The Mike Pence “scandal” 21


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21 comments

  1. Well. The case against Mike Pence is that solo meetings with colleagues/ subordinates/ political associates or opponents are necessary, and if he can’t meet with half of these people- oops, is it less than half? – he has difficulty fulfilling his role, and he is blaming women for his own potential lack of sexual continence. I don’t know much about US politics, but a better comparator for Bill Clinton, say, would be Clarence Thomas, said to have spoken about…such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes, and graphically described “his own sexual prowess” and the details of his anatomy. Note that Thomas was confirmed with Democrat votes.

    As Christians, we ought to try to find the good in people, both in Mr Pence’s odd social abstentions and in the criticism of him. Are you saying that no Democrat can ever object to misogyny because some Democrats were sometimes misogynist or used their power to get sex? Then, who will object to misogyny? Republicans don’t seem to, unless it is Democrat misogyny.

    All three examples, but for Mr Pence, are from the last century. Have we not moved on by now?

    • For the record, Clarence Thomas denied every claim made against him. His accuser, Anita Hill, kept following him around from job to job, which certainly weakened her credibility.

      • I know myself that the attempt to build a career might expose me to the lusts of men, at least one in particular. It is a common experience women have.

        Is that all you want to say? Should we not be seeking all the good we can see in people?

      • I went to a Christian men’s group for a decade. The leader of the group wrote a book titled, “Guard Your Heart,” and reminded us each week to do the same. It was the same advice dispensed by my grandfather from another era. I do believe the advice is timeless. The way it is implemented may vary from man to man, but I do believe Mr. Spence’s advice is spot on. A man’s relationship with his wife is sacred. Anything he does to honor that relationship is a good thing.

      • For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,[o] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

      • I don’t think Mr. Pence views women as tax collectors, in the context of sacred scripture, if that’s what you’re getting at. He views his relationship with his wife as paramount and worth protecting. He does that by reserving his contacts with other women to the workplace and social settings where his wife is present. It’s no dig at other women as much as a loving expression of the way he values his marriage. Good for him!

      • Neither do I.

        I was getting at you, rather than Mr Pence. Your meme might be read as implying all sorts of things, but it does not imply charity towards your political opponents. It shows a wilful refusal to see any good in them. A better exercise for you, as a Christian, would be to try to see the value of the arguments of your opponents before making veiled accusations of hypocrisy, and to question the value of your own side’s arguments. Let us see what we have in common. Yes, Mr Clinton used his power to get sexual favours. Was that a ground for attempting to hound your President from his office, and does your side similarly judge Republicans? Do you think Mr Trump’s three marriages and the accusation of forced sex his first wife withdrew as part of a financial settlement matter, when considering his possible Christianity?

      • Let’s analyze your concerns, which I am truly glad you raised. Is the meme charitable? I do want to be charitable, and sometimes political satire isn’t, so you raise a fair point. This meme points out the inconsistency of those who praise two liberal icons, despite the fact that they treated women dishonorably, including their wives; and yet these same liberals criticize another man who goes out of his way to honor his wife. So the meme fairly raises the question, “who is the real misogynist?” in light of the seeming illogic of these liberals. Regarding Bill Clinton, he wasn’t hounded from office for sexually harassing an intern (even if it was consensual, it is still harassment by liberals’ definition), he was impeached for lying under oath about the assault. Democrat’s were okay with it and acquitted him. Regarding Mr. Trump, I was not impressed with his marriage history or religious history either. Ultimately, voters had but two, imperfect choices from which to choose.

      • Are they the same liberals? Are all the liberals who criticise Mr Pence’s unwillingness to engage fully with female colleagues as he engages with male colleagues, those who defended Mr Clinton’s sexual behaviour?

        I have some sympathy with Mr Clinton’s feeling that it was none of Congress Republicans’ business what sexual activity he indulged in, that it was a disrespectful question, that it was an attempt to weaken the President for partisan objectives, and distract the business of Government. I don’t justify his use of power to gain sexual favours, or his unfaithfulness to his wife.

        Similarly, I don’t think the Mormon rule, sometimes called the Billy Graham rule, is necessary to maintain faithfulness. Mr Pence may feel sexual attraction when there is more than one person in the room. As a Christian, and as a faithful man, he will deal with those feelings.

        It is nuanced.

        So, at least with me, there is no illogic. Yet what you see, even after I attempt to engage with you, is illogic. I feel Christian love would involve some respect. There would not be an immediate need to attack the other and see her arguments as worthless. You would love, and then you would see that there is no necessary illogic- there may be hypocrisy, but other, more charitable explanations are also possible.

        You might still think Mr Pence’s rule is appropriate for the Vice-President with female colleagues, but you would hear the arguments against, and be willing to engage rather than dismiss.

      • Trying to see that your opponents’ point of view might not be completely worthless. Not throwing out allegations of “illogic” without backing them up- it is your straw man meme which is illogical, not any viewpoint opposing your own.

      • There’s a difference between loving someone and being lustfully attracted to them. There is a huge difference.

        To paraphrase CS Lewis, love is not a feeling; it is a state of the will where you want what’s best for someone. Mr. Pence can love someone in a biblical sense, and still have other people in the room to protect his reputation, and his own mind.

      • I have not communicated well. I meant, If Republicans love Republicans, what reward do you have? Do not even Democrats do the same? (for the avoidance of doubt, love those like them). Love your enemies. Is it possible that anything they say might have any value at all?

        POssibly Mr Pence is a victim of excessive sexual drives and minimal sexual control or continence; but I would hope men would be able to be alone with a woman, without either forcing themselves on her or extricating themselves if she attempted to force herself on them.

        Or, has he “received his reward in full”? Other men are quietly and decently faithful to their wives, Mr Pence sounds a trumpet before him as the hypocrites do.

        What is the effect of Mr Pence’s rule? An ability to meet informally with most of his colleagues, to bond with them, but the unfortunate exclusion of others.

      • I think I understand where you were heading with your scripture reference. Thanks for the clarification. Agreeing or disagreeing with someone is certainly no reflection on whether you love them or not. My wife and I occasionally disagree, but we still love each other. I agree with Democrats on many goals, but disagree on the way to accomplish the goals, such as raising wages. I emphatically disagree with them on core issue such as human abortion. That doesn’t mean I “hate” them. Just the opposite. I pray for them. I prayed for President Obama all the time, even though I usually disagreed with him and often didn’t like him. You get to a key, philosophical question: what is love? Bishop Robert Barron expresses it well: “Love, after all, is what God is: willing the good of the other as other.” I pray for the good of the other whether I agree with them or not. In fact, I think Christians are well-served to pray even harder for those with whom we disagree, don’t like, or whom we think wronged us. Thanks for engaging me. May God bless your day.

      • I don’t think I’m excessive in saying that the precaution Mr. Pence is taking does not necessarily mean that he has “excessive sexual drive.” Men are simply affected differently than women are concerning sex. It’s how we’re created. It doesn’t give us an excuse to sin, but it does mean that we have to be extra careful with how we handle ourselves.

        I would also point out that it’s not necessarily a question of a physical relationship either. The mind can be a dangerous place for a man.

        I hear your concerns about sounding a trumpet. Sometimes it does seem that politicians tend towards the “religious” side to get favor. I have no doubt of Pence’s salvation, although sometimes it does seem like an advertisement. All I’ll say is that we need more people in Washington who have principles, and who state them clearly. I think Mr. Pence does that and I appreciate it.

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