I’m not surprised by the reaction that those on the left, in particular the secular left, had toward news that Vice President Mike Pence took steps to guard his marriage.
The Washington Post reported in their profile of the Second Lady, Karen Pence that:
In 2002, 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.
Something that should be respected is mocked and this illustrates how light years apart Christ-followers are from many in our society in terms of values.
Some reactions from Twitter:
Re the Mike Pence quote: Trying to imagine what my career would look like if I'd refused to dine solo with male editors & interview subjects
— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) March 30, 2017
I'm scared of the guy Mike Pence is, and I'm equally scared of the guy he thinks he is.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) March 30, 2017
Huffington Post ran this piece:
Perhaps VP Pence has made exceptions to his 2002 marital rule in the intervening years. But as Mother Jones Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery pointed out on Twitter, following this rule to its logical conclusion would mean that Pence’s ability to meet with and work with women would be severely limited.
Can he have a professional lunch with Kellyanne Conway or Nikki Haley or Ivanka Trump without viewing it as a marital betrayal? Is he open to hiring women into positions of power on his staff ― specifically positions that require consistent contact? Is the Vice President of the United States able to see any woman as his contemporary, rather than a potential threat to his marriage?
I don’t doubt that Pence has a deep regard for his wife. What is worrisome is the idea that the principles that govern his marriage could be used to govern the country.
Give me a break.
As a former pastor and ministry professional I established some similar guidelines, but I couldn’t totally follow the same rule of thumb when I worked for Serve Our Youth Network. There were occasions I had to drive with a female coworker to juvenile facility to do some programing. I would occasionally have to have lunch or coffee with a female pastor or church staff member to discuss our volunteer needs.
I can tell you I never had dinner or anything that had any semblance of a date. I also kept my wife in the know. Why? Because I wanted to protect my marriage and even avoid the very appearance of evil. I didn’t want there to be any room for an accusation. I didn’t hear any complaints from my wife about this.
When I was a youth pastor I would never meet with girls alone and implemented a two adult rule with our programming.
Did that mean I didn’t think I could not control myself? Absolutely not. My integrity was just that important to me so I was going to guard it even if it was inconvenient or awkward.
That is where Vice President Pence is coming from (if he still maintains that rule).
What’s remarkable is that the same people complaining about this standard were likely quiet when President Bill Clinton was cavorting around. Oh yes, so much better! Ladies, would you rather be on a staff member for someone who honors his wife and his marriage vows enough to protect them like this or for someone whom you know has a reputation for hitting on staffers?
I sincerely hope your answer is the former.