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‘Things are different now’: Mike Pence says tolerance for Christian beliefs is dwindling
“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” said Vice President Mike Pence in his commencement address at Liberty Univerity in Virginia on Saturday. But times are a-changin’.
According to Pence, the era of Christians enjoying the freedom to express their religious beliefs freely in America without ridicule has passed.
In years past, “it didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible,” Pence said. “But things are different now.”
Preparing for action
In his talk before some 40,000 reportedly in attendance, Pence lamented that tolerance for the Christian faith in America is dwindling, particularly among the left.
“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” Pence said.
He went on to warn graduates to “be ready” to field attacks like those he and his wife, Karen, have endured over the last several months, including an insistence from The View host Joy Behar, who likened Pence’s Christian beliefs to a “mental illness.”
“You’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them,” Pence said.
He went on: “So, you need to prepare your minds for action, men and women. You need to show that we can love God and love our neighbor at the same time through words and deeds. And you need to be prepared to meet opposition.”
Pence also recalled in his speech an instance in which he and his wife faced criticism after Karen accepted a job with the Immanuel Christian School, a private elementary school that reportedly does not accept gay students.
And it isn’t just Pence who has faced blowback for his Christianity; Pence noted in his speech that a “bevy of Hollywood liberals” have spearheaded an effort to hurt the state of Georgia financially in the days since Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a controversial abortion bill that bans abortions after an unborn child has a “detectable human heartbeat.”
Pence told the graduates that they may “be asked to bow down to the idols of the popular culture,” but urged students not to give in to the ridicule.
“These attacks on Christian education are un-American,” Pence said. “Stand firm, and defend your beliefs with gentleness and respect.”
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