Mike Pence is a Bible-believing Christian. He’s also leading the national response to the imminent coronavirus pandemic. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive.
Much like former President Barack Obama tapped his vice president, Joe Biden, to lead an effort to eradicate cancer, President Donald Trump has appointed his vice president, Pence, to helm the U.S. response to the spread of COVID-19.
Neither Biden nor Pence are leaders in scientific research. One man, though, Pence, has made his faith central to who he is — often describing himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”
It should be no wonder, then, that one of the first ways the vice president has responded to his role in combating the coronavirus is to pray.
Just as unsurprising has been the (bigoted) backlash Pence has received for turning to God for wisdom in the face of what could, for some, present a dangerous reality, should they be exposed to the virus.
The hateful attacks on Pence’s convictions immediately begged the question: Wouldn’t it be more concerning if you knew someone believed in an all-powerful, all-loving God and chose not to petition Him for wisdom, guidance, and healing?
It’s also really clear the bad faith attacks on Pence are motivated by a disdain for the former Indiana governor’s personal faith and conservative ideals.
The mischaracterization of Pence’s goal in praying is clear. He is not trying to “pray away” the coronavirus, as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has suggested. Instead, he’s praying to God for wisdom regarding how the government should combat the coronavirus.
One journalist, Matt Novak, further suggested science and faith can’t coexist. He tweeted how “odd” he found it to see Pence praying alongside people like Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The fact that the vice president is strategizing with medical experts like Fauci and Redfield clearly shows he’s not so naive to just “pray away” COVID-19. At the same time, how thoughtless and irresponsible would it be for a man like Pence, who believes God to be completely sovereign, to not invite Him into the decision-making process?
If you want to criticize Pence — fine, be my guest. But don’t pretend like the attacks on his faith are anything but that: attacks on his faith.
When faced with the spread of a virus for which there isn’t yet a vaccine (though one is on the way, thanks to Israel), you should want those in leadership to use every tool in their arsenal to act wisely and deliberately.
Pence is a Bible-believing Christian, and he’s leading the national response to the imminent coronavirus pandemic. And I’m glad he’s praying about it.