Laws about gender, marriage, procreation, and even bathrooms greatly affect the quality of people’s daily lives. Some people seem to feel compelled to force their religion on everyone else. Mike Pence often says his personal religious beliefs guide his decisions about public policy.
The first amendment of our Constitution says political leaders may not impose the views of one religious group on the entire population of our country; some fundamentalist groups claim they are victims of discrimination if they are not allowed to force their religious beliefs on others. As governor of Indiana and as a member of Congress Mike Pence has already tried to use laws to force his religious beliefs about gender, marriage and procreation on the rest of us. We need to know what Mike Pence believes about these issues since it is possible that Pence could become the President of the United States.
Mike Pence likes to say that he is “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order”. He has repeatedly claimed that he should make policies and pass laws that are in accordance with his faith. The evangelical church Mike Pence has been attending teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman. The wife must be submissive her husband. All women are expected to submit humbly to the teachings of Christian men. We need to understand Mike Pence’s religious beliefs to understand his political intentions.
Mike Pence was one of six children raised in a devout Irish Catholic family. He attended St. Columba Catholic school through the eighth grade. When he was in college he joined a non-denominational fellowship group and decided to be “born-again” in the evangelical tradition. He started describing himself as “a born-again, evangelical Catholic” and was still describing himself this way in 1994. By 1995 Pence had joined Grace Evangelical church, a large Protestant church based on the Scandinavian free church movement. More recently Mr. Pence and his wife have been attending the College Park Church. This fundamentalist church is located in the central Indianapolis Wholesale district not far from the Lucas Oil stadium. The beliefs required by this church are not shared by everyone in the rest of this country.
Today, Mr. Pence and his wife often worship at College Park Church, an evangelical megachurch in Indianapolis with three huge video screens, colored spotlights and Christian bands. . . . .
Right after the 2016 election members of College Park Church were clearly encouraged that they were closer to their goal of converting the rest of the citizens in their city and this country to their faith. This church teaches that the Bible should be taken literally, in accordance with their specific interpretation:
The Bible: We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts and the sufficient and final authority for all matters of faith, practice, and life. (II Timothy 3:16)
[Statements from the Pence church website are in boldface in this diary to compare them with laws and policies promoted by Mike Pence.]
The Confession of Faith of the College Park church has a variety of views that are not shared by all the citizens of the United States, or even by all Christians. Members of this church have every right to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs, but they do not have the right to impose their lifestyle on other people. (The nice lesbian married couple on my street are not harming these Christians --or me.) It is clear that Mike Pence’s political actions affecting women and marriage have been significantly influenced by the teachings of churches he has attended. The College Park church website gives a very conservative definition of gender and marriage.
. . . . We believe that God created humans as male and female and ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman who unite in one flesh to reflect God’s glory. (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:23-24, Matthew 19:4-6, Ephesians 5:22-33). Sexual intimacy is reserved for those bound together in the covenant of marriage only (I Corinthians 7:8-9)
Women are taught to be submissive and obedient to their husbands and other men. The church website lists classes offered for women. Some classes cover standard topics that would be likely to be taught at any Christian church. Other classes teach women that they should be “Titus 2 Women”. Although women are not supposed to instruct men in this church, older women are supposed to instruct young women “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5 KJV) Obedience to husbands is strongly emphasized.
The Tuesday morning Women’s Bible studies at Mike Pence’s church include a course based on the book True Woman 101- Divine Design by Mary Kassian and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemouth.
The book True Woman 101 tells members of Mike Pence’s church that men are strong and women are soft. It goes on to explain that God is head of Christ; Christ is head of the Church; and the Husband is head of the wife. In other words, a wife should look to her husband in much the same way church members look to Christ. True Woman 101 explicitly tells the ladies at Mike Pence’s church that relationships between husbands and wives who lived before Jesus foreshadowed the subsequent marriage between Christ and his bride, the Church. The authors of this book not only teach that wives must be deferential and submissive, but that all women are called to submit to the authority of Christian men.
