This is a story that is already a couple of weeks old, but that should not be allowed to pass without comment.
Second Lady Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, recently announced that she would teach an art class twice a week at Immanuel Christian School in suburban northern Virginia. “I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do," Pence said in a statement. "I have missed teaching art."
Immanuel Christian School has a Statement of Faith and Parent Agreement that spells out the school’s beliefs and what is expected of children who will be in enrolled there, and their families. Item No. 6 in the Parent Agreement provides:
“I understand the biblical role of Immanuel Christian School is to partner with families to encourage students to be imitators of Christ. This necessarily involves the school’s understanding and belief regarding biblical morality and standards of conduct. I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.”
This is, of course, a commonplace and unexceptional statement of Christian belief about God’s plan for sexuality, as specified in Scripture.
It was predictable that LGBT activists would decry Mrs. Pence’s decision to teach at a Christian school with Christian standards of morality. But criticism of Mrs. Pence has not been limited to gay activists. The mainstream media has piled on, frequently stating or implying that she should not be teaching at such a school. NBC News published a “think” piece bemoaning the fact that Christians still have a First Amendment right to uphold their own beliefs in their own churches and parochial schools:
“Through a manipulation of First Amendment language, freedom of religion currently serves as code for bigots to justify not only their discriminatory beliefs but the continuation of verbal and physical violence against minority communities. Even though they project the language of the snowflake at civil rights advocates and liberal-leaning citizens, it is they who cry “victim” when their moral values are exposed as promoting hate and violence. Using a quite simple two-pronged logic, they circumvent accountability by projecting blame onto those people who they discriminate against while obfuscating the bigotry of their own beliefs.”
The New York Times ran an article that purported to be a neutral news item, but the writer quoted a Leftist academic who tied Pence’s action to the “exclusionary nationalism” of the Trump Administration. The article also implicitly criticized the school for having a creationist philosophy:
“The students, the teacher wrote, were expected to travel in March on a field trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, which portrays the Bible as a book of history, asserts that the universe is 6,000 years old and claims that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Science, on the other hand, has established that the universe is billions of years old — dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago — and humans did not roam the earth with T-rex.”
ABC News published the headline: “Karen Pence Takes Job at a School that Hates Gays,” with a video clip of Jimmy Kimmel making fun of Mrs. Pence.
The Washington Post published a purported straight news piece that followed the New York Times’ lead in quoting an academic who tied the action to purported extremism in the Trump Administration. They quoted Robert Tuttle, a professor of law and religion at George Washington Law School, who admitted that the school’s language on sexuality was typical of conservative Christian institutions, and that Mrs. Pence was well within her rights teach there, but nevertheless argued that the Trump Administration was being “confrontational” by allowing Mrs. Pence to teach at the school. The Post also ran a harsh editorial (behind a paywall) criticizing Mrs. Pence.
What makes this story so chilling is that these are all mainstream news outlets, not LGBT activist media such as the Advocate. This is not the far Left but rather the mainstream Left, the Democratic Party and its friendly (if not wholly owned) media outlets: the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC, and ABC.
And they do NOT think conservative Christianity—the doctrines on sexuality that all Christians taught for 2,000 years, until 20 minutes ago—should be allowed to exist. They imply or even outright state that it is a scandal that a conservative Christian like Karen Pence dares to teach at a conservative Christian school like Immanuel Christian School. They do not believe in freedom of religion and are in full-on attack mode against conservative Christianity.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, guided by its religious liberty establishment, sat out the culture wars—some have argued that we even engaged in them on the side of the anti-Christian Left. The belief seems to have been that if we appeased the Left by ceding the public square to them, they would leave us alone to privately believe and practice our faith as we see fit within the confines of our own churches and schools. That belief is now seen to have been founded on quicksand.
It is now clear that the Left—the mainstream Left—will not rest until their sacrament of sodomy is respected, praised, and practiced in all institutions, public and private, religious and secular, within the boundaries of the United States. They do not recognize any countervailing principle, such as freedom of religion, which might be an obstacle to them imposing their will. To them, freedom of religion is simply a cover for bigotry, and they do not respect it.