would involve circumstances where there is a dark, sinister secret about the candidate that only a member of the immediate family could know,  that the public really needs to know, and that only the line-crossing family member is in a position to reveal. If Pastor Glezman announced, for example, that Buttigieg really wasn’t gay and was pretending to be to appeal to gay voters, or that he had been born in Kenya and had fabricated his birth documents, or that he had murdered his Scout leader and the family had covered it up, that would qualify. Literally any theologian, Biblical scholar, priest or reverend could make the points Glezman made, however.

Let’s poll this:

[The Corrections alluded to in the headline are: 1) The proper spelling of the pastor’s first name is Rhyan, not Ryan. I’m glad I didn’t know that at first, because I am biased against people who use eccentric spellings of their names. 2) Somehow, the graphic on this post didn’t register, and I didn’t realize it. That’s fixed.]

________________________________

Source: National Review

 

47 thoughts on “Principled Or Betrayer: Pete Buttigieg’s Brother-In-Law, Pastor Rhyan Glezman [Corrected]

  1. This one is tough for me to decide. Not about whether one should speak up or not about it. Christian theology and philosophy has been fairly consistent against abortion for at least 1600 years. The issue for me is whether someone else should have made the counterpoint instead of Pastor Glezman. Now, no other pastor, as far as I can tell, had made the counterpoint. At least not anybody with a loud enough voice. Granted, I didn’t know Buttigieg was trying to justify late term abortion with scripture until this post. I don’t know how big of a subject it is on the mainstream media’s radar. I ended up voting for yes, if he had made his argument privately to Buttigieg first. Pastor Glezman probably sees Buttigieg as the one betraying family and scripture in this situation. If Glezman had discussed the issue with Buttigieg first, and Buttigieg refused to listen, then Glezman might have felt required to go public with the issue. Glezman might have asked another pastor to bring up the counterpoint, but no other pastor’s voice might have been loud enough for people to hear what he believes is an extremely important issue. I would say this one comes down to utilitarian decision making, and I’m willing to bet that Glezman felt the spiritual needs of all Christians who might be persuaded by his brother in law’s arguments outweighed family loyalty in this case.

    • To me the conflict is one about two people, each with a certain level of public prominence.

      On the family loyalty angle, I presume “1st to speak up about something compels loyalty of all other members of the family” is some sort of guiding rule here. I don’t see it. If someone in your family pursues something in life and you could say something damaging but immaterial to the pursuit, loyalty seems to govern. But that’s not the case here.

      A Pastor, while not rising to the publicity of a Presidential candidate, does have a level of publicity and leadership of his own. Inevitably someone who sees the Pastor as a leader is going to press the Pastor on topics that Buttigieg has weighed in on. The Pastor, a leader, is of course obligated to respond.

      An argument could then be made that the Pastor, who was a Pastor BEFORE Buttigieg was prominent, had some sort of “primacy” in family loyalty than Buttigieg. But I don’t think that’s really a useful principle, and since it isn’t, it doesn’t undermine the Pastor’s commentary, which he would have inevitably been pressed to give.

      • Benny Hinn, a purveyor of the spirit of Antichrist, has made millions off of people looking for answers. Should family loyalty have prevented his nephew from speaking out a few weeks ago about Hinn’s conduct?

        • Hello there Michael, I hope you are very well.

          Since you mention it I looked into his brother Costi’s book: an exposition on Benny Hinn that is not flattering. I cannot stand Benny Hinn, let there be no mistake, but it is interesting to notice that Costi Hinn is, in a way, a competitor and has his own ministry. This would complicate his exposé-type book since, to all appearances, he has an interest in broadcasting a message that would take people away from his brother . . . and potentially direct them to his own ministry.

          It may interest you to read the review of the book on the Amazon page. It is the second one down from the top. I was interested in what the author (Kevin D. Johnson — just a reader I take it) said in his critique of Costi Hinn’s book. Perhaps it will interest you, too.

  2. He was very correct to bring forward his critique. There are a number of very good reasons why. One is that it is quite impossible for anyone to say, no matter what their religious orientation is, that a baby in the womb is not a living being, just as you and I are living beings. Simply on the basis of modern, ‘scientific’ knowledge, we know beyond any doubt at all that the baby has a conscious life. It seems to me to be impossible even for an absolute atheist biologist not to recognize that literally at conception that ‘life’ had begun. In just a short amount of time the being of a human being is there. This is impossible to deny.