The third aspect of a beautiful womanly disposition is the inclination to submit. We believe the Lord created women with a disposition – an inclination – to respond positively to being led. We are the responder-relators created with a “bent” to be amenable.
Many Christians from other denominations disagree with the views taught by Mike Pence’s church. Many people of other faiths and no faith also disagree with these views. If Mike Pence becomes POTUS he may not believe that it is acceptable to disagree with the opinions espoused by his church. A review by Rachel Miller, a Christian woman from another denomination, explains some of the social problems this book may cause. She not only disagrees with the some of the theology, she points out the problem with generalizing from a voluntary relationship between a husband and wife to expecting submission from all women. http://theaquilareport.com/true-woman-101-divine-design/
According to True Woman 101:
The Bible presents a design for True Womanhood that applies to all women – at any age and at any stage of life – old, young; single, married, divorced, widowed; with children or without, whatever. Its design applies to women of every personality type, every educational level, every career track, every socioeconomic status, and every culture. God’s design transcends social customs, time, and circumstance.
The book True Women 101 does not distinguish between conduct expected from women in voluntary marriages and unrelated women who may be members of another faith. This book teaches that preferences of women from different faiths (or no faith) are simply wrong and need to be corrected by the older women.
In other words, the way a man relates to a wife, sister, daughter, colleague, or friend will differ, but all those relationships are informed and influenced who his is as a man. Masculinity means that he accepts a chivalrous responsibility to offer appropriate guidance, provision, and protection to the women in his life (57).
Female colleagues of these men may find the imposition of guidance according to the Pence religion burdensome if they are not members of the Pence church. Women are to be guided toward marriage and away from careers even if they are colleagues and not church members. Women are not permitted to refuse this guidance and “protection” ordained by this church. True Woman 101 states that women must “have a spirit that is inclined to be responsive, yielding, and deferential”.
Any deviation from properly submissive conduct is “feminism”. The idea that some women prefer careers to marriage is “feminism”. Many women, including many Christian women, disagree with the teachings of the Pence church. Rachel Miller, a Presbyterian, writes:
Kassian and DeMoss spend a considerable amount of the book discussing the dangers and influence of feminism on culture and the church. While I share many of their concerns about the modern feminist movement, especially third wave feminists, they present a muddied and confused picture of the historical feminist movement. As a result, all of the movement is deemed bad and contrary to God’s divine design.
This is unfortunate. As I’ve written elsewhere, the feminist movement started well before the 1960’s, and the earliest feminists were Christian women who were striving to protect and defend women in many worthy ways.
It is somewhat amusing to me that Kassian and DeMoss would depict the feminist movement as universally bad given the numbers of ways in which their own lives have benefited from some of the work of the first and second waves. Ms. DeMoss, for example, is an unmarried woman who lives in her own home, inherited money that she manages, runs her own business, hires employees, earns her own income, publishes books, and speaks publicly to large groups. All of these are blessings and are the result of the work of first wave feminists.
Ms. DeMoss has since married, but she wrote a great deal of marital advice before she married. True Woman 101 and other books by Ms. DeMoss teach that women should not have equal rights. According to this book women should not seek equal pay, personal attainment or self-reliance. This is what the women at Mike Pence’s church are being taught. True Woman 101 says:
Did feminism identify some valid problems? Yes. Did it propose some helpful changes? It likely did. Can feminism be embraced along with our Christian faith? Absolutely not. . . . At its core, feminist philosophy is antithetical to the gospel . . . . .
