Pence tells graduating Christians to be ready for attacks on their faith

Prepare to be “shunned or ridiculed” for being Christian, the vice president said.

Vice President Mike Pence had a grim message for graduating evangelicals at Liberty University: Prepare to be ridiculed for being a Christian.

Pence is known as a devout evangelical and has not shied away from talking about his religion in public speeches. His commencement speech at Liberty was no different. In his remarks, he warned students of the attacks they’d face just for being religious. Often, he said, they’d be asked to not only tolerate but also endorse values that go against their beliefs. He added that those who tout tolerance are often the least tolerant of traditional Christian values.

“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.”

He said his remarks were personal and came from his own experience.

Although he did not directly mention his recent conflicts with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (who criticized the vice president for supporting Trump’s policies, which Buttigieg believes aren’t Christian), the vice president did discuss his feelings about a controversy involving his wife, Karen Pence.

Karen Pence, who sat in the crowd during the speech, received “harsh attacks” in January after she returned to teach art at a Christian school that bans LGBTQ teachers and students, Pence said in his speech. He characterized the incident as an “un-American” attack on Christian education and vowed to protect the First Amendment, which upholds freedom of religion.

As he warned graduating students to prepare to face opposition to their faith, Pence encouraged them to persevere and act with “gentleness and respect.” read more