Karen Pence Sparks Liberal Upset by Returning to Teach at a Private Christian School

The 'statement of faith' required of all instructors, parents, and students at the institution has media figures up in arms

Image Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Stringer/Getty Images / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Staff/Getty Images

After media outlets began reporting on Tuesday that second lady Karen Pence had returned to teaching art at a private Christian school that requires an adherence to the biblical definition of marriage and sexual morality, many folks — well — went wild.

Karen Pence, an artist who studied elementary education, had previously taught at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia when her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, served in Congress.

Now, her office has announced she’s returned to teaching art at the school two days a week.

“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Karen Pence said in a statement. “I have missed teaching art, and it’s great to return to the school where I taught art for 12 years.”

But liberals immediately pounced after learning Immanuel Christian School requires employees, students and parents to adhere to a statement of faith. It requires them to believe in and practice biblical sexual morality and traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

“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,” the school’s parent agreement reads.

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The school reserves the right to “refuse admission” or “discontinue enrollment” if students’ actions or their parents’ actions “are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.”

This biblical lifestyle includes avoiding “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.”

The school embraces “biblical family values.” It defines marriage as “between one man and one woman.”

Immanuel Christian School also prohibits “heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female” — including sexual harassment and “sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law.”

The school’s employment application also requires employees to practice marriage between one man and one woman.

One line urging a wife “to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ” also incurred liberals’ wrath.

Related: Ohio’s New GOP Governor Is Sworn In Using Nine Bibles

It is not uncommon for Christian private schools to require students and employees to adhere to biblical marital and sexual standards. Yet such a requirement seemed to stun many liberals.

“Karen Pence Is Working At A School That Bans LGBTQ Employees And Kids,” the Huffington Post’s headline read.

“Karen Pence to teach at school that bans gay students, parents, employees,” said a Politico article.

“Karen Pence is ‘excited’ to be teaching at a school that doesn’t allow LGBTQ students or teachers,” Vice noted.

The ACLU tweeted, “This sends a terrible message to students. Do we want to live in a country with leaders who are willing to disavow LGBTQ youth?”

“So, lemme get this straight, the second lady of the United States has chosen to work at a school that openly discriminates against LGBT adults and children,” CNN’s Kate Bennett tweeted.

“Karen Pence is a terrible human being,” Vulture journalist Mark Harris even tweeted.

Palmer Report’s Bill Palmer wrote, “Mike Pence is an extremist bigot. Karen Pence is an extremist bigot. She’s unfit to even be around kids, let alone teach them. Anyone willing to allow their kid to be taught by a dangerous monster like Karen Pence is unfit to be a parent. Ask me how I really feel.”

The Huffington Post’s Rebecca Klein tweeted, “To be clear, this means Karen Pence has chosen to work at a school with blatantly discriminatory hiring practices. The school bans LGBTQ employees. Seems notable.”

But Kara Brooks, Karen Pence’s spokeswoman, said in a statement that “it’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack.”

Many Christians and conservatives came to Karen Pence’s defense — and went after liberals for failing to understand biblical morality.

The Daily Wire’s editor-in-chief, Ben Shapiro, tweeted, “She’s teaching at a private Christian school. If you can’t handle that, you’re an anti-religious bigot.”

“This article is a great example for why media distrust is a real thing. Media elites thinking there’s a story here while not possessing a basic knowledge of constitutional liberties, or for that matter, remote familiarity with Christian teaching,” Andrew T. Walker, a senior fellow in Christian Ethics at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), tweeted in response to The Washington Post’s take on the matter.

“Karen Pence Hired By Christian School That Expects Students And Teachers To Accept Biblical Teaching, Which Of Course Is Totally Reasonable And Normal And The Kind Of Thing That Only A Fool Would Be Outraged About Matt Walsh added,” conservative columnist Matt Walsh tweeted in response to Mediaite’s reporting.

Charlie Richards of Salem Media Group tweeted, “CNN goes into all-out attack mode on a woman for teaching at a Christian school. The headline is designed to incite anger. Hatred, really. But that’s who they’ve become.”

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