The Vice-President is suddenly under fire, and a lot of Americans are crying foul. Stemming from a 2002 interview with The Hill, Mike Pence spoke of the marital boundaries he has put in place, which he referred to directly as “building a zone around your marriage.” The content he was referring to was as follows:
“In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.” This statement comes from Ashley Parker of the Washington Post in a profile piece on the Vice-President’s wife, Karen Pence.
To gain context and perspective, history serves us best in looking at similar other-gender issues between our elected officials. President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both provide the historical context of the highest office through statements or infidelity committed that is official public record.
“I’ve looked at a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do – and I have done it – and God forgives me for it,” Jimmy Carter told Playboy Magazine in an interview from November, 1976, the same month he was elected President of the United States. Jimmy and his wife Rosalynn were married in 1946, and will celebrate their 71st anniversary together this year.
Former President Bill Clinton has admitted to extramarital affairs of some variety with Jennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky, the second of which was an intern employed by his office during his Presidency. Most of the world is also aware of the accusations made against Bill Clinton by Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Wiley, Dolly Kyle and also of the rumored affairs with Eleanor Mondale and Elizabeth Hurley, most while serving as President of the United States. From his original candidacy to the end of his last term, no single President has garnered more attention for admitted and potential sexual misconduct than former President Clinton. While parents found it necessary to explain new terms to their children during his Presidency, the media reported on most of these allegations, while investigation after investigation was paid for by the us, the tax payers. The concern was less about his sexual activity than actually who had direct access to the President and exactly what else were they given access to.
From all private and public accounts, Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, who have been married for thirty-two years, have a close marriage. Karen Pence has been cited by multiple sources as the quiet force behind the Vice-President, intricately involved in both his political positions past and present, and was a quiet, yet powerful force during the Trump/Pence Presidential Campaign.
Vice-President Mike Pence has shown wisdom setting up these boundaries, and frankly, the only people who don’t think so are the same folks who didn’t vote for him in the first place. In the days of rampant sexual addictions, and I think most Americans, regardless of faith, would agree sex addiction is a problem in our country, it is refreshing to encounter a couple who have done what it takes to ensure a strong marriage. Both men and women are falling victim to the false promises set by marital infidelity, whether it is with an actual person or the screen on your smartphone. Sexual addictions corrupt our views of the not only the opposite sex, but they annihilate our views of our own sexuality. Each week there are well over 1,000 sexual addiction meetings in the United States alone, according to the organization Sex Addicts Anonymous, and obviously most of the addicted are not seeking treatment. The narrative of sexual addictions in our country today has a colossal place in this discussion, as we see a steady erosion of the values Jesus taught us, which were quoted almost word for word by former President Jimmy Carter above.
Obviously, the private marriage boundaries of the Pence’s became public fodder when he was elected Vice-President, and they should be considered in the exact same light as we would consider former President Clinton’s. They are either a public matter, or a private matter. If we, as a country, are to rail against the Vice-President for “building a zone around your marriage”, we should also reconsider those who haven’t and what price our country has had to pay because of it.
Kudos to Mike Pence for protecting his marriage, setting the bar high for his family and country, and for once again choosing to honor Jesus above anything else this world has to offer. For his detractors, you remain where you always have been, unmoved by his wisdom as a man and by his loyalty to his bride. I pray somehow you will at least see a glimmer of the discernment this man has shown, and do what you can to protect your marriages.
For those who love Jesus, we should be grateful for the example our Vice-President has set, not only for those who respect him, but maybe even more for those who don’t. The more this story spreads, the more the faith of Mike Pence becomes known, and the Gospel of Jesus is made known throughout our nation. There is a reason why this story has teeth, and this moment in our history is no surprise to God, who uses all things to glorify his name and bring his love and goodness to his people.