A Few Brief Words on Behalf of Karen Pence

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Some might wonder why I am not writing about Martin Luther King today. It is actually one of my initial forays into intersectionality.

I do need to grant at the outset that Karen Pence has done a great deal to bring on the enmity that is currently being aimed at her. After all, she has a husband who loves her and is faithful to her, and who will not put himself into situations that are potentially compromising. Not only does she have a husband like this, but they have had the effrontery to hold to these “devoted-to-one-woman” standards throughout the entire course of the #MeToo era, which threw hurtful shade on our leading lechers who wanted to lecture us all about the necessity of moral probity. And this is not to mention the women who can’t remember whose bed they were in a month and a half ago, as they were trying to act offended and appalled by the behavior of their men.

It turns out that the sexual revolution, like all revolutions, devours its own. But the Pences, because of their consistent personal standards, have been for the most part indigestible. That’s bound to irritate all kinds of notable and important people.  

The Scandal of Elementary Art:

So the most recent ruckus started the other day when it was revealed that Karen Pence is teaching an art class at a Christian school that does not permit all the de rigueur LGBTQ+ shenanigans. All teachers must agree to abide by the school’s code of conduct, which Karen Pence has agreed to do, and among other things it follows that the school will have no LGBTQ+ faculty or students. Sounds like yet one more moral atrocity, right?

So Twitter went nuts, as might be expected.

#Pencewife must resign from teaching at her school or #Pence must resign as VP. There is no justice for her actions!!!!!

#Pence What kind of @VP makes it clear thru the #SecondLady’s employment that a large bloc of #Americans & allies who don’t believe in treating their #kids as a disease if they feel they may be #LGBTQ aren’t entitled to #education or #art? #ExposeChristianSchools#Evangelicals

Does @VP know how deeply offensive it is to us that 2nd lady is so prejudiced, insensitive and disrespectful of American values that she took a job at a school that discriminates against #LGBTQ students, employees & families? #Pence is offensive!

The Indignation Mounted:

And then there was another thing that went and happened. A gent named Clay Cane, a leader among the indignati, wrote a piece for CNN called “Karen and Mike Pence’s astonishing moral hypocrisy.” I will say something about the hypocrisy charge a bit later on, but we should begin by noting the high wickedness that the Second Lady has inexplicably fallen into.

“Like a real-life setting for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” Cane sobbed, “Immanuel Christian School insists applicants initial a pledge to ‘live a personal life of moral purity.’”

And read on, oh jaded traveler. These are indeed times that vex the souls of the righteous. Cane continues his lament over the decadence of our times. O tempora! O mores!

Listen to what else the pledge says: “I understand that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive covenant union as delineated in Scripture.” It asserts that God intended sexual acts only between “a man and a woman who are married to each other.” It identifies “moral misconduct” that would disqualify employees as premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex, homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female.’

This 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.

Yes, you have read correctly. The second highest office in our land has somehow come to be occupied by a conscientious and a moral man. Not only so, but he is also married to a conscientious and moral woman, one who shares his commitment to decency. Nobody is quite sure how this happened, but the matter is being looked into, and is being treated with the full seriousness that it deserves. When the matter has been fully investigated, we promise that all the people responsible will be sacked. Unless it turns out that the people responsible are the electorate, in which case the people responsible will have to be reeducated in a firm but humane way.

The Pences have grievously offended, and this is particularly true of Karen. She is, after all, the one who has agreed to teach art to elementary students in a decent moral environment. But perhaps her sin, although great, might be placed in some perspective. From the way people are acting, you would think that she just purchased a fleet of slave ships.

Astonishing Hypocrisy, Eh? 

As promised, down below I am going to get to Cane’ charge of hypocrisy against Mike and Karen Pence. But I would prefer to begin with the actual hypocrisy in all of this. This is necessary because it will provide one of my premises when I answer the charge of the Pences’ hypocrisy.