    Pete Buttigieg said:

    [Pro-life people] hold everybody in line with this one piece of doctrine about abortion, which is obviously a tough issue for a lot of people to think through morally. Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. Even that is something that we can interpret differently. . . . No matter what you think about the cosmic question of how life begins, most Americans can get on board with the idea of, ‘I might draw the here. You might draw the line there.’ The most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision.

    It does not require a religious perspective, necessarily, to see the truth and the fact about the being-ness of an embryo in the womb. It is self-evident. It is true that most Pro-Life people are religious, and most active in the US appear to be Christian, but it is interesting to note that one can refer only to biology and physiology and logic to refute the idea that in a baby in the womb is not conscious life — is not life.

    Buttigieg can be refuted simply by being a sloppy thinker or a mischievous thinker who is playing in the arena of political obfuscations and double-talk.

    The issue is really if society and law will allow a woman to murder the life that is in her. It is reduced to that. If there is moral confusion or material to think through morally, it is only in that: Does a woman have the right to excise the life that is in her? But there is no ‘cosmic question’ — there is really no question at all — where life begins.

    The ‘most Americans’ he seems to be talking to, regretfully, are more properly people who have not ben taught to think rigorously. Had they been taught to reason more trenchantly they would not trick themselves to imagine there is some arbitrary line. They would see (it seems to me) that every aspect of the generative function is part-and-parcel of conception, gestation, birth and thus of life. A child can see this. And that the moral question is simply Should a given women, with that life inside her, have the right if she so chooses to cut it out and end that life.

    And there you have the problematic moral questions.

    • In our society, the concept that human life is valuable comes from Judaism (and by descent, Christianity). Most other cultures just do not value human life to the same extent. When Abraham took Isaac up the mountain, it wasn’t just a test of his faith, it was a statement by God that he doesn’t want human sacrifices. The great sin of the Israelites in the Old Testament is that they were worshipping other gods. Well, they weren’t just worshiping other gods, they were sacrificing their children (making them pass through the fire to Molech). Jesus caused controversy when he gave value to children (and others who were not valued by society). When I read the Bible, I get a sneaky suspicion that God didn’t even want the animal sacrifices , but those were just because we wanted some physical way to atone for our sins. What Buttigeig does is to flip this morality on its head. As a minister, Pastor Glezman knows that Jesus stated “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

      What he did was not unreasonable if Pastor Glezman truly believes what he preaches. That last quote from Jesus is a very hard one, but if Glezman truly believes it, I can’t fault what he did.

      • No. It comes from Christianity. Just like man was never a chimpanzee Christianity was never Judaism. They share a common ancestor but Judaism is not the faith of the Old Testament.

  3. This is a narrow case and ethics conflict, where true motive is the deciding factor.

    Betraying a family member is unethical. Not defending vulnerable human beings is also unethical. It’s a Zugzwang. Self-promotion at the expense of another is also unethical. One might resolve the first two adhoc using utilitarian balancing, but if the third is in play, then the whole thing is a unethical, regardless.

    To examine the situation using utilitarianism, let us examine a hypothetical. Pete Buttigieg is presuming to speak for Christians as a Christian. He is relying on his place within a devout family to have any credibility. This is itself would be a betrayal, if the majority of his family disagreed with his theology. This would create a duty to correct the record.

    To resolve the issue, the duty to correct must be balanced against the duty to the family member. The betrayal by the latter does not warrant a tit-for-tat response. Rather, the family must decide if the values presented by that member fundamentally misrepresent family in an untenable way.

    Given what is known, that Pete Buttigieg presumes to lecture Christians in a manner he would condemn any conservative politician for doing, it is not unlikely that his brother in law finds Buttigieg’s representation untenable. His congregation will ask him about his views, and he will have to answer honestly, contradicting his relative. This will get leaked, and the brother in law has a duty to control the message as best as possible. It may well be that the least unethical route forward is a public release contradicting Buttigieg.

