Mike Pence outraged at wife getting criticized for working at a school that bans gay families
This week, Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, started working as a teacher at Immanuel Christian School. However, she received a lot of criticism for her choice of workplace.
The North Virginia-based Christian school openly discriminates against LGBTIQ parents, staff, and children. After the controversy sparked, the Vice President did an interview where he addressed the criticism.
On Thursday, Pence appeared on “EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn” where he defended his wife’s choice to work as an art teacher at Immanuel Christian School.
PREVIEW -- @VP @mike_pence responds to critics of @SecondLady's new job. "The criticism of Christian education in America should stop." Tune in tonight for part one of my full interview with the Vice President on @EWTNNewsNightly at 7 PM EST on @EWTN. pic.twitter.com/YKEHyroswC— Lauren Ashburn (@LaurenAshburn) January 17, 2019
On “Eternal World Television Network (EWTN),” a Catholicism-focused network, Mike insisted that critics were attacking Christian education.
His interview came two days after it was revealed that his wife Second Lady Karen Pence had accepted an art teaching job at the school.
he vice president referred to The Washington Post and CNN, which Lauren Ashburn named as the biggest critics, stating:
“To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us,”
Although the whole thing upset him, Mike said “We’ll let the critics roll off our backs,” and added, “But this criticism of Christian education should stop.”
Why not serve at a school that welcomes everyone? Not a week passes without some reminder that the Pences view LGBTQ people as second class citizens. https://t.co/j54PiHL6qn— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 16, 2019
The politician further elaborated that “The freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.”
He also explained that the US had “a rich tradition in America of Christian education and frankly religious education broadly defined.”
The Christian school refuses to admit any students who participate in or condone homosexual or bisexual activity. Its 2018 employment application states that one requirement for an applicant is to pledge not to participate in or condone “homosexual activity,” or violate the “unique roles of male and female.”
The school believes that the definition of marriage includes “one man and one woman” and notes that “a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said:
“It’s disturbing Second Lady Karen Pence would put her stamp of approval on an institution that actively targets LGBTQ students at one of the places where they should feel the safest.”
She also noted that many young people who are coming to terms with their gender identity turn to the arts as a “safe haven.” Ellis added, “As an art teacher, I suspect [Pence] is aware of that.”
This is baloney @VP Pence, it is NOT an attack on "Christian education,” it’s an attack on discrimination against the LGBTQ community.— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) January 18, 2019
And let Mother speak for herself. She’s Second Lady of our country! https://t.co/6XzHYe6hLZ
The second lady’s spokeswoman Kara Brooks said:
“It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack.”
Karen, who was previously employed by the school for 12-years while her husband was in Congress, stated that she was “excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do. I have missed teaching art.”
On Thursday, in response to the controversy, The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, announced that it had sent the school 100 copies of the book “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.”
The group said they included “a heartfelt note that encourages the school’s leaders to accept LGBTQ young people.” The children’s book is about a boy rabbit that falls in love with another boy rabbit.
The book was written by comedian John Oliver as a response to a book called “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President.”
You were voted in for all people of USA not just for a select few.. Hurry out of office.— Greta Threadgill (@gdkthreadgill) January 18, 2019
The original book was written by the Pences' daughter Charlotte, 21, who also graduated from the Christian school. Her book was illustrated by her mother and it depicts the family’s pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.
A former student of the Christian school, Luke Hartman, an out gay man, shared his support for the book donation.
He explained that he was “a living example that intolerance, both in policy and rhetoric, are harmful to the mental wellness and development of LGBTQ students, who are desperately looking for ways to fit in.”
The anti-LGBTQ school where Karen Pence started teaching is about to receive a large pile of books with a message of acceptance. The children's book tells the story of a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. https://t.co/wh7wKSeDXR— HuffPost Queer Voices (@huffpostqueer) January 17, 2019
Hartman said that “silent and spoken messages of rejection” felt by LGBTQ youth “directly impact the relationship they have with their faith, education, and relationships with family and friends” and damage their self-worth.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has blasted the second lady’s workplace choice. The nation’s largest gay rights advocacy group said the move was an example of the Pences showing their public service “only extends to some.”