The Lies They Tell Us

In Why I Don’t Vote, I laid out four reasons why Ias an Anabaptistdon’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’.

3 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    “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 just as dishonest as the rest.”

    We’re all sinners, and because of the deluge of anti-Trump and anti-Pence abuse of reporting (lying everyday and in every way about these people), I could see that if maybe he missed the cameras getting him carrying the real boxes, that he’d want to carry some that could still portray that he was actually trying to do good. I think human nature is complex, he could still have good intentions originally, and yet still be somewhat weak with wanting the public to at least see he was trying (if the cameras missed it).

    It really is unfair that these media people constantly *only* look for the negative to report about them, always skewing things to where it’s twisted, etc. The amount of unfair reporting about Trump and Pence then makes things like this latest attempt to discredit him look petty, as though the media was only searching for that one moment where maybe Pence was a little weak, having always been portrayed in a horrific, monster-like light now for years, maybe, just maybe, he really does crave to be seen for the good man that he is.

    They’re calling him and everyone around him, “murderers,” literally as if Satan is right there standing as the Accuser, lying about who they are as people, labeling them with something completely untrue. So again, I could see that maybe in a weak moment (since he is still a sinner) that he’d want his good work to actually be seen, if only in an attempt to try to balance all the lies and half-truths perpetuated about him.

    1. Ram-Man

      Thank you for commenting.

      Absent the grace of God and repentance, we are all equally monsters for our sins. I’m not saying Pence is Satan or Hitler. Compared to Trump, he’s a saint! However, Christians are commanded to be most hostile of the sins of fellow Christians, especially those in leadership positions. So we rightly hold Pence to the higher standard. It is not meant to be fair.

      A good man repents when he does wrong and refuses to repent when he does nothing wrong. Which is it here?

      A PR stunt is inherently dishonest. These days we call it virtue signaling, but in Jesus’ day it was hypocrisy (e.g. Pharisees). If being a politician requires one to engage in dishonest activity, then politics is incompatible with Christianity and being a good man. Whether Pence actually carried empty boxes is beside the point. The reason the joke works is because he is engaged in political theater. You can see that, right?

      As predicted, the various articles I read have written it off as a joke with no factual basis. As far as I can tell, my criticism remains, so I’ll leave this article (with a few updates for clarity).

      FWIW, I don’t have any hatred or hostility towards Pence, but I would never vote for him. Even Pence, who is perhaps among the best-of-the-best, is damaged by politics. My personal wish is that all Christians would repent and retire from politics.

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