  4. You can argue that Buttegiege,because of his national prominance, that it takes someone close to him to slap him down.

    His role as a brother in law is vastly different than George Conway. My very progressive sister in law has no more obligation to remain quiet to a public statement made by me than you or I do to her. The relationship is not arms length but it does not mean they must even be friends. Sure it might create some family friction but to suggest I would have a duty even to my progressive brother if he were campaigning for elected office is ludicrous as it would require me to sublimate my beliefs simply for family cohesion. I cannot demand a family member hold my beliefs and nor can they demand I subscribe to theirs. I can only work to persuade and my ability to persuade is diminished if I must remain silent out if deference to family. Our Thankksgivings are alway contentious.

    Conversely, a spouse does have a duty not to publically rebuke their husband or wife as they are far more intimate and share information between them. The trust must be maintained.

  5. I agree with Jack’s notion that familial connection tends to increase the weight of the comment when it comes to a public official (which more interesting than the Conways to me is the comment of Biden’s wife…).

    It would be interesting to see numbers on how true that notion is (and I’ll beg forgiveness in advance if there is supporting data).

    The other half of the argument is if Buttigieg is trying to lean on his family’s religious background to fool some of the people in to thinking there is one more arrow in left’s quiver with which to battle the religious right on the topic- “if both science AND the bible agree, well, it’s simply wrong to say abortion is immoral.”

    It boosts an emotional argument to draw a few more center left voters out for the election (“emotional” since any serious reading of religious manuscripts indicate life begins at conception).

    And I wouldn’t put it past Buttigieg to do that.

    If that’s the case, and I believe it is, having written what I have, then yes, it was correct to call him out.

    If you’re going to use your family background as argument from authority, and the family doesn’t agree, it should be challenged.

    I wish someone had challenged John McCain on his military service argument from authority (well, besides Trump, and in a more articulate way… ugh). Every primary challenge turned the hero song up to 11.

  6. Buttigieg and the entire cast of leftist candidates have every policy of consequence based on misrepresentation.

    Religion, economics, foreign, environmental, constitutional, and many other positions are based on an intentional misrepresentation of the facts in the hopes of duping the ill informed or less educated. This is truly an abuse of the democratic process.

    But hey , if they have their way, who needs representative government? They know what’s best for us. Just ask them.

  7. Why are we thinking anyone betrayed anyone.

    Betrayal requires a breach of a presumptive trust or agreement in a relationship. How does a presumptive trust between people unrelated except by marriage to siblings of a spouse get created? Many spouses of siblings may have never met or have not associated since the wedding of said sibling. To suggest any implicit covenant of faith and trust among the spouses of siblings could require that one have such a contract imposed upon them.

    • Agreed. There is no betrayal here. Just because the pastor’s sister married a jerk, he is not obligated to get silent about this ethical issue.

    • I agree. I don’t see a betrayal of familial trust. Does brother-in-law get a boost because Buttegieg is running for president? Sure. That doesn’t mean he should sit back and remain silent when that familial candidate makes a completely fatuous argument to support “choice” and the mother’s right to terminate a pregnancy, especially when you can stretch the right to “abort” to apply to 36 year olds (or in my case, an irascible 15 year old who is making us crazy – sheesh).

      jvb

  8. I am more concerned with the response to Buttigieg’s quote in general. The Bible is certainly open to interpretation. I welcome anyone to study it and find meaning in it. I may not agree with what is supposedly Buttigieg’s interpretation of when life begins (he did not specify, he only pointed at that multiple interpretations exist), but it’s not for me to judge who is correct and lives like a “true” Christian. It is disconcerting and disappointing when someone uses the Bible to defend their pro-choice view, but what we should do is explain why we believe the Bible only supports a pro-life view, and argue in good faith. I was not particularly offended by Buttigieg’s words; similar points have been made to me by pro-life Christians for decades. I don’t understand why many chose to twist what he said into something macabre. I too have grown tired of his quest to shame conservative Christians, but let’s not sink to his level.

    This is also why I believe Glezman’s actions were not ethical. Even from a pastor’s viewpoint, he did not add any substance to the discussion, merely echoing generic talking points. Both he and the publication that welcomed him seemed to only be interested in receiving attention and possible income, at the expense of Buttigieg.

