Vice President Mike Pence makes no secret of his faith. He has often said of himself, “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican. In that order.” His faith is the foundation of his political convictions, the root from which governance grows.
Donald Trump shored up his evangelical Christian support with the choice of Pence for vice president. During the tumultuous campaign, many conservatives took confidence in the partnership the two men forged.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you …”
As President Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, “Every time I was in a little trouble with something, where they were questioning me, they’d say, ‘But he picked Mike Pence, so he has to know what he’s doing.'”
Pence is staunchly and persuasively pro-life. During the lone vice presidential debate, it was Mike Pence in his determined but gentle demeanor who cited Jeremiah 1:5 to Tim Kaine. While discussing the sanctity of life, Kaine — a practicing Catholic —attempted to justify abortion as a reproductive choice. Pence politely but forcefully said, quoting Scripture, “‘Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you.'”
A recent FaithWire article detailed a private meeting held last Wednesday evening before the Prayer Breakfast. Pence shared that the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 hangs above his mantle.
It states, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Pence grew up in an Irish-Catholic family of Democrats. It was while he was in college that he “gave [his] life to Jesus Christ and that changed everything.” He met his wife at church — they have now been married for more than 30 years — and attended Mass regularly until the mid-’90s.
He often described himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” but eventually he began referring to himself as an “ordinary Christian” instead. Regardless of his personal references, he stands for traditional Christian values — including religious freedom, pro-life causes, and traditional marriage.
He experienced the realization that he needed Christ as his Savior.
At the same private gathering, Pence also shared a specific verse that means a great deal to him, both personally and for this country. The passage 2 Chronicles 7:14 reads, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This is a verse of contrition, mercy, and restoration. God promises Solomon that He will remain faithful to His people, if only His people will repent.
Many reporters have commented that Vice President Pence has avoided discussing his faith in recent years. However, it appears that in such interviews Pence is merely attempting to explain in simple terms the miracle of personal conversion, which is often inexplicable. He is both a man who values his Catholic upbringing but also someone who experienced a moment of realization that he needed Christ as his Savior. And that realization altered his faith and therefore the influence his faith has had over his life and career.
In 2012, Pence told the IndyStar, “I would say that my Christian faith and my relationship with Karen are the two most dominant influences in my life today.” Pence spent his time in Congress and his years governing the state of Indiana with conviction according to his biblical beliefs. Now, as vice president, he will have the opportunity to influence the country with faith as his influence.
Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.