Feminism is based on the wrong premise. It assumes that ‘patriarchy’ is the ultimate cause of woman’s pain. It proposes the wrong solution. It says that women have the right, the knowledge, and the power to redefine and rectify the male-female relationship. It’s fueled by the wrong attitude. It encourages anger, bitterness, resentment, self-reliance, independence, arrogance, and a pitting of woman against man. It exalts the wrong values. Power, prestige, personal attainment, and financial gain are exalted over service, sacrifice, and humility. Manhood is devalued. Morality is devalued. Marriage is devalued. Motherhood is devalued. In sum, feminism promotes ways of thinking that stand in direct opposition to the Word of God and to the beauty of His created order.
Many Americans, including many people of faith, regard self-reliance, independence, and personal attainment as desirable goals for everyone irrespective of their gender. A reasonable amount of service, sacrifice and humility may be appropriate for men as well as for women. Giving women equal pay for doing the same work does not devalue Marriage or Motherhood. Nobody should have to tolerate abuse in marriage or other relationships. Rachel Miller sums up her more mainstream Christian viewpoint.
Patriarchy is an actual problem and is not God’s design. It has been a problem for women and society for thousands of years. Dismissing the truth of that does not help Kassian and DeMoss in their concerns about feminism. One can disagree with the devaluing of men and also believe that there exist those who devalue and demean women. Both extremes are bad, and both extremes are at work in our culture and churches. . . . .
First, the True Woman manifesto, which all book study participants are encouraged to read and sign, teaches a permanence view of marriage. That means that divorce is not allowed in any way for any reason. The view would say there are no biblical grounds for divorce, not adultery, abandonment, or abuse. This teaching is dangerous. It’s contrary to the Bible, and it’s contrary to the teachings of my denomination. . . . .
When men are told they hold the authority and reflect the authority of God the Father in their relationships with women, there are bound to be men who see this as just the affirmation they need to treat their wives and children in abusive ways. Combine that with women being told they must be soft and amenable and deferential to all men and that divorce is never an option, and you have women who are conditioned not to speak up and not to get help:
True Woman 101 tells women their goal should be marriage, not a career. Women are then supposed to obey their husbands. Mike Pence’s church provides instruction on how women are required to submit to their husbands. This church sells advice books in the “North Indy Resource Area”. Two of the books on marriage are This Momentary Marriage by John Piper and The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace.
This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence by John Piper opposes divorce even when there is abuse. Some reviewers on Amazon did not agree with John Piper that victims of abuse should stay in the marriage anyway.
This Theology Ignores the Reality of Abuse
By The Persistent Widow on January 22, 2013 . . .
John Piper and his marriage views turn a blind eye to the reality of domestic abuse present within the church. As much as it seems he would like to pretend otherwise, there are wicked, abusive, character-disturbed people who find a comfortable environment within the church, largely because of teachers like him. Piper's insistence that someone should be bound by vows that their spouse unrepentently and continually breaks is unreasonable. Certainly, he requires that couples take vows in the marriage ceremonies at his church. I ask WHY? Because with Piper's doctrine, if one party to the covenant unrepentantly breaks the vows, the other is still bound to them. He doesn't allow divorce for adultery, either. . . .
John Piper has made a series of video interviews to share his views on marriage. There are a few occasions a submissive wife is allowed to think for herself. For example, a submissive wife would be allowed to apologetically refuse to participate in some sins (like unwilling group sex).
According to John Piper,
"Now that's one kind of situation. Just a word on the other kind. If it's not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church."
There are women from the Pence church and similar churches who do buy into the idea of complete submission to husbands. Some of these women do not hesitate to do their best to impose this submission on other women. A response to the Amazon book review by The Persistent Widow makes this clear:
As the wife of a pastor I know how hard it is to look into tearful eyes and say, "suffer well," or "Don't give up." But the reason that I can say that is that the One that we are suffering for is so worth it. Lately the trend in the church and outside seems to be make the people happy. . . . Whether we have happy marriages or not, our happiness does not come from there. The Bible does not say that God wants us to have everything we've ever wanted. He wants us to be happy in Him.
