Pence Is A Religious Extremist

When Donald Trump was shuffling through the deck of potential running mates and landed on Mike Pence, there was one obvious reason to select the then-governor of Indiana — the religious right loves him. Trump, with his three marriages and myriad moral failings, needed a devout running mate to win over the GOP base and Pence fit the bill.

Pence’s extremist religious views are also anti-science views

The bible-quoting evangelical is so out front with his religion that an Indiana columnist once wrote “Pence doesn’t simply wear his faith on his sleeve, he wears the entire Jesus jersey.” Hoosiers would know. They saw Pence argue that creationism should be taught in schools, deny the potential of stem cell research, advocate for redirecting funds meant for AIDS patients to anti-gay conversion therapy and attach his name to the Pence Amendment, a 2011 bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Homophobia and misogyny are key features of Pence’s version of Christianity

As governor of Indiana, Pence was at the forefront of the religious right’s efforts to discriminate against LGBT people and control women’s bodies. The 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allowed businesses to turn away gay customers, was a disaster for the state’s image and economy, but no surprise from a guy who once said gay couples signal a “societal collapse.” The following year, Pence approved one of the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion laws, which mandated burials for fetuses. At the time, Pence said he signed it “with a prayer.”

Pence is willing to abandon his religious values selectively for political power

So how did a man of this much religious conviction and moral certainty come to align himself with a cretin like Trump? He believed he could help lead Trump down the path of righteousness.

Failing that, he could at least inject the religious right’s agenda in the White House. Now in Washington, that’s what Pence has done. The VP has emerged as the most religious member of a “near-theocratic administration” that has set out to dismantle the wall between church and state by, among other things, diverting federal money from public to religious schools and allowing churches to engage in politics. Pence alone has already become the most senior White House official to address the anti-abortion March for Life and pushed Trump to ban transgender troops from serving in the military.

Pence is willing to discriminate against people who risk their lives for the country, using his religion as a justification

Pence’s reported role in the military transgender ban, which the Pentagon neither asked for nor wanted, is a sign of the type of harm he could do if he ever ascended to the Oval Office. While Trump is happy to merely support discriminatory measures, Pence would fight for these policies, such as the First Amendment Defense Act, a national version of the LGBT discrimination bill Pence signed in Indiana.

He would also ensure that the next Supreme Court vacancies are filled by judges on the fringes of the religious right, opening up challenges to landmark Supreme Court cases such as Roe v. Wade and further allowing the religious right to to discriminate under the guise