I’m late to this, but it deserves comment. A couple weeks ago Mike Pence gave the commencement address at Grove City College, a conservative white evangelical school here in Pennsylvania. John Fea summarizes Pence’s message:
Pence gave Grove City graduates a lesson on leadership
- Leadership requires character
- Leaders must be servants of others
- Leaders must be courageous. Courage will always lead to criticism
Immediately following these three points, Pence said this:
You know, you need to look no further than a friend of mine as an example of leadership and perseverance. The 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump.
Is this kind of language acceptable now? Do we no longer expect people with power and responsibility to even try to make their words bear some relation to the real world? Is it possible to make a distinction between things that are true and things that are false? Mike Pence obviously believes that these are old-fashioned ideas.
The Christian notion that God has ordered the world in a certain way—that there is reality beyond us and it is our responsibility to align ourselves with it—does not constrain Mike Pence.
White evangelicals should not think they can embrace this nihilism without consequence. Why should anyone believe we offer spiritual truths if we are simultaneously declaring that all other truths are at the mercy of our will to power?