Several readers disagreed with the pastor’s wife:
Thank you for the vivid illustration of what an abuse victim should expect from church leadership tutored by John Piper.
You write, "As a wife of a pastor, I know how to look into tearful eyes and say, "Suffer well", or "Don't give up." Although pious sounding, these sentiments do absolutely nothing to help the victim or the children. (James 2:16)
Another reader who disagreed with the pastor’s wife was E. Eagle.
you say that "this is why couples counseling exists"
Let me tell you what I got from couples counseling in the church - my abusive husband was allowed to lie, deceive, and hurt me and our children while the church leadership simply demanded that I "accept him back if he wants to come back" - regardless if there was any real repentance or change in behavior.
The church ignorance on this topic is breathtaking and shameful given how common this problem is. Your assertion that *most* marriages in the church don't have these "dramatic abuse issues" is an interesting wager. I wonder if you've got some stats to back that up.
The pastor’s wife may claim that she is not the one demanding that other women put up with abuse. The pastor’s wife is just imposing the rules of her church. Women are not to decide on how marriages should be conducted, including their own marriage. Women must submit to men. This is one of the rules members of Mike Pence’s church must agree to. According to the College Park Church website:
WHO LEADS THE CHURCH?
CONGREGATION AND ELDERS
. . . . While the final authority rests with the congregation, we also believe in the leadership of godly male elders who are tasked with the responsibility of shepherding the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1-
3). The elders set the direction for the teaching, protecting, care, and equipping of the church at large and for her individual members.
. . . . the church is to trust and submit to its elders so they can carry out their responsibilities with joy and not with groaning
If any church member objects to the way they are treated they must agree not to pursue legal remedies. Mike Pence’s church does not take legal responsibility for harm their counseling may cause.
– Indemnity Clause
Members of the Church shall agree not to pursue civil litigation against the Church corporation, its members, its officers, its paid staff, its Elders, its Deacons, or its Pastors
Mike Pence and his church believe that the men in his church should decide how to define marriage, and that their submissive female wives should submit to all their shepherding. This would not present as many problems if they were not so determined to impose their beliefs on other people who do not share their particular faith. Here is what John Piper has to say on listening to women. (Piper also has enlightening videos sharing his views on homosexuals and assorted other topics.)
It is not just men who write marital advice books recommended by Pence’s church. There were quite a few positive reviews of The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective by Martha Peace. Some reviews may have been written by women who were told by God and their Sunday school teachers that a positive review would be the Godly thing to do. Some positive reviews were written by men who are in favor of husbands having dominion over their submissive wives. One of the favorable reviews was written by William T. Clarke.
Both my wife and I have read this book together . . . . .
What the book does do is explain to wives (and husbands if they take the time to read it!) is that there is a biblical structure for households in which the husband is the spiritual leader and the wife is to submit to her husband's lead. . . .
I did not see a review by Mrs. Clark.
Some readers disagreed with the idea that women should submit to their husbands under all circumstances. Reviewers who disagree with these types of Christian advice books are often very knowledgeable about the Bible. A long review of The Excellent Wife by AvidReader pointed out the creative use of Bible quotations to justify demands that wives accept whatever their husbands choose to do or say.
#1 Communicate Biblically
Martha defines that as “Train her tongue to respond properly in every situation…..a wife’s own sin always makes her situation worse.” (pages 156-157)
Blaming women is a constant theme throughout this book---no matter what happens, Martha finds a way to slam women for it. . . . .
Martha’s next point is:
#2 Overcome Evil with Good
Martha defines this as: “Serve a special meal to him, give him an unexpected gift, fill up his car with gas.” (page 158)
What about setting boundaries to protect yourself from abuse? . . . .
#3 Make a Biblical Appeal (to the Husband)
She writes, “A Biblical appeal is a request to a person in authority, asking them to reconsider a command….A Biblical appeal has several conditions. First, the appeal should be done for the purpose of achieving the HUSBAND’S objective or desire.”