    • The Bible is certainly open to interpretation. I welcome anyone to study it and find meaning in it. I may not agree with what is supposedly Buttigieg’s interpretation of when life begins (he did not specify, he only pointed at that multiple interpretations exist), but it’s not for me to judge who is correct and lives like a “true” Christian.

      To say that *the Bible* is open to interpretation is certainly true. Yet there is a general base of decided and agreed-upon values about which and around which there is hardly disagreement. Therefore, to imply that in regard to this specific issue that there is any valid Christian or Biblical argument for the murder of embryonic children by the mother carrying that child … would seem to me to be flatly false.

      It is fallacious to assert that there is some ‘point’ at which a soul enters the embryonic body. It is true that I have been convinced by the Catholic theological arguments (as is likely obvious) and that I have no choice but to hold in special reverence (one might say) every part and aspect of reproduction. There is no point that is not related to the eventual creation of a child. Therefore, from the most thorough Christian perspective, every aspect of human sexuality is ‘of a piece’. You cannot disconnect any part. Or, to put it another way, you certainly can, but you wind up in fallacious and problematic logical territories.

      Buttigieg’s reference to ‘multiple points’ was and is insincere. And yes it does take my assessment, my interpretation, and my judgment to make that statement. He is engaged in essential lies, and those lies should be exposed.

      It is disconcerting and disappointing when someone uses the Bible to defend their pro-choice view, but what we should do is explain why we believe the Bible only supports a pro-life view, and argue in good faith. I was not particularly offended by Buttigieg’s words; similar points have been made to me by pro-life Christians for decades. I don’t understand why many chose to twist what he said into something macabre. I too have grown tired of his quest to shame conservative Christians, but let’s not sink to his level.

      I am interested by what you say and I am going to take a position against it (on some levels). Please don’t be offended.

      You do not have to ‘twist’ Buttigieg’s words. They are themselves twisted. You only have to discern that they are twisted, illogical, distorting, confusing and sophistical. It is not that people have twisted what he said into something ‘macrabre’ it is that he himself is engaged in macabre distortions. And anyone who thinks in such terms is engaged in macabre thinking that has very consequential ramifications.

      You do not have to advocate for why the Bible and the entire hermeneutical structure of Christian theology ‘supports’ embryonic life and opposes, on principle, the excision of it. It is foundational to a Christian metaphysics. Its is inarguably so. There is no Pro-Choice position that could be squared — given any ‘twisting’ and sophistry — with essential Christian metaphysics and doctrine.

      If you were not *offended* by Buttigieg’s words, does that mean that you were inured to them? Because — excuse the bold way of putting this — you should have been offended. If offense is valid in relation to anything at all, this might be the crucial point.

      This is also why I believe Glezman’s actions were not ethical. Even from a pastor’s viewpoint, he did not add any substance to the discussion, merely echoing generic talking points. Both he and the publication that welcomed him seemed to only be interested in receiving attention and possible income, at the expense of Buttigieg.

      It may be that Glezman was ethically compromised. How can I ultimately know? It may be that there is some personal or professional interest involved. How will I ever be able to know this, or the amount? But the essential fact here has to do with either condoning or not condoning the killing of embryonic children. It is an either-or, a yes/no question.

      … and finally: if definitely IS for you to judge who is and who is not living like a ‘true Christian’, and that is definitely true if you defined yourself as a Christian.

      Judgment in Christian terms (as a negative assessment) is when a person condemns another for a sin or an omission, assuming the role of God. If a person shows contrition — say for theft or murder — you have no right to condemn them and to judge them. But you are required to assert a moral and ethical truth when it has to do with consequential matters. Not to do so … is sinful in Christian terms.

      • (Note that I could make similar kinds of arguments and arrive at similar midrashim strictly within Judaic principles. The arguments would be more bumpy, more convoluted, more extensive perhaps, and in a sense more complex and demanding, but they’d wind up the same).

      • I am going to agree with most of Alizia’s points here. Catholic teaching on the issue is misunderstood by the community at large. Judaism talks about “quickening”, means that is when the soul is present at about 4 to 6 weeks of a pregnancy; Catholic doctrine describes it as “ensoulment” but Catholic doctrine does not describe when ensoulment occurs. Catholic doctrine says, “we don’t know when it happens so let’s be careful and protect the entire term of the pregnancy.” Buttegieg has to know this; he is simply echoing the line that it is a women’s choice and we should stay out of it.

