Virginia Pastor E.W. Jackson Says Pete Buttigieg Would Turn America Into a 'Homocracy'

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg found himself in the crosshairs of a firebrand pastor this week, who claimed the openly-gay politician would crack down on Christianity if elected in 2020, and that his LGBTQ supporters wanted to turn America into a "homocracy."

Bishop E.W. Jackson, a failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, made the comments on Tuesday during a segment on his radio broadcast, which is known as "The Awakening."

He said: "If someone like Buttigieg were to get elected… we would be on the defensive. There is no question about it. I have no doubt that somebody like that would go to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] and say 'we got to crack down on these networks and radio stations where people are talking'—like I am talking right now—'we can't have that.'"

Referencing Buttigieg, Jackson earlier claimed a "normal man" would be "disgusted by the idea of two men kissing each other on the mouth" and fumed against political correctness.

The pastor continued: "I am sure we would have laws saying that you have to refer to transgender people as 'they' and 'them,' can't refer to them as 'he' or 'she.'

"Look, I am sure we would probably have laws that say you can't even suggest in a public setting that you believe what the Bible says about homosexuality.

"I know that as much as these LGBT activists say that I want a theocracy, which I don't because I don't want to punish them or put them in jail for what they are doing, I want to see them converted. But I guarantee they would love to see you or me punished or put in jail. You know what, we don't want a theocracy, but I guarantee you, they want a homocracy."

After a brief pause, he added: "Yeah, they want a homocracy, in which they get to dictate to everybody what you can and cannot say."

He was responding to a guest comment claiming Buttigieg, who is hoping to become the primary candidate for the Democratic Party, would be running on an "LGBT agenda." The segment was first highlighted by Right Wing Watch.

Buttigieg did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The popular South Bend mayor hit the headlines this week due to an apparent polling surge and his headline-grabbing response to the devastating fire at Notre Dame. Buttigieg formally announced that he would be running for the president of the United States last Sunday.

This week, he told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about his experience coming out as gay at the age of 33—after serving in the military, being deployed in Afghanistan and elected in Indiana. He told the host that he previously assumed the roles were "incompatible" with his sexuality.

"I realized that you only get to be one person," Buttigieg said. "You don't know how long you have on this Earth. And by the time I came back [from military deployment] I realized I gotta' do something." He was re-elected as mayor in 2015 with close to 80 percent of the vote.

On Tuesday, at a campaign rally in Iowa, he was forced to respond to a protester who heckled him about Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities mentioned in the Christian Bible.

"The good news is the condition of my soul is in the hands of God, but the Iowa caucuses are up to you," Buttigieg said in response to the interruption.

While difficult to quantify with certainty, an Emerson poll suggested this week that Buttigieg has been rising in the polls.

Polls suggested he is currently sitting behind Senator Bernie Sanders (29%) and former vice president Joe Biden (24%), with around 9%. "It looks like Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters' imagination," said company director Spencer Kimball.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Chasten Glezman (L) joins his husband South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on stage after Buttigieg announced that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination for president during a rally in the old Studebaker car factory on April 14, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Scott Olson/Getty Images