. . . .
Martha continues, “If her husband is asking her to sin, she should propose a viable alternative which seeks to accomplish the HUSBAND’S intent…..When a husband does not listen to or grant the wife’s appeal she must accept his decision as the WILL OF GOD for her at that moment…..even if she must SUFFER for the sake of righteousness.”
. . . .
Moving right along, on pages 240-241, Martha has a chart that defines
“Sinful thoughts” vs “Godly thoughts.” . . . .
Sinful thought: “He will never hurt me again.”
Godly thought: “He may hurt me again. I hope not but if he does he will just have to hurt me, I am going to glorify God.”
. . . .
Sinful thought: “Not giving him a chance to repent and re-earn her trust.”
Godly thought: “Working towards reconciliation, realizing she must forgive but it may take time for him to re-earn her trust.”
Some of the negative reviewers were clearly deeply religious people who were objecting to this particular brand of religion, and not to religion in general. In addition to objections about tolerating abuse, there were objections to the teaching that women should not work outside the home. Many people would clearly object to the imposition of the Pence religion on those of us who do not go to his church.
Mike Pence appears to agree with the teachings of his church about the proper role of women in society. Pence has a long history of expressing very conservative views about gender, marriage, and women who have careers. In the 1990s Pence hosted a talk radio show, The Mike Pence Show, five days a week for three hours each day. The tone of the radio show was a “decaffeinated” version of Pence’s intended role model, Rush Limbaugh. Mike Pence followed Limbaugh’s lead in expressing very conservative religious views.
In one show Mike Pence was upset that politicians like Trent Lott were not casting suitable Old Testament stones at a woman who had committed adultry. Pence bemoaned the “normalization” of adultery:
“I mean, is adultery no longer a big deal in Indiana and in America? I’d just love to know your thoughts because I for one believe that the seventh commandment contained in the Ten Commandments is still a big deal,” Pence said. “I maintain that other than promises that we make of fidelity in our faith, the promises that we make to our spouses and to our children, the promises that we make in churches and in synagogues and marriage ceremonies around this, it's the most important promise you'll ever make. And holding people accountable to those promises and holding people accountable to respecting the promises that other people make, I, to me, what could possibly be a bigger deal than that in this country?” [my boldface]
It is not clear what sort of penalty Mike Pence expected to impose on people who committed adultery. What if an unmarried person did not know that the person they were dating was already married? Would we still fine them, throw them in jail and/or stone them to death?
Mike Pence is strongly opposed to having women serve in the military. If military service leads to sexual harassment or even to sexual assault Pence’s solution is to deny women the opportunity to pursue military careers. (Pence seems to hold female victims responsible for sexual assaults. He claimed that the opposition to sexual harassment disclosed during the confirmation hearing for Clarence Thomas reflected KKK tactics and the Indiana senators were "standing by while Clarence Thomas is being lynched".
Mike Pence was even worried that the Disney cartoon Mulan was really a propaganda film to make it socially acceptable for women to serve in the military:
Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts. Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military. I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan’s story will cause a quiet change in the next generation’s attitude about women in combat and they just might be right. (Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.)
The only problem with this liberal hope is the reality which intrudes on the Disney ideal from the mornings headlines. From the original “Tailhook” scandal involving scores of high ranking navy fighter pilots who molested subordinate women to the latest travesty at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the hard truth of our experiment with gender integration is that is has been an almost complete disaster for the military and for many of the individual women involved. . . . .
Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.
When Pence ran for the House in 2000 his platform his platform reflected his opposition to women serving in the military. One of the reasons he opposes allowing women to serve in the military was explained in the essay on the Disney movie about Mulan. Young people with hormones might have sex outside the confines of marriage. This was part of the motivation for Pence’s 2000 stance that women should have a limited role in the military. He was committed to
bringing an end to assigning women to combat support units, combatant ships and pilot billets that ultimately result in women becoming involved in combat. While women have always made an important contribution to national security, we must resist liberal impulse to use the military to advance the interest of women in civilian culture at the expense of military readiness and effectiveness. America must not become the only nation in the world to use women in combat positions.