        Buttegieg said this:

        “Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. . . ‘I might draw the [line] here. You might draw the line there.’ The most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision.” That is pretty open-ended and can be construed that a mother can terminate a pregnancy at any time, for any reason, even to the point of post-birth. His comment, though, was sloppy and inarticulate, probably by design.

        jvb

          • Okay, excise “probably” and insert “completely”. Buttegieg really thinks he has a shot at being the candidate, so he needs to weasely ways of weaseling his way out of weaselingly weasely situations. I can hear it now:

            Reporter: “Candidate Mayor Pete: about that ‘breath’ line on that abortion thingy. Do you mean a literal ‘breath’ or were you speaking figuratively?”

            Candidate Mayor Pete: “Well, you know, that is a complicated issue and everyone has differing opinions about it. Here is what I believe to my last breath: Everyone has really deep convictions about the issue and we as a society must respect everyone’s deeply held beliefs. So, to my dying breath, I may not agree with you but I will fight to my last breath, defending your right to have your own opinions, no matter how much I believe to my last breath that you are wrong. Can we all just agree to disagree? Can’t we all just get along?”

            Reporter: “Whoa. That took my breath away.”

            Candidate Mayor Pete: “Oh, really? Do you like baby’s breath in flower arrangements?”

            jvb

  9. As a pastor, Pastor Ryan Glezman has an obligation to attempt to resolve his conflict with his brother-in-law in a way that respects Biblical teachings. (If he doesn’t respect the wisdom of the Bible, he’s probably in the wrong line of work…)

    Fortunately, the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, has some straightforward instruction for dealing with such conflicts. Since both profess to be believing Christians, they are “brothers”, and Matthew’s Gospel gives clear direction:

    Verses 15-17:
    15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
    16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
    17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Pastor Glezman has expressed his concern that Pete Buttigieg’s frequent forays into Biblical interpretation pose a risk of leading others astray. He didn’t go public over this right away: Mayor Buttigieg has been bloviating about what he thinks Christians should do for quite some time now. Based on that, I’d guess that the pastor has already attempted to privately address the issue with his brother-in-law, and has now moved to treating him as if he were “a pagan or a tax collector”.

    Since Chapter 18 gives dire warnings to us all not to cause others to stumble in their faith, Pastor Glezman has ample cause for his concern. Pete Buttigieg’s religious pronouncements do pose a risk of misleading others.

    The chapter also emphasizes the vital importance of practicing forgiveness and grace when we deal with others. Now, some people think that means that Christians need to let bad actors continue to cause problems, “turning the other cheek” and “going the extra mile”. That is only part of the truth. Our obligation as Christians includes helping bad actors to understand whatever they’re doing wrong and repent of doing it. We’re not doing a bad actor any favors if our compliance leads him to continue screwing up. We need to approach the problem with love for the bad actor, but we may also cause the bad actor significant heartburn if that’s what it takes to deal with their behavior.

    • I don’t think Mayor Pete’s biblical interpretation of abortion constitutes a sin. It does constitute an uninformed opinion on the matter. The pastor is merely correcting the incorrect assertions.

    • I agree. The proverb, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Unfortunately has been shortened and misinterpreted. Whether the covenant of faith or those of soldiers, there is a greater allegiance than just getting along with family.

      I chose the obligation to first address the issue with Mayor Pete. Glezman’s position is put to further scrutiny by congregants and the public due to Mayor Pete’s making pronouncements for all Christians. I think he left with little option than to speak publicly.

  10. He who is silent is understood to consent. As a pastor, Mayor Pete’s brother-in-law has an obligation to speak up if he believes Pete is distorting scripture for political points.

  11. I think, ultimately, it is Glezman who is being the hypocrite.

    The Golden Rule is a primary ethics waypoint — almost every ethical position can be traced directly back to the Golden Rule, and it is manifestly Biblical.

    When you violate not only that, but the duty of loyalty to family, there has to be a Utilitarian reason that overcomes two of the most important ethical considerations there are.