In what follows, I am addressing all of you progressives who are breathing into a paper bag with your head between your knees, and all because Karen Pence is teaching art to elementary students in a Christian school that wants to maintain its Christian values, and so entrusts the guardianship of those values to those who share them. Since you are so whipped up about that, I have some observations for you.

When the Obergefell decision came down, you applauded. You cheered and you whooped. You thought it was the greatest thing since French toast. Yes, you said, Obergefell is judicious and wise. Yay Oberefell.

So it occurred to me to wonder what Obergefell said about Karen Pence. And I wondered what it said about all the elementary art teachers just like her. And what it said about all the sweet Christian women just like her. The italics, naturally, are all mine.

“Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here” (Kennedy, p. 19).

And later he said this:

“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions and those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate with utmost sincere conviction that by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons” (Kennedy, p. 27).

Now if that doesn’t describe the situation that Karen Pence is now in, I don’t know what situation could possibly fit. Utmost sincere conviction. Divine precepts. Not condoned. Religious organizations and persons. So fulfilling and so central. Lives and faiths. Deep aspirations. Christian schools, in order to exist as Christian schools, must maintain Christian standards.

But wait. Do not jump to conclusions. I am not here quoting Obergefell as a source of wisdom. I am not appealing to Obergefell as though it had any kind of moral authority. I am not resting my case on Obergefell.

Rather, I cite it so that you all might understand why millions of us have come to the ironclad conclusion that you guys are lying about everything all of the time.

Your current hysterics over a Christian woman teaching Christian kids in a Christian school, and treating that as though it were some kind of moral outrage, does conflict with the noble-sounding words that Justice Kennedy wrote in that decision. But your behavior is nevertheless consistent with the overall impact of Obergefell, and also consistent with your overall strategy of lying about it, and lying about it again. Your lies are an essential part of your strategy. They are an essential part of how you roll.

One of the dissenting opinions in that outrageous judgment (Scalia, p. 6) notes that evangelicals make up a quarter of our nation’s population. In the judicial rebellion called Obergefell you have taken your capricious definition of what constitutes bigotry and welded it (necessarily) to our deep religious understanding of what the Lord Jesus requires of us. So no matter what was said in that opinion about respecting out beliefs, the logic of the case itself requires your current hysterical reaction. And so, your inconsistency in this is, as it is for all liars, consistent.

So yes, you are double-crossing us again, but the double-cross is kind of a built in feature to everything you do. You are duplicitous. Your vision for the future of our country comes straight from the father of lies, and so we no longer expect you to tell the truth about anything. That is where the actual hypocrisy lies.

Pence Hypocrisy?

So Cane made his charge of hypocrisy against the Pences in the course of his article. And what the charge amounts to is this. How can the Pences have such high standards when it comes to their own personal behavior, and such high standards when it comes to the kind of school where Karen is willing to teach, and apparently have those standards evaporate when it comes to Mike Pence working for and alongside the likes of Donald Trump?

Cane provides three paragraphs in a row that highlight three different aspects of this charge. I want to answer these three basic points, as I quote all three paragraphs, and I want to do so because they do have some kind of superficial plausibility with a certain kind of superficial evangelical. I speak of those evangelicals who discredit evangelicalism through their belief that other evangelicals are discrediting evangelicalism through their failure to welcome our new progressive overlords.

So here we go, one at a time.  

“For all their professed beliefs, Pence, and his wife, show unwavering support for a man who has been married three times, divorced twice, has had five children with three women and who has been accused of (though denies) paying a porn star and a Playboy model hundreds of thousands of dollars to conceal affairs he’d had with them.”

In other words, Trump has not lived as a paragon of virtue, which we all know. Although he has been elected president, he would have trouble getting a job at Karen Pence’s school. But how is this inconsistent?

Say a husband and wife are both employed. They are both Christians. She gets a job at a Christian pregnancy clinic, where all the employees must live consistent Christian lives, and she agrees to do so as well. He works for Amazon, whose CEO is just now getting divorced because of his recent adultery. Can the husband keep his job at Amazon? Well, yes—unless that job requires him to lie and cheat himself, or serve as someone who procures women for the CEO.

If Mike Pence were asked to applaud Trump’s adulteries themselves, or Melania’s risqué photo shoots—you know, the same way you all demand that everybody applaud your sexual sins—then he should resign his position rather than do that. But in the meantime, there is no compromise in laboring for sound and godly policies while employed by a man who is not sound or godly himself.

I should not leave this point without acknowledging that there have been some evangelical leaders who have gone “all in” with their support for Trump, such that it is tantamount to applauding his sinful behaviors. I do object to that. I object to that violently. But Mike and Karen Pence haven’t done that.

And besides, remember the dictionary. Anybody who has no problem with an evangelical working in a White House lit up in rainbow colors by Obama must needs have no problem with an evangelical working in a White House lit up with the Playboy bunny logo by Trump.  

Now as I have written here before, I did not vote for Trump, in part, because character really matters. If Trump broke his word on so many occasions in the past, which he had, I had no reason to believe that he wouldn’t break his word to us if elected president. So I simply didn’t believe him, and I didn’t think the evangelicals who supported him should have believed him either. I thought they were going to be abandoned (yet again), but thus far I have been shown to have been wrong. He was the son in the parable who said he wouldn’t go, but then did.

“The hypocrisy here, and indeed from white evangelical Trump supporters, is astonishing. As of April, white evangelical support for Trump was at an all-time high: 75%. Disturbingly, as he left the White House, President Barack Obama enjoyed the favorable view of only 24% of white evangelicals.”

You bet there is a scandal in that. Fully one quarter of evangelicals supported the most radically pro-abortion president we have ever had. Mind-boggling. One quarter of evangelicals were not bothered by the fact that Planned Parenthood has stayed faithful to its “lean genocidal” strategy over the years, and did not care that Obama fully supported their mission. He at one time taught constitutional law (whoa), and yet presided over the deaths of millions, supporting the constitutional right of a woman and her doctor to crush the head of an unborn child, and to sell the pieces. And one quarter of all evangelicals were good with it.

“Obama, a man who had no sex scandals, was never accused of sexual harassment, had two children with the same woman, couldn’t crack 25% white evangelicals. Of course, race is a huge reason, but Hillary Clinton only received 16% of the white evangelical vote.”

It is not relevant to my main point, but I can’t pass up Cane’s howler that Obama did not enjoy the support of white evangelical because the “huge reason” of “race.” On his own showing, Hillary Clinton—about as white as they come—did even worse with evangelicals.

So back to the point. I will never tire of saying that this is a battle over control of the dictionary. It is a battle over how we define things. Notice how Cane just serenely states that Obama had “no sex scandals.” But what do we mean by sex scandal?

The lighting up of the White House in rainbow colors in celebration of unnatural sexual vice was a sex scandal. The continuation of Roe’s abortion-on-demand is a sex scandal. Obergefell is a sex scandal. Our culture-wide mandatory celebration of sodomy is a sex scandal. The rainbow flag is a sex scandal. The fact that Cane can write a piece attacking sexual decency as “disgusting” is a sex scandal.

The fact that righteous Lot wouldn’t send out the angels “to be known” was a sex scandal. Well, to be honest, that was only a scandal to the editorial writers of the Sodom Sentinel and the Gomorrah Gazette. But since those newspapers have ceased publication, I guess we can stop worrying about that one.

So what do you mean, Obama had “no sex scandals”? The last fifty years of our nation’s history has been one long, cascading, unfolding sex scandal. Our scandalous behavior and lascivious lies have so become the norm that a decent and moral Christian woman can take a job at a decent and moral place—Immanuel Christian School (send them a donation today)—and have that be represented as the scandal.

Are you kidding me?