Mike Pence does not really approve of serious careers for women. Pence believes that women should stay at home with their children. “Sure, you can have it all,” he wrote in a 1997 letter to the Indianapolis Star. “But your day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick.”
In 2000 Mike Pence wanted to reform education by promoting religious schools and home schooling. Pence said, “Congress should support the primacy of the parent in matters pertaining to the education of youth and support the home education movement.” http://web.archive.org/web/20010519165033fw_/http://cybertext.net/pence/issues.html
Mike Pence claims that daycare is harmful to children. He does not distinguish between high-quality daycare with an adequate number of qualified, caring teachers, and daycare situations where children do not get adequate individual attention due to insufficient staffing. Pence also does not seem to recognize that many women who are working for economic reasons do not really have a choice about relying on daycare for their children. In a letter to the Indianapolis Star he claimed that children who go to daycare will be emotionally stunted.
Researchers found that while day-care kids suffer no disadvantage in cognitive or linguistic development, their emotional development was stunted. Specifically, researchers found that a child cared for by others was less affectionate toward his mother.
This was described as "statistically insignificant" -- which means that the numbers make it as obvious as the nose on your face. . . . .
These statistics should ignite a national debate about the family and precisely who should be raising the next generation of Americans.
Mike Pence believes that limiting child-care options for working parents will help promote his preference for stay-at-home mothers. Recently, as governor of Indiana, Pence blocked federal funding for preschools.
On the education front, state workers and academic experts were putting the final touches on a federal-grant proposal that would make Indiana eligible for up to $80 million in pre-K funding, an enormous sum for a state that came in 35th nationally for educational spending. Then, the day the application was due, a Pence underling announced via e-mail that the state wouldn't be applying for the grant after all. Whispers began to spread that the religious right was leaning on him heavily about the federal government getting its fingers on the hearts and minds of preschoolers. In its place, Pence OK'd a small $10 million state pre-K pilot program. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-radical-crusade-of-mike-pence-w462223
Mike Pence was in favor of “Strengthening the American Family” when he wrote his platform for his 2000 congressional campaign. His definition of family is clearly based on his religious beliefs. Mike Pence defines a family as a married couple who follow the dictates of his church that God “ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman who unite in one flesh to reflect God’s glory.”
• The traditional two parent family is the nucleus of our civilization. Accordingly,
• Congress should support legislation designed to strengthen the economic vitality and cultural primacy of the two parent family.
• Congress should pursue tax relief and tax reform that makes it more possible for more families to live on one income so that one parent may choose to be a full-time at home parent if they so desire.
• Congress should pass legislation that would require agencies to prepare a "Family Impact Statement" to assess the effect of all federal legislation and regulation on the two parent family. This would enact into law President Reagan’s 1986 Executive Order 12606 which President Clinton revoked.
Mike Pence does not seem to feel that single parents deserve as much support as married couples. He does not even make an exception for single parents who have been widowed or those who were abandoned by their spouse. His narrow, religiously-inspired view of marriage between “one man and one woman” definitely excludes same-sex couple who he regards as symptoms of “societal collapse”. Pence also disapproves of working mothers and he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter act that requires employers to pay women equally if they are doing the same work as men.
Although Pence loudly extolls the importance of family values, in both 2008 and 2009 he voted against increasing the number of children who could get health care under the SCHIP program. In 2009 Pence also voted against giving four weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees.
Pence was against Family Planning funding in US aid abroad and he was against giving poor people here in the US $70 million for Section 8 Housing vouchers. He was in favor of promoting work and marriage for welfare recipients.