    Buttigieg is definitely misrepresenting the Bible, and is doing so precisely for the reasons Glezman explains. But are there no other pastors in Christiandom who can explain this other than Glezman? I think there are.

    Glezman is trading on his familial relationship, and that automatically makes his justification a very high bar. Some might argue defense of religion is the very highest bar, and I might agree if Christianity was crying out for a person with moral authority to denounce Buttigeig’s positions.

    I don’t think that’s the case, and I think Glezman, who may have good intentions, threw ethics out the window here. If the media had sought him out and asked him, as a pastor, if he subscribed to his brother’s theological interpretations, it would’ve been quite acceptable for him to have said no, and explained himself. For him to come forth suggests that he is trying to trade on his brother’s fame to make his point and, perhaps, raise his own profile. I can’t see that as an ethical decision, given the other ethical considerations such as the duty of loyalty to one’s family and the Golden Rule.

    Also, his assumption is that Christians are so stupid they might be fooled by his brother’s nonsense. Perhaps he’s right, but he should have a little faith.

    • Let’s say, purely for the sake of argument, that George W. Bush publicly said “white people who marry outside their race are race traitors”. Obviously, he didn’t say this. Obviously, he doesn’t believe it. I’m using that as an example because his brother, Jeb, is married to Columba Garnica Gallo, a Mexican-American woman, and that parallels what we’re seeing here.

      In this rhetorical situation, where George is indirectly calling his brother a traitor to his race, is Jeb ethically estopped from defending himself? I mean, I don’t think Americans would support a person who said that, I think there would be plenty of people who would say exactly all the right and necessary words in response, but I don’t know if any of them say those words with quite as much weight as Jeb could, and it seems right that he should say them.

      • Let’s say, purely for the sake of argument, that George W. Bush publicly said “white people who marry outside their race are race traitors”. Obviously, he didn’t say this. Obviously, he doesn’t believe it. I’m using that as an example because his brother, Jeb, is married to Columba Garnica Gallo, a Mexican-American woman, and that parallels what we’re seeing here.

        I don’t find any parallel here, it is an extreme example that makes a bad comparison.

        Buttigeig is not taking the position that Christians are “traitors” or in any way bad for not agreeing with him — rather, he is trying to defend an indefensible Biblical position by trying to read something extra into the scriptures.

        Glezman would be perfectly right to address this issue with his flock — after all, they look to him directly to provide leadership on moral issues like abortion. But it is unnecessary and, in my view, unethical for him to trade on his brother-in-law’s notoriety for the authority to make pronouncements to those who are not his flock, and who don’t know him from a load of coal.

        In your hypothetical, both people are nationally known politicians who are required by the politics of this time to make pronouncements when one family member extols a virulently racist position. Jeb would not have to trade on his brother’s notoriety — he has his own. And his position as a former lawmaker places his views as a legitimate matter for public debate. Plus, he wouldn’t have to seek out the media to denounce his brother, they would trip all over themselves trying to get to him.

        Almost none of this was true with Glezman.

    • I think I come down in the same place, Glenn. The fact is, the pastor’s brother is married to Pete. This kind of public attack cannot help but place tensions on the connective tissue that holds families together. And I do doubt the motives. Obviously the decision to enter a gay marriage didn’t go over unanimously well in the pastor’s family, and some lingering anger and resentment may well have fed the decision to go public with a family spat. I had a total asshole as a brother-in-law, and one that had obvious psychological issues that I had unique insight on thanks to discussions with my sister and my observations of him at family gatherings. If he had run for office, however, I would have kept my mouth shut out of respect for the family and my sister—certainly not him. Luckily he’s an ex-brother-in-law, but still—my wonderful niece and nephew call him dad. I’m sure there are others, many others, who could enlighten the public about him if he was a candidate.

      • I think I come down in the same place, Glenn. The fact is, the pastor’s brother is married to Pete. This kind of public attack cannot help but place tensions on the connective tissue that holds families together. And I do doubt the motives. Obviously the decision to enter a gay marriage didn’t go over unanimously well in the pastor’s family, and some lingering anger and resentment may well have fed the decision to go public with a family spat.

