The vice-presidential debate is now long over and forgotten. But toward the end of the debate, both candidates—self-proclaimed Christians—were asked to “discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position.”
Democratic candidate Tim Kaine responded: “I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life. But I don’t believe that in this nation, a First Amendment nation, where we don’t raise any religion over the other, and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.” He went on to say that he and Hillary Clinton support Roe v. Wade and “a woman’s right to choose.”
In contrast, Republican candidate Mike Pence, now vice president-elect, said: “I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that . . . where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so . . . I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.” He continued, “so for me, my faith informs my life.”
One’s natural response was to paraphrase the Constitution and a Supreme Court ruling to justify his support for abortion on demand. The other’s was to cite God’s Word and how it directs his steps.
Both men’s faith teaches personhood at conception. Yet, only one aligns his actions with his faith.
We saw during that debate the contrast between a politician and a statesman—a person who stands firm and takes action (Dan. 11:32b) regardless of the personal consequences.
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The honor was bestowed on Pence because he has worked tirelessly to protect the sanctity of life in the state of Indiana. He has supported a partial birth abortion ban, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and he led the fight to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana.
“The fear of losing their federal funding has led them to target me for my pro-life positions,” he said several years ago when the group was attacking him. “They’ve even named me to their 2010 Election Hall of Shame for advocating a pro-life agenda on Capitol Hill, but I refuse to back down.”
After signing a law this year that makes sex selection and disability selection abortions illegal in his state, Pence summed up his work on behalf of life.
“I believe that a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled and the unborn,” he explained. “Reports show that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, receives nearly one-third of its $1 billion annual budget from the federal government. Our tax dollars should not be spent on abortions. I know it. You know it.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is the apparent choice for Trump’s vice president. Pence, who has famously introduced himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican – in that order,” has been a champion for conservative values in Indiana. What does his selection mean for the Republican Party and for Trump’s campaign?
We talked with Curt Smith of Indiana Family Action, who told us he thinks it’s a good thing for life, family and religious freedom.