Mike Pence does not believe that citizens have a right to control their personal decisions about the size of their families. He feels that his religious beliefs should be allowed to regulate family planning choices of all citizens, not just the members of his church. The Christian Post reported on a campaign interview between Mike Pence and James Dobson.
"The Trump-Pence administration will be dedicated to preserving the liberties of our people, including the freedom of religion that's enshrined in our Bill of Rights." Trump's vice presidential nominee said when asked if their administration would issue a regulation to eliminate Obamacare's contraceptive mandate, or at least provide a religious exemption for all ministries and businesses.
The contraceptive mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law requires health insurers, or employers that provide their employees with health insurance, to cover some contraceptive costs in their health insurance plans.
We have a long tradition of accommodating religious beliefs in this country, the governor adds. "Our administration is going to err on the side of freedom, we're going to err on the side of protecting our liberties of our people." . . . .
Mike Pence has repeatedly tried to defund all Planned Parenthood clinics even if they do not perform abortions. Pence seems fixated on banning birth control, not just on banning abortion. Pence believes in the Personhood of a fertilized egg. Mike Pence’s religious desire to ban the birth control pill is even too conservative in Mississippi.
My favorite night ever in my home state of Mississippi came in 2011 when women of all political stripes worked together to say no to the powerful Personhood political movement. It was comprised of political forces who wanted to endanger our health, limit our rights, and take over every health-care decision from whether we can use birth-control pills or in vitro fertilization, to the legality of a woman (or her family) choosing an abortion rather than dying, leaving loved ones behind and her other children without a mother.
Mike Pence believes that all unmarried people should “Just say No”. This reflects the teaching of his church that, “Sexual intimacy is reserved for those bound together in the covenant of marriage only (I Corinthians 7:8-9)”. Ever since he was elected to the House in 2000 Pence repeatedly tried to remove all funding for Planned Parenthood—including funding for birth control measures which would decrease the number of abortions. Pence even opposed the use of condoms to prevent HIV infections. When Colin Powell recommended using condoms to decrease the spread of AIDS Mike Pence was very clear about his objections.
PENCE: Well, I just simply believe the only truly safe sex, Wolf, as the president [Bush] believes, is no sex. And we ought to, with leaders of the stature of the secretary of state, we ought to be sending a message to kids across the country and the opportunity had across the world that abstinence is the best choice for young people. But let's be clear, last year, the National Institute of Health, Wolf, and some 28 separate experts said at least a half dozen to ten sexually transmitted diseases for which condom use has zero preventative value.
Mike Pence is quite willing to let others die for his faith. People of good conscience may oppose abortion, but denying other people access to birth control is simply an improper imposition of personal religious beliefs. Even the members of the College Park Church are divided on the issue of birth control. Pence’s extreme opposition to birth control may be rooted in his Catholic upbringing rather than his current Protestant fundamentalist church.
This is the guy who, as a member of Congress, co-sponsored a bill that would allow hospitals to deny abortions to pregnant women who would die without the procedure. Whose war against Planned Parenthood when he was governor of Indiana led to the closing of five clinics. (None of them did abortions. They did, however, provide testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and one of the counties where a clinic was closed suffered a big H.I.V. outbreak.)
Despite efforts by media surveys to paint views about abortion as ‘only for’ or ‘only against’, most people have more nuanced views. Mike Pence has no interest in nuance and he opposes abortion in all circumstance. Pence believes that a fertilized ovum becomes a human being at the moment of conception.
Mike Pence believes that a fertilized ovum has the right to make use of the body of a woman for nine months even if she does not consent. Mike Pence believes that a fertilized ovum has the right to nonconsensual use of a female body even if the woman did not consent to being impregnated in the first place. Mike Pence tried to block federal funding for rape victims if they were not the victims of “forcible rape”. Apparently women who have been drugged and young teenaged girls do not have the right to withhold consent in Mike Pence’s universe.