        So, as an alternative, let us suppose that the pastor was of the school that ’embraced’ homosexual marriage and had expressed this from the start. If that had been the case, then he would have had the proper ground to be able to come out — allow me to put it dramatically — against the murder of embryonic children?

        There are definitely issues which will place ‘tension’ on the connective tissues in families. There are differences of opinion that will make family relations impossible. Since that is a fact, and since this cannot be avoided, one would have to accept that and just keep one’s focus on the core ethical & moral questions, wouldn’t one?

        There will come a point — there is a point now coming — where the philosophical and perceptual and hermeneutical differences between people will lead to social schism. When that happens society is disrupted and then, usually, a reorganization takes place, often after the conflict has spend itself.

        It looks to me as if this is the situation we are facing now.

        Therefore, maybe it is better to get things out in the open come what may.

        In the end — and in relation to this particular issue — the fact of millions and millions of embryonic child killings may be of such magnitude that it trumps other considerations? Family, friendship . . .

      • Exactly where does the familial duty to keep one’s mouth shut stop. Does it extend to cousins thrice removed?

        I have already stated here I was publically rebuked on Facebook by my college professor brother who suggested I was espousing Nazi ideas because I offerred a legitimate solution that allowed asylum seekers to be free of detention but whose movements would be geographically restricted by having the wait for their hearing on one of the Hawaiian Islands. I will never demand that he not express himself but I can choose to never let him grace my path again. Attempting to maintain familial harmony works both ways. For Mayor Pete and others they feel that they alone determine who must not upset family harmony and it will not be them.

        Progressives use the rules of civil society as weapons to bludgeon all opposition into silence.

        • It depends on the family, right? The balance is “damage to the family long-term and short-term” vs utility to society. Should Kennedy clan members have revealed the ugly truth about JFK during the 1960 election?

    • Buttigieg is definitely misrepresenting the Bible, and is doing so precisely for the reasons Glezman explains. But are there no other pastors in Christendom who can explain this other than Glezman? I think there are.

      Glezman is trading on his familial relationship, and that automatically makes his justification a very high bar. Some might argue defense of religion is the very highest bar, and I might agree if Christianity was crying out for a person with moral authority to denounce Buttigeig’s positions.

      I am interested in the assertion of ‘misinterpreting the Bible’.

      One has to start from the understanding that interpretation is required. Meaning, little or hardly anything is ‘self-evident’ when it comes to how the Bible is used as a base for ethical choices.In Biblical interpretation — hermeneutics — from the earliest days was intimately bound-up with the notion of the intervention of ‘the Holy Spirit’. Meaning that as serious people pondered the questions from their position within faith that this ‘spirit’ would help them to make the right choices; to come to the right understanding. Whether one believes that or not — and I suggest that the majority of persons do not any longer believe in such a thing and that it is impossible for them to do so — nevertheless what we refer to as Christian theology, and indeed the base of our perceptual system of valuation, came about through these hermeneutical processes.

      Seen from a certain perspective, what we call ‘Christianity’ is an entity that is a series of fractures within the interpretive process. Consider for example the Reformation . . . and the Counter-Reformation. Who hold the ‘ultimate interpretive authority’? Therefore, we operate out of a fractured system.

      It would be more fair and honest to say that Buttigieg is not actually doing interpretation of any sort (i.e. hermeneutics). And if this one example is taken as an indicator of his theological method and relationship, it can simply be dismissed as absurd.

      If he is doing anything at all he is — as Benjamin pointed out — carrying on in pure sophistries. And what is notable, from where I sit, is that any and every politician in this fractured present must necessarily become a liar and a sophist in order to vie of power and to be accepted into the world of Power Machinations. And this is an issue fundamental to Christianity. Why? Because it is a religion that establishes itself in contradiction to ‘the world’. In order to be a ‘successful Christian’ one has to avoid the traps that are inevitable within the structures of ‘the world’. That is one reason why there is such a thing as ‘renunciation’. These with no ‘ownership interest’ are the ones who have a position to chasten those who do. And those who seek ‘worldly power’, as the admonition states, gain the world which losing their soul.

