In Why I Don’t Vote, I laid out four reasons why I—as an Anabaptist—don’t vote. In doing so, I didn’t even have to mention the most obvious reason not to vote: dishonesty. Christians are enjoined to live pure lives cleansed of dishonesty and lies and they are instructed to call other Christians to repentance for their lies.
From the time I was eligible to vote I have only voted sporadically, usually taking the “lesser of two evils” approach. Sometimes I voted third party as a protest vote in order to ‘do my civic duty’. Once in a rare while, I would vote affirmatively for someone. Invariably, I found myself disappointed.
It is next to impossible to find a single politician who will not work to deceive you in some way. Oh, sure, they’ll couch it in the most practical, sweet-sounding utilitarian ethic, but it is rotten to the core. This is true even (especially?) among Christian politicians, where honesty and integrity should be front and center.
Mike “Billy Graham Rule” Pence is a self-described born-again, evangelical Christian. Next to the uncouth President Trump, Pence is portrayed as a paragon of virtue. Turns out that he is dishonest like the rest.
This was a joke, but you can’t easily tell for sure can you? It’s entirely too plausible, and that’s the point: what is he doing carrying boxes for the camera in the first place?
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Pay attention to the response. Will there be an apology for performing a dishonest, hypocritical PR stunt? Or will we be told that this was a joke and expected to ignore it?
UPDATE: In the comment section, Stephanie suggested I’m misrepresenting the situation. I’ve edited this post make it clear that it was a joke. However, Pence was wearing a suit and tie. You don’t wear a suit and tie when volunteering for a work project. You wear work clothing. But you wear a suit and tie when you are performing for the camera. That’s why the joke works. Whether or not the boxes were empty is irrelevant.
UPDATE 2: The media has reported that Jimmy Kimmel deleted his original clip and apologized for his original statements. See here. He repented of his dishonesty, but not without an apology dripping in sarcasm. He points out that whether the boxes were empty or not, it was still a ‘staged publicity stunt’.