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Daniel Darling: The conviction to leave


WORLD Radio - Daniel Darling: The conviction to leave

As former Vice President Mike Pence ends his presidential run, Christians can appreciate his public faith and integrity

Former Vice President Mike Pence arrives to speak at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Associated Press/Photo by John Locher

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is November 2nd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Up next: a Christian politician bows out of the presidential race. WORLD Opinions commentator Daniel Darling on Vice President Mike Pence.

DANIEL DARLING, COMMENTATOR: On Oct. 28, former Vice President Mike Pence, announced his withdrawal from the 2024 race for the Republican nomination for president. In a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said, “The Bible tells us there’s a time for every purpose under heaven. … I came here to say it’s becoming clear to me, this is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today.”

Born the son of a Korean war veteran and small business owner, Pence has had a long and distinguished career in public life that began with three failed runs for Congress in the 1980s. He then began hosting a political talk show that he labeled “Rush Limbaugh on decaf.” In his memoir, So Help Me God, he admits that he thought his political career was over. But it was just beginning.

In 2000, he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Indiana’s second congressional district. He served six terms, becoming a leader of the conservative faction of the Republican majority. He was known for his commitment to fiscal restraint and the sanctity of human life. In 2012, he won the race to be Indiana’s 50th governor. His term was marked by fiscal discipline and education reform but also criticism from the left and the right of his handling of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In 2016, an embattled Donald Trump chose Pence as his running mate, helping to solidify the evangelical vote. At times, he was criticized for his loyalty to President Trump, though in his memoir he admits to many private disagreements. As Trump’s presidency wore down, their alliance fractured. The vice president consistently refused appeals to overturn the election, reaffirming his commitment to the constitutional process of the transfer of power. For this, a man who was already derided for his Christian faith by the left was rewarded with disdain by many on the right.

Americans should appreciate the public service of Mike Pence. A man of deep and genuine faith in Christ, he was often mocked by the late-night hosts and media establishment for his piety. Even some Christians scoffed at his following of a modified “Billy Graham rule” which kept him from meeting with women alone. But in an era where both parties feature men and women of duplicitous moral character, perhaps we should not so easily dismiss a leader who unapologetically protects his marriage.

As he exits this stage, we should recognize Mike Pence’s public service, his public faith, his integrity, and his unswerving commitment to the sanctity of life. And we should welcome, not discourage, those who are unafraid to be unapologetically Christian, even when such devotion is mocked by the satirists or feared by the secularists.

Let’s hope that Vice President Pence continues to have a voice of moral authority in America. We still need that, and so we still need him—regardless of his political future.

I’m Daniel Darling.

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