Before he claimed highways were racist and took two months off for paternity leave without anyone knowing he was gone, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was known as “Mayor Pete,” an effort to play up his small town political roots as the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
As a 2020 presidential candidate, however, “Mayor Pete” became “Pastor Pete,” as he sought to use religion to shame conservatives for their views on Donald Trump generally, the LGBTQ agenda, and same-sex marriages, such as his own.
As The New York Times reported in January 2020, “More than most of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Buttigieg has put religion at the center of his presidential campaign, seeing it as an opportunity to speak to a broad swath of the electorate, both inside and outside the Democratic Party.”
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Yet “Pastor Pete” has apparently allowed his agency to turn on the author of Christianity.
According to Fox News, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, which is under the jurisdiction of the Maritime Administration, a branch of Buttigieg’s department, has covered up a painting of Jesus Christ walking on the water.
“Christ on the Water,” a World War II-era painting, depicts Jesus with His arms outstretched in front of a lifeboat filled with merchant sailors lost at sea during the war. The painting has hung at the academy for 75 years.
But in January, according to CNSNews.com, academy administrators covered it up to appease 18 people who objected to it. Fox News reported that was done “to create a ‘welcoming environment.’”
As of Monday, however, 4,444 midshipmen, alumni and supporters of the Merchant Marine Academy have signed a Change-org petition to take down the shroud. They also want a plaque posted to explain its significance.
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Among the advocates for that is Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.
In a letter to Buttigieg, Banks wrote, “The piece, titled ‘Christ on the Water,’ was designated a heritage asset by the Maritime Administration and has significant historical value.”
“The painting depicts an image of Jesus and merchant seamen adrift in a lifeboat during World War II. Between 1939 and 1945, 9,521 merchant mariners lost their lives — a higher number than those killed in any military branch, according to the National World War II Museum,” he added.
“This painting has conveyed hope and inspiration to nearly every class of midshipmen to come through the Academy.” He also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that such displays do not violate the Constitution.
Speaking of the petition, Banks added in the letter to Buttigieg, “I support their request and believe there is ample evidence that previously established legal precedent negates the ‘constitutional concerns’ of an anti-Christian activist who is so extreme that he has described the Wreaths Across America program as ‘the Annual Government Sanctioned Desecration of Non-Christian Veterans.’”
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Fox News noted that just before academy administrators covered up Christ, they dedicated an LGBTQ display. The students must pass by this monument to “diversity, equity and inclusion,” even as the Jesus artwork is masked.
In a tweet on Monday highlighting the Fox News story of the controversy, Banks said, “The Christ on the Water painting is a historic piece that has provided hope and inspiration to nearly every class of midshipmen to come through the Academy.”
“This is just the latest example of the Left’s woke agenda. We must fight back!”
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