20 February 2018

My two cents on Pence

People are still worked up this week over the perceived insult to the Vice President and his Christian faith perpetrated by one of the regular talking heads on The View, a morning TV show. Having heard second-hand that Mike Pence claims to take orders directly from God, Joy Behar observed that hearing disembodied voices usually indicates insanity. That didn't go over well, of course, and Pence himself has since cited Behar's remark as proof of the media's alienation from ordinary Americans and their values. It was bad form, I suppose, but a historical note is in order lest everyone assume that only a soulless secular humanist could object to someone hearing the voice of God. Our Puritan forebears might not have called that someone crazy back in the day, but they might well have called him a heretic. Their feeling was that God had already said all he needed to say to humanity in Scripture. On that assumption, anyone who claimed that an inner voice spoke to them with divine authority was suspect and subject to expulsion from the community. That Christians in general have come to Pence's defense, in his capacity as a believer if not as a politician, only shows how pervasive Pentecostal belief in regular divine intervention has grown since the controversial original revivals of a century ago. I wonder whether anyone still holds the old view today. The Behar-Pence debate would be much more interesting if someone intervened to interject that the Vice President's belief was un-Christian.

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...

At church on Sunday, the pastor ripped into the panel on "The View" with a wide brush, unable to discern which of them ripped into Pence. It might've helped, Sam, if there was a video of Joy Behar's tirade for you to include here.