Mike Pence’s views on women’s issues are faith based. He chooses to attend churches that to not allow women to make the decisions about what the Bible means. In his faith universe, men determine the interpretation of religious texts. Then men decide how these religious interpretations are to be applied to other peoples’ personal lives. According to the beliefs of the College Park Church all elders must be men. The elders “set the direction for the teaching, protecting, care, and equipping of the church at large and for her individual members.”
Mike Pence and his church believe that the men in his church should decide how to define marriage and their submissive female wives should submit to all their shepherding. Unfortunately Mike Pence is determined to impose these beliefs on other people who do not share his particular faith. Mike Pence is not shy about sharing the religious basis of his lawmaking. He repeatedly promoted his religion on the floor of the House as he did in this 2006 speech.
Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the marriage amendment and offer heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the gentlewoman from Colorado (Mrs. Musgrave) for her principled, compassionate, and courageous leadership on this issue from her very first term in Congress.
Mr. Speaker, in the wake of ominous decisions by activist courts across the land, I come to the well today to defend that institution that forms the backbone of our society: traditional marriage. Like millions of Americans, I believe that marriage matters, that it was ordained by God, instituted among men, that it is the glue of the American family and the safest harbor to raise children.
I believe first, though, marriage should be protected, because it wasn't our idea. Several millennia ago the words were written that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. It was not our idea; it was God's idea. And I say that unashamedly on the floor where the words ``In God We Trust'' appear above your chair, Mr. Speaker.
And let me say emphatically that this debate today is not about discrimination. I believe that if someone chooses another life-style than I have chosen, that that is their right in a free society. But tolerance does not require that we permit our courts to redefine an institution upon which our society depends. Marriage matters, according to the researchers. Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that throughout history, societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family.
And marriage matters to kids. As my Hoosier colleague and friend Vice President Dan Quayle first accurately observed, Mr. Speaker, marriage is the safest harbor to raise children. . . . .
Let us say ``yes'' very humbly today to the marriage as traditionally defined. Let us say ``no'' to activist courts bent on redefining it.
Marriage matters, Mr. Speaker. It was ordained by God, instituted in the law. It is the glue of the American family and the safest harbor to raise children. Let us put in that most sacred of documents an affirmation of that institution upon which our society demands.
I urge my colleagues to embrace H.J. Res. 88, the Marriage Protection Amendment.
This speech on the floor of the House was in support of Mike Pence’s religious beliefs. Mr. Pence is entitled to hold any beliefs about religion he chooses, but the first Amendment of the Constitution says he does not have the right to impose his beliefs on other citizens. The Pence church requires members of the congregation to “believe that God created humans as male and female and ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman who unite in one flesh to reflect God’s glory. . . . Sexual intimacy is reserved for those bound together in the covenant of marriage only” http://mediafiles.yourchurch.com.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/c/0e4529755_1468957049_confession-of-faith--2015.pdf
As governor of Indiana Mike Pence signed a “religious freedom” bill in 2015. This bill would have allowed businesses to refuse services to members of the LGBTQ community. It also would have allowed employers to treat female employees differently because the of the religious beliefs of the employer. Pence claimed he signed the bill
“because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith…Today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action." He cited the University of Notre Dame's fight to prevent its employees from accessing birth control as an example.
In the past Mike Pence has repeatedly based his political decisions on his religious beliefs. His beliefs are a hybrid of conservative Catholicism and evangelical Protestant beliefs. He generally chooses the most conservative ideas from each faith tradition. For about the last five years Pence has become publicly evasive about his religious ideas. Pence has always very ambitious politically and he knows that religious dogma that is acceptable in central Indiana would be strongly rejected elsewhere. Some of Pence's ideas are even too conservative for most of the people in Indiana and Mississippi.
Pence is much more authoritarian than Trump. Trump wants to be admired and liked; Pence wants to be in control. Donald Trump does not seem to have fixed ideas about policy; Mike Pence has a rigid religious ideology he would like to impose on the world.
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