The mayor of South Bend, Indiana and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO’-tuh-juhj) has led an interesting life. After he graduated from Harvard College, he received a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship from Pembroke College, Oxford in England in 2007. In 2018, only 32 U.S. students received this coveted scholarship. Buttigieg also served as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve and was stationed in the Afghanistan War, but this weekend may have been just as memorable.
President Jimmy Carter, 94, invited the candidate, 37. and his husband Chasten Gleezman to his Sunday School class in South Georgia. The couple had lunch at the Carter home in Plains, Georgia after visiting the president’s Marantha Baptist Church. Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was there, too. Buttigieg has an easy relationship with his spiritual life.
The Buttigieg presidential campaign released a statement, according to ABC News, that read:
‘They enjoyed a conversation about topics ranging from faith to the rigors of the campaign trail.’
He has been mayor of South Bend since 2012, and this was what he had to say about Carter:
‘I was humbled to meet with President Carter in Plains, Georgia today. He is a true public servant and America is blessed for his continuing leadership.’
Carter met Buttigieg when he was working on a Habitat for Humanity project in Indiana, the Associated Press (AP) reported. The two men both worked on a housing project together. The president said that two senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), had visited his class, too.
Before the president arrived, a number of the class members welcomed Buttigieg and took pictures with him until President Carter came into the sanctuary and prepared to lead the Sunday School class. Buttigieg’s religion has been an important part of his life, whereas Donald Trump has a difficult history with his. When POTUS spoke to students in a religious college, he read “Corinthian II” as “Corinthians Two” rather than “Second Corinthians,” which was proper.
During Sunday School, President Carter asked the candidate to read from the Bible. Buttigieg has spoken about his Christian faith and how it has made a difference in his life. Vice President Mike Pence has said that the candidate had been critical of the VP’s religion. However, Buttigieg said, according to Fox News:
‘I’m not critical of his faith, I’m critical of bad policies.’
Chasten had difficulties coming out to his family. He told The Washington Post:
‘I remember my mom crying and the first thing she asked me was if I was sick. I think she meant, like, did I have AIDS?’
Gleezman has been an important part of Buttigieg’s campaign, working as both a spokesperson and an advisor. The two men have done interviews and campaign events together. They were also featured on a recent TIME magazine cover. The youngest presidential candidate said that his marriage with Gleezman was a major positive influence in his life.
Buttigieg was the first openly gay major candidate for the presidency. He said that he did not want to be gay, but after serving in Afghanistan he decided that life was too short to deny who he was. When hecklers came to his rallies, he told them to take it up with his creator.
Gleezman’s parents have become comfortable with him being gay and came to his wedding last year. However, he said his brothers “never got over it.”
Other notable Rhodes scholars included: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, President Bill Clinton, and another 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker.