National Prayer Breakfast Audience Cheers as Trump Praises Karen Pence for Teaching at Christian School
On Thursday, President Donald Trump spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, and he did not shy away from controversial issues. While introducing Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, Trump celebrated her return to teaching art at a Christian school. He also pledged to defend faith-based adoption. Both Karen Pence's return to teaching and the faith-based adoption movement have inspired an angry backlash from the LGBT movement and its allies.
"We're thrilled to be joined by our tremendous vice president, Mike Pence, along with our incredible second lady, Karen Pence, and by the way..." Trump declared as he was cut off by loud applause.
"By the way, I've gotten to know Karen so well. She is a Marine Corps mom, a tremendous woman, a proud supporter of military families, and she just recently went back to teaching art classes at a Christian school. Thank you. Thank you, Karen," Trump concluded.
The crowd applauded and the president stood back to clap for Karen Pence himself. While Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were in attendance, no jeers or "boos" could be heard.
The news that Karen Pence was returning to teach at Immanuel Christian School in Alexandria, Va., sparked an outcry last month. Immanuel Christian School, like so many Christian institutions, adheres to biblical sexual morality, teaching that sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Activists tweeted, "F*ck these homophobes!" and worse.
A New York Times reporter sought stories along the lines of "#ExposeChristianSchools," a hashtag that trended on Twitter in the wake of the Karen Pence news. A Washington, D.C., private school refused to play sports with Immanuel Christian School due to its code of sexual ethics.
Mike Pence himself called for the mainstream media to stop "attacks on Christian education."
Perhaps Democrats have learned that loud complaints about the second lady's employment reveal their disgusting anti-religious bigotry, or perhaps they decided it would be better to keep mum on this particular issue.
Some LGBT activists attacked Trump for his remarks. GLAAD retweeted ThinkProgress LGBT editor Zack Ford.
It seems the movement has not yet decided to attack Democrats for not booing loudly, however.
The audience also applauded Trump's efforts to defend religious freedom.
"To ensure that people of faith can always contribute to our society, my administration has taken historic action to protect religious liberty," the president declared to applause.
He told the story of a Michigan family who adopted five children and lamented the fact that the Roman Catholic adoption agency that helped expand their family has faced legal troubles for its stances on sexual morality. He pledged that his administration "will always protect our country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption."
"My administration is working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their forever families while following their deeply-held beliefs," Trump added.
Many Democrats and left-leaning organizations have decried the religious freedom of faith-based adoption agencies as bigotry and discrimination. These agencies adhere to biblical sexual morality that reserves sex for marriage between one man and one woman and choose adoptive parents based on their religious beliefs.
Activists decry even the term "religious freedom" as a smokescreen for bigotry. Even so, the Democrats and liberals in the audience did not jeer or boo as Trump pledged to defend faith-based adoption.
Anti-Christian bigotry has flared up among 2020 Democrats. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) pressed a Trump nominee on whether or not she considers homosexual activity sinful, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) launched an inquisition into another Trump nominee because he had been a member of the Knights of Columbus.
This bigotry may not have emerged at the National Prayer Breakfast, but it is growing among the Democratic Party. The outrage over Karen Pence's employment is only one instance of this growing movement, institutionalized by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church as "hate" speech.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.