by WorldTribune Staff, January 20, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen and 100 clergy at Britain’s Diocese of Oxford are among the rare leading public figures fighting back against what is seen by many as the Left’s war on Christianity.
Karen Pence was blasted by critics on the left after she resumed teaching art at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia. Teachers at the school are asked to pledge to “maintain a lifestyle based on biblical standards of moral conduct.”
“If we cherish the freedom of religion in this country, this administration stands foursquare for the freedom of religion for people of all faiths, and to see the mainstream media criticize my wife because she’s choosing to return to the classroom of an elementary Christian school is wrong,” the vice president said.
In a recent interview with Catholic television network EWTN, the vice president said: “We’ll let the critics roll off our backs,” adding that “Karen and I have been in and around public life for almost two decades, so to be honest with you, we’re used to the criticism, but the attacks on Christian education by the mainstream media have got to stop.”
Of the Left’s meltdown over widely known Evangelical Christian Karen Pence teaching at a Christian school, Lauren DeBellis Appell, deputy press secretary for former Sen. Rick Santorum, wrote for The Daily Caller:
“In this great country we live in, it’s not a crime to be a Christian – at least not yet. But don’t worry, the anti-Christian haters are working on it. Openly attacking Christianity is the only form of acceptable bigotry left in this country – encouraged, enabled and endorsed courtesy of your ‘tolerant’ friends on the Left.”
“The fact of the matter is that Mike and Karen Pence are honorable and decent human beings with a level of character and integrity that those blinded by hate don’t even know exist.”
An April 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 80 percent of Americans believe in God, and 56 percent believe in the God of the Bible.
“Either way,” DeBellis Appel wrote, “these anti-religious haters are ticking off more than half the country. Religious freedom was one of the driving factors that got otherwise reluctant people to the polls to vote for President Trump in 2016.”
Meanwhile, more than 100 Anglican priests in Britain’s Diocese of Oxford signed a letter critical of their bishops’ advice permitting active homosexuals to receive communion and to be ordained, according to a Jan. 15 CatholicCitizens.org report.
The four Oxford bishops had advised clergy in a letter last fall that “Nobody should be excluded or discouraged from receiving the sacraments of baptism or the Lord’s supper on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” while also affirming that “LGBT+ people can be called to roles of leadership and service in the local church.”
In response, the Oxford clergy wrote: “We are dismayed that nowhere in the letter is there any articulation of the current teaching of the Church of England on marriage and sexual relationships, based as it is on the words of Scripture, nor is there any expressed support for it. Instead, we read references to ‘attitudes changing,’ respect for ‘different views,’ and willingness to ‘listen to different streams in the debate.’ ”
Regarding the ordination of homosexuals, the priests said, “We cannot see how it is right to accept as Christian leaders those who advocate lifestyles that are not consistent with New Testament teaching.”
The priests also said their bishops’ declaration that no one should be “excluded or discouraged from receiving the sacraments of baptism or the Lord’s Supper” is problematic, noting, “Such indiscriminate participation seems to be inconsistent with the witness of Scripture.”
The Oxford clergy are also “concerned too by the references to LGBTI+ ‘identity,’ ” and they instead strongly assert, “As Christians, we want to urge that our identity is to be found ‘in Christ.’ ”
They are also troubled by their bishops’ “apparent desire to see the Church innovating liturgically in order to meet an expressed desire of some same-sex couples; and by the organization of a group of LGBTI+ advisers, which does not include same-sex-attracted people who advocate celibacy in faithfulness to Scripture.”
“We would love our bishops to articulate clearly God’s love for us in helping us see both the attractiveness of deep friendships, but also the appropriate setting for sexual intimacy – namely in marriage between a man and a woman,” wrote the concerned clergy members.
However, if they are unwilling to do this, we would ask them to recognize the seriousness of the difference between us: Advocacy of same-sex sexual intimacy is either an expression of the love of God or it creates an obstacle to people entering the kingdom of God.
“It cannot be both,” the priests added. “The situation is serious.”