In Defense of Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence has been raked over the coals in recent weeks and months. He and his family have been the target of criticism, vitriol, and hate.
Some of it has come from random internet blogs or “celebrities” who might otherwise be ignored, except their acrimony was then repeated by the media as “news” — in some cases, it was seemingly promoted by the media.
Pence was attacked not because of a policy decision, a political position, or any action that was illegal or unethical.
Mike Pence has been attacked simply because he’s a Christian.
Notably, at no point did those same media organizations remotely defend Pence’s human rights, and rights under the US Constitution, that protect his ability to believe and do the things so vilely attacked.
By all accounts, Mike Pence is a good and honorable man — though that’s not a narrative you’ll find in most mainstream press articles. Rather, his virtues have been turned against him as if they were reprobate, as when, for example, he honored his vows to his wife by not dining alone with another woman.
What kind of world do we live in when it is socially acceptable for a man to decide he is a woman and marry a woman who has decided she’s a man — and it’s not socially acceptable to decline to spend time alone with a woman who is not one’s wife?
That used to be known as common decency, and the sign of an honorable man wisely guarding his own welfare, that of his wife, and that of his guest.
Further, when the critics look to mock President Trump’s morality and the alleged Christian ambivalence toward it, they’ll often compare him to another politician they characterize as the honorable husband of one wife and dedicated father — that is, former President Obama. Somehow, they manage to ignore Vice President Pence, which conveniently enables them to mock Trump without complimenting Pence.
Thus, the same groups who mock Christians for their political support of Donald Trump, who they characterize as not–Christian, also mock Mike Pence for being Christian. It would seem “Christian” is the wrong answer to every question.
Where is the tolerance? Where is the maturity of character to express disagreement with an idea or position but acknowledge the right of the other person to hold those positions and ideas?
How about Lady Gaga?
“To Mike Pence, who thinks it’s acceptable that his wife work at a school that bans LGBTQ,” she said. “You are wrong.”
“You say we should not discriminate against Christianity — you are the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian,” she said. “I am a Christian woman and what I do know about Christianity is that we bear no prejudice and everybody is welcome.”
Actually, Lady (or is it Gaga?), he isn’t wrong. You may not agree with him, and that is your freedom. You are even free to criticize him. And you’re also free to look like a complete idiot, as you just did.
Lady Gaga claims to be a Christian. She then claims to be a better Christian than someone else, and then judges other Christians for allegedly judging others.
And if she “bear[s] no prejudice and everybody is welcome,” why does she bear prejudice against Mike Pence and not welcome him?
She really didn’t think that through. Then again, few who are out to bash those with Christian beliefs do. (And note she wasn’t mocked for mischaracterizing Christianity as “bear[ing] no prejudice and everybody is welcome,” which isn’t a Christian tenet. She could probably get away with quoting Two Corinthians.)
Mario Cuomo on CNN similarly claimed to be a Christian and yet belittled the “exclusion” of the Pences. Cuomo — a self-proclaimed Christian — doesn’t seem to realize his own Christianity is, by its very definition, an exclusive faith. There is only One way. That’s not exactly “inclusive.”
Where is the belief that American citizens should “live and let live,” allowing others to exercise their individual freedoms up to the point they may infringe on others? Mike Pence’s decisions to honor his wife or his wife’s decision to teach at a Christian school “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg” — yet it has the anti-Christian side of America up in arms.
How about Clay Cane, also on CNN and randomly trying to bring the US military into it:
This [school policy] language is disgusting and insults millions of taxpaying American citizens, many who have served their country. That it is acceptable to the wife of the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency should horrify and alarm all Americans.
To translate: Language consistent with Christianity is “disgusting” and “insult[ing]” to millions. (Taxpayers? It’s a private school. How is that relevant?) Thus, having a spouse with Christian beliefs is disqualifying for public office.
Does that sound about right, Clay?
He does go on to say they have a “right” to their beliefs — but he never squares that with his declaration that it is simultaneously “alarm[ing]” and “horrify[ing]” for one so close to the presidency. He seems to be saying the Pences have their “rights,” but only outside of public office.
In what universe do “tolerant progressives” not rise to defend liberty?
Where is the outrage against those who would castigate an American citizen only because of his Christian faith — as there would be if he was berated for being Jewish or non-white?
Even the ACLU — which purports to support civil liberties — attacked the Pences for exercising their human liberties.
And remember, despite all the criticism and derision, neither Mike Pence nor his wife have done anything wrong. They have attacked no one. They have mistreated no one. They are being attacked simply for “who they are” and what they believe.
And it seems some part of society — and a large part of the media machine — is happy to continue those attacks.
Mike Pence is a Christian, and he lives his life consistent with his Christian beliefs. There is nothing more American than him doing that as he serves in public office — just as is the case for Americans of any other religion or non-religion.
Disagree if you want, and criticize if you must. But when you call for discrimination against him and his family and declare him unfit for public office because of his religious beliefs, you become a picture of the very bigotry you would pretend to oppose — bigotry that one day may return to you.
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been — and may someday be again — a Jew, or a Quaker, or a Unitarian, or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today, I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped apart at a time of great national peril.
– Senator John F. Kennedy, 12 September 1960