The Leftist Attacks on Pence’s Moral Guidelines Are a Denial of Human Nature

The leftist response to the Pences' personal rule reveals a glaring blind spot when it comes to self-awareness.

By Michael Brown Published on April 4, 2017

The left’s bizarre and almost hysterical reaction to Vice President Pence’s marital guidelines is not only off point. It misses the most essential point of all. Namely, that it’s Pence’s high esteem for women — and for the most important woman in his life, his own wife — that fuels his moral choices. At the same time, the leftist response reveals a glaring lack of self-awareness.

Uproar Over Pence’s Personal Rule

The uproar began last week when the Washington Post published Ashley Parker’s article, “Karen Pence is the vice president’s ‘prayer warrior,’ gut check and shield.”

The title of this article points to the key role Karen Pence plays in her husband’s life. You might think that would draw praise from feminists and leftists. But no. The article drew rabid responses, including Laura Chapin’s call at US News to “lock him up” (seriously).

Most of the criticism focused on one revelation. “In 2002,” Parker wrote, “Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.”

Chapin, a Democratic strategist, responded with this rant:

Then lock him up. Because if your only concept of women is whether you want to have sex with them, something is seriously wrong with you. It presumes women exist only in terms of how men define and perceive them, without autonomy or self-determination. Women exist solely for procreation, which is to be determined and directed by men.

Memo to Mike Pence and the other right-wing men: Women come in more categories than prey and invisible. And none of them want to have sex with you.

Still breathing fire, she concluded her article with this: “Whether Pence is in a room with a single woman is silly but irrelevant. What matters is the millions of American women, and women abroad, to whom his retrograde beliefs and policies pose a threat.” (She was also referring here to the fact that “Pence broke a tie in the Senate to OK legislation allowing states to bar Planned Parenthood from getting public health grants.”)

The Criticism Kept Coming

Not to be outdone, Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal tweeted, “The calling card of all religious fundamentalism: terror of women.” He referenced the tweet of Danish journalist Martin Burcharth: “How differrent [sic] is VP from Orthodox Muslim men? Mike Pence doesn’t eat alone with women.”

On my own Twitter feed, Susan wrote, “Christians will criticize Muslim women for wearing hijabs, but Pence would exclude their presence altogether. That oppression is OK though.”

Over at Vox, attorney Joanna L. Grossman opined that “the practice described by Pence in that 2002 interview is clearly illegal when practiced by a boss in an employment setting, and deeply damaging to women’s employment opportunities.”

Also at Vox, in more moderate tones, a female, evangelical university professor suggested that “good character is better than strict rules,” as if the two had to be in conflict. To the contrary, good character often results in strict rules, although strict rules alone hardly produce good character.

In truth, Mike Pence is exercising good, old-fashioned common sense that is all too rare these days.

Human Beings Get Tempted

Pence sees that it’s easy for human beings to fall into temptation. He made clear that he’s seen all too many marriages destroyed during his years in politics. He said:

I’ve lost more elections than I’ve won. I’ve seen friends lose their families. I’d rather lose an election. … Little old ladies come and say, ‘Honey, whatever you need to do, keep your family together.’”

What happens when you spend more time with a woman other than your wife? What happens when you share your victories and sorrows with someone other than your spouse? What happens when you put in late hours together, behind closed doors, leaning on one other for support? (One of Pence’s guidelines was never to work late alone with a female aid.)

Many affairs begin with an emotional attachment rather than a physical attachment.

The reality is that many, if not most affairs, begin with an emotional attachment rather than a physical attachment. 

And let’s remember that Pence is not just protecting himself and his wife Karen. He’s also protecting the women who work for him. Some might grow attached to him and fall into the same dangerous cycle. (If I recall, President Clinton had a bit of a problem with one of his female interns.)

And just imagine what could happen if Pence was accused of sexual impropriety. As one of my Twitter followers observed, “The same liberals would be quick to judge and condemn him if he were to be involved in a sexual act outside of his marriage.”

Looking in the Mirror is Painful

Given all of this, why do so many on the left object to Pence’s rules? Are marriages so solid that safeguards aren’t needed? Is there a need to increase adultery in America? Should we declare war on fidelity?

As Frank Camp wrote on the Daily Wire:

Elected officials in Washington, D.C. are just as flawed as any other human being. Additionally, men and women in positions of power are more frequently the target of unwanted advances, unsubstantiated accusations, and tabloid speculation. Given the environment in which elected officials live, the limitations Pence applies to himself are admirable and prudent.