      I likely do not have to draw to your attention that Nietzschean philosophy, insofar as it can be called a philosophy, speaks from out of the contradictions of this essential problem. And we are fully, if not absolutely, stuck within Nietzschean problems. We have no idea how to decide things. Our ethics in in extreme peril and confusion. Things careen toward disaster and the ‘hysterical souls’ just act up more and more.

      The purpose of a sophist, and of sophistry, if my understanding is correct is to obscure the ‘machinations of power’. I think that this would fit with Platonic notions. People lie for reasons, and those reasons are usually ones of self-interest. (I did not bother to read the ‘reasons’ Glezman may have offered to counter Buttigieg’s fallacious assertions, though perhaps I might).

      That is I guess why I think there is good sense in avoiding the theological questions when attempting to assign value around the issue of a woman’s pregnancy. At conception the life has begun. The ‘ethical question’ is if a given woman, for whatever reason, has the right or has not the right to remove that life from within her. There are dozens if not hundreds of other ethical questions that revolve around that question, but the essence — the central point — is there.

  12. I just want to call attention to how that Mayor Pete’s schtick is to call Christians hypocrites for not following his interpretation of a book *very* open to multiple interpretations, and how that plays in here. I think that changes the math here a little because apparently his brother-in-law is one of those Christians, Pete almost certainly had to know it, and so he was functionally publicly calling out members of his family. Does the inertial barrier to torpedoing family prospects on high office extend to situations where they’re indirectly calling you out?

    • I think attention to Pete’s brother-in-law surfaced when his brother-in-law came out in defense of his family after Chasten reported on how the family reacted to his coming out. Rhyan Glezman didn’t agree with Chasten’s caricature and said so. That’s family loyalty.

      But it also put Rhyan on the media radar for finding controversy.

    • I am not even convinced the brother-in-law did anything unethical. Why is this “familial bond” so sacred that we can’t criticize our family members in public office? Does it elevate the pastor’s remarks above the average citizen? Maybe. Think of the response the pastor brother-in-law supported what Buttegieg said. He would paraded across the media landscape as an ethical human being. Why is any different from a prominent member of the clergy (be it Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, . . .) who takes issue with Buttegieg’s simplistic rationalization?

      jvb

  13. It looks like this isn’t the first time Rhyan Glezman has commented on his brother or on Pete Buttigieg. And it increasingly looks like the media has actively sought out his opinion *knowing* it is contrary to Pete. But is the man, himself a leader of a community centered around ideas, obligated to keep quiet?

    I don’t see it.

  14. 1. With family, you either support them or shut up except in the unlikely event you have secret knowledge of national importance. Impossible in this case since Mayor Pete won’t win the primary.
    2. In a question of Biblical interpretation, any informed opinion will do. A relative is not required.
    3. The pastor should know the press is only interested in him because he is a relative. He should know better than allow himself to be played by them.
    All-round big ethics fail!

  15. The term “brother-in-law” feels like a really artificial usage in this case. I expected him be the husband of Buttigieg’s sister, but it turns out he’s the brother of Buttigieg’s husband. When old understandings of family have been quite radically altered in this manner, I don’t think we can presume that ancient notions of familial loyalty are applicable to culturally and legally innovative relationships.

    • I wonder. If same sex marriage is the same as, and identical to, opposite sex marriage, then why do we need new nomenclature? My wife’s brothers are my brother-in-law; why would my relation to them change if my fetching and long-suffering wife were to be a man*?

      jvb

      *Ed. Note: Man, that was a weird sentence.

      • What constitutes marriage in law has changed, thought the nomenclature for relationships established by marriage hasn’t. That language has ingrained assumptions developed over the course of millennia of human culture and civilization. Using the same nomenclature papers over the radical change which has occurred, which is the denial that marriage can only be between persons of opposite biological sex. Can we really presume that the old notions of familial obligation derived from this ancient understanding of marriage apply when the biological sex has been made irrelevant?

        • I don’t disagree. The Left is promoting the idea that marriage is simply an archaic residue of the dreaded patriarchy. In fact, the Left tells us that same-sex couples are more virtuous; they marry for real reasons like love and companionship, whereas opposite couples marry so that men can dominate women, keep the barefoot and pregnant, and impose their will on them whenever the Schlitz Malt Liquor commands them to seek physical gratification by the body of their less-than equals.

          jvb

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