(CNSNews.com) – Vice President Mike Pence, defending both his wife and his Christian faith, spoke Thursday about the liberal backlash resulting from Karen Pence’s decision to return to a Christian school as a volunteer art teacher.
“To see the mainstream media…criticize my wife because she’s choosing to return to the classroom of an elementary Christian school is wrong,” Pence told “Washington Watch.”
CatholicVote.org gathered some of the offensive comments and headlines from “anti-Christian bigots” in the “left-wing media,” as follows:
— “Karen Pence’s Bigoted New School” (Huffington Post)
— CNN reporter Kate Bennett tweeted: “So let me get this straight, the second lady of the United States has chosen to work at a school that openly discriminates against LGBT adults and children.”
— Lois Romano, The Washington Post: “How can this happen in America in 2019?”
Pence told EWTN, a Catholic news network:
My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while. We’re used to the criticism. But I have to tell you, to see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.
We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly, religious education broadly defined. We celebrate it. The freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution prohibits a religious test for holding public office. We’ll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of religious education in America should stop.
Immanuel Christian school, located in Northern Virginia, says on its website: “We are, first of all, a Christian school and as such establish the biblical basis from which we will teach a Christian world and life view. While we recognize that not all parents will agree with every item in this statement, it is necessary that the parents agree to support the premise that their child will be taught from the perspective provided in our statement of belief.”
What outraged some on the left is the school’s policy against “moral misconduct,” which includes “heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites.”
The Huffington Post reported on Thursday that an LGBTQ advocacy group “has sent Immanuel Christian 100 copies of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a children’s book about a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Included with the books is ‘a heartfelt note that encourages the school’s leaders to accept LGBTQ young people,’ the group said.”
In an essay on Thursday, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins said the fury directed at Karen Pence for simply volunteering at a Christian school should serve as a warning for all Christians:
Three years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal, Perkins wrote, “all of the lies about ‘love’ and ‘tolerance’ have been eclipsed by the court cases, articles, and editorials demonizing people of faith. What Americans see now is the truth: the Left is coming for our freedom. And they have no intention of letting up,” he continued:
Like Joe Biden’s wife, Karen Pence spent years in the classroom. When Mike was in Congress, she taught art at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia — and no one batted an eye. Of course, that was back in the early 2000s, when the Left’s charm offensive on same-sex marriage was still in full swing. We’ll be accommodating, they said. We just want to co-exist, they said. Our relationships won’t affect you, they said. A handful of years later, “affected” doesn’t begin to describe to what happens to conservatives who think differently than the totalitarian Left.
Of course, the Pences are not strangers to the other side’s viciousness. Every time the media is reminded about the family’s faith, they become hysterical all over again — a scene that played out this week when Karen announced she’d be volunteering at Immanuel Christian this spring. “I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do,” she said in a statement. “I have missed teaching art, and it’s great to return to the school where I taught art for 12 years.”
She can’t go back there, LGBT activists raged! They reject homosexuality! Yes, well, that’s what orthodox Christian schools do. (Not to mention Jewish and Muslim ones too.) Would it have been headline news if Jill Biden taught at a Roman Catholic school? Probably not. Yet, the Left and their media chums are hurling profanity at the Pences for something that, even five years ago, wouldn’t have been controversial. Frankly, the only thing that would have been shocking is if Karen worked at a Christian school that didn’t act like a Christian school.
Perkins said the left’s “real problem” isn’t that Karen Pence is working at a Christian school; the real problem is that evangelical schools exist at all.
“There used to be a consensus in this country that religious liberty was for everyone. When the Religious Freedom Restoration Act came before Congress, only three members voted against it. Over time, some liberals tried to isolate faith — to churches, Christian schools, or family rooms. You’ve heard me say before that the Left’s hope is to quarantine religion within the four walls of the church. Now, it’s becoming clear — even that won’t satisfy them.”