Camp is right. I for one am glad to have guard rails on the sides of mountainous roads. Or, for that matter, concrete medians in the center of a six-lane highways). And the most conscientious drivers are the first to put on their seat belts. As the old adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Or, in the words of the apostle Paul, “Let him who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

That’s just what Mike Pence has done. He knows that overconfidence can kill. Many on the left, perhaps in denial of human sin, must concoct a different story for Pence’s guidelines. Ironically, in so doing, they reveal an aspect of our fallen nature, namely, our tendency to deceive ourselves about who we really are.

Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror.

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  • Christian Cowboy

    In today’s world, if you hold onto Christian values and use God’s Word to define good and evil – be prepared to be chastised.

    • m-nj

      just as Jesus promised… John 15
      18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

      Funny how you rarely, if ever, hear THESE words during what passes for “evangelism” these days.

      • Christian Cowboy

        Thank you that reminder.

    • Marolyn Bean Gray

      Amen!

  • Gary

    Trying to reason with liberals is a waste of time. Debating morality with liberals is a waste of time. Actually, talking to liberals is a waste of time. Their worldview is incompatible with other worldviews. They each have their own subjective morality that varies with the individual and the situation. If you think you can find common ground with a liberal, you are naïve. They live on a different planet. They are aliens to reality. The only thing you can do with liberals is defeat them before they defeat you.

    • Autrey Windle

      I wish I could say you are wrong, but, while you are blunt, you have valid points. I am surrounded by extreme liberals because of where I live. My actual neighborhood and several in my county house the last of the real conservatives in our geographic reality. I see every day that the only way to have common ground is to only discuss the time or the ballgame scores; and even then, you have to be careful you don’t endorse a Christian coach or player or be ready for the liberal tirade. If you have a cross on your earrings or the wrong bumper sticker on your car, watch out for trouble. I don’t back down, but I often keep my words to myself and just be Christian in my actions. It may not ever come in handy to be trusted in spite of my opposing views, but it may. If nothing else, it’s good practice for allowing the enemies of God to tell me their battle plans so I know where to most effectively strike when the Lord calls me to battle in word or deed. I treasure your ability to speak boldly, with a grain of salt. You remind me of the tough Uncle I never had. Or maybe I just love your truck…

      • Gary

        Thanks. I’m really a very nice guy to decent people. But I have learned, through experience, that there are some people who are not decent. Usually its best to stay away from them, if you can.

        • A Cater

          Separate yourself from ungodliness and unbelief but maintain corrective love in your heart without compromising your Christian principles and faith. Christians ought to be the salt of the earth and full of Gospel light.

          • Gary

            I prefer to separate myself from the ungodly and unbelieving. Results in less stress for me.

  • Paul

    What I really appreciate about the liberals reaction to Pence is it completely blows a hole in the liberal argument that it’s fine for Christians to live their own values on a personal level. No, clearly even his own personal choices to honor his marriage are grounds for ridicule, condemnation and even arrest. It’s not that liberals don’t want Christians to live their lives in public, they simply don’t want Christians.

  • A Cater

    These liberal media responses are the manifestation of the behaviour of those who want no part of God and his precepts. It we turn our backs on God and godliness, Satan will have a field day and take over our lives. The result will be a society out of moral control without human decency and ultimately the destruction of the nation.

    • Are You Kidding Me

      Which is exactly what we are seeing!

  • Are You Kidding Me

    Before turning rabid, did they consider that part of his motivation may be that he doesn’t trust the women to behave honorably? Come on, ladies, we ALL have known at least one who would lie about an alleged encounter if she feels scorned or gets paid enough to do so.

    • Autrey Windle

      Boy, isn’t that the truth!

  • Liz Litts

    Just boils down to this-Darkness hates the light because it exposes their evil

  • Jim Walker

    Totally agree and Pence is not just rarity to me but the last gentleman standing in the room. Trump has real foresight in his pick. Trump knows Pence will his stabilizing force and moral pillar.
    I have experienced much temptation in my line of work, and had close proximity working with women, married or single, of which some are emotionally attached to me.
    They showed their affection with sweet nothings like small presents and little love-laced notes.
    Some even attempt to offer themselves literally.
    I also have to admit, its vice versa for me as well.
    Mind you, I was far from God then, so you can imagine how hard its to resist.
    Kudos to VP Pence !

  • Bezukhov

    Gotta hand it to Pence. The lengths he goes to stay pure. Rumor has it the VP Pence won’t even allow a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s pancake syrup to be on his table.

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