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Vice President Mike Pence warned Liberty University graduates that they should be prepared to face discrimination because of their religious beliefs.
“We live in a time when it’s become acceptable and even fashionable to ridicule and even discriminate against people of faith,” Pence told the Class of 2019.
The vice president’s remarks echo grave concerns I write about in my new book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.”
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow once smeared Liberty University as “this anti-intellectual, anti-elite line of argument that we’ve seen from right-wing populists since the beginning of time.”
“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence said. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.”
In recent years Christians have faced unrelenting attacks in the public marketplace from secularists and a small, but vocal, mob of LGBT activists.
“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” the vice president said.
He told the assembled crowd they must be prepared when the day comes when they “will be asked to bow down to the idols of popular culture.”
“You’re going to be asked not just to tolerate things that violate your faith; you’re going to be asked to endorse them,” he said.
The fact is that in some states Christians are being treated as second-class citizens — forced by the government to renounce the religious beliefs for the sake of political correctness.
“The truth is, we live in a time when the freedom of religion is under assault,” the vice president said.
And yet, as I write in my new book, we cannot adopt the methods of the leftists.
The vice president told the story of Gerald Toussaint, the pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. On the same day the police arrested the arsonist who burned down their sanctuary, the pastor said, “We’ve got to forgive him.”
“Pastor Toussaint brought a community together with faith and grace,” Pence said. “They overcame evil with good. And that’s the kind of faith we need to see more of in these divided times – faith that unites on a foundation of grace.”
Thankfully, the Trump Administration has taken bold steps to protect religious liberty and the vice president said they will always stand up for the right of Americans to live, to learn, and to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.”
“As President Trump said at this very podium two years ago, on our watch, ‘No one is every going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart,'” the vice president recounted. “That’s a promise.”