Vice President Mike Pence is defending his wife, Karen, after she faced an onslaught of criticism for accepting a part-time teaching gig at a Christian school that holds to mainstream Christian doctrine.
This week, Karen Pence started a job as an art instructor at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia. She will teach two times a week through May, according to a White House press release.
Rather than praising the second lady for using her time to pour into young students, Karen Pence was met with intense backlash after it was reported the school holds to a biblical view of sexuality, taking issue with same-sex relationships, extramarital and premarital intercourse, transgenderism, polygamy and pornography.
Kate Bennett, a CNN reporter, was floored Karen Pence would teach students at the nearby private school:
So, lemme get this straight, the second lady of the United States has chosen to work at a school that openly discriminates against LGBT adults and children. https://t.co/A4lxOv7V8G
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 16, 2019
Now, the vice president is weighing in on the issue, and he’s not holding back.
In an interview with EWTN, a Catholic news outlet, Mike Pence called the comments against his wife and Christian education “deeply offensive.”
“My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while, but I have to tell you, to see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive,” he said. “We have a rich tradition of Christian education, and frankly, religious education broadly defined. We celebrate it.”
PREVIEW — @VP @mike_pence responds to critics of @SecondLady's new job. "The criticism of Christian education in America should stop." Tune in tonight for part one of my full interview with the Vice President on @EWTNNewsNightly at 7 PM EST on @EWTN. pic.twitter.com/YKEHyroswC
— Lauren Ashburn (@LaurenAshburn) January 17, 2019
“The freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States,” he continued. “The Constitution prohibits a religious test for holding public office, so we’ll let critics roll off our backs.”
Mike Pence ultimately concluded, “The criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”
Following news of Karen Pence’s new job, major outlets like The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, CNN, NBC News and CBS News — among others — published stories critical of the school’s theological beliefs.
Karen Pence is not the first second lady to teach while her husband is in office. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, taught English at Northern Virginia Community College while he was in office.