We’re All Karen Pence Now!
I work with various conservative denominations on the Hill, and I’ve been in numerous meetings with people of faith throughout the Capitol. The spirit in all of these meetings is one of love and concern for our communities, our neighborhoods, and our country. And, even more, there’s a humility that often affords respect toward those with whom we disagree. Sadly, the truth of the matter is this: The kinds of attacks that Christians are enduring in our culture today are coming from a powerful, mean-spirited, secular elite. As the smearing of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has demonstrated, it doesn’t matter if you are a clean-living, mercy-giving, empathetic, and gentle-spirited Christian. The new ethos seeking to dominate Washington, D.C. and the rest of the country is one that demands that the Christian worldview be expunged from public dialogue and public expression.
But many of us have seen this coming. Since the late 1960s, we have seen the results of secular, individualistic libertinism, especially the sexual version, unleashed on our culture with impunity. Many of us grew up in a time when intact families where still the norm across all racial, ethnic, and economic lines. We saw the blessing of holding in tension the habits of self-discipline and self-expression. Of course, we also saw that tension give way in favor of unbridled self-expression in a myriad of forms. Yet, even in those turbulent days, one could disagree with another’s “lifestyle” choice, or offer aid and counsel that disagreed with some else’s behavior, without fear of government intervention and pressure.
Not so today. Disagree with the modern, pop-cultural view of sexual behavior at your peril. Consider what happened to the wife of the Vice-President, Karen Pence. She was publicly shamed and pressured to leave her parochial school teaching job. Why? Because she sought to teach art at a conservative Christian school in Virginia. The horror! (For more information, seehttps://www.westernjournal.com/exposed-media-double-standard-attack-karen-pences-christianity/.)The school is a conservative Christian school espousing traditional values concerning sex and marriage, among other virtues.
The modern criterion for dialogue doesn’t even allow in-depth, engaging conversation. No. The modern standard for public debate means that one cannot disagree with unbridled, undisciplined sexual expression in any form or practice whatsoever. Yet stop and consider the fact that the sexual libertinism of the 1960s has unleashed unprecedented problems in our culture. For example, STDs have exploded among our people, and such libertinism has fueled an abortion holocaust with serial killing doctors that should make one’s stomach turn. It has unleashed record levels of divorce that is virtually always problematic for children, and on and on. But no one is allowed to talk about these consequences, even though many are caused by the current sexualization of virtually every relationship. The only thing that seems to matter is one’s unbridled sexual “freedom.”
Such one-sided discussions are now focused on our children as well. No alternative points of view are allowed no matter how beneficial they might be to someone personally or to our communities corporately. Well, that’s the goal. So, we are all “Karen Pence” now. And there are secular puritans who are on a crusade to limit and even expunge traditional, biblical moral views from the public square by any means possible.
Now, you might think, “What’s the big deal?” If people want to live a different way than prescribed in the Bible, can’t we just let them be? But that’s not the problem. The problem doesn’t lie with Christians in the public square forcing their view of marriage or sexual practice on others. The censorship problem lies with those who are advocating for and politicizing all forms of sexual expression, while allowing for no dissent or disagreement. We’re not too far away from government empowered “equal rights” compliance officers being unleashed on Christian businesses, schools, universities, and, yes, even churches. Why? Because the biblical teaching regarding traditional marriage and the limiting of sexual behavior between a man and a woman in marriage doesn’t jive with the libertinism of today. Again, in that sense, we are all Karen Pence now, and the effort to proclaim God’s ordering of the world for its own good must be engaged if we love our families, our churches, and, yes, also the communities in which we live and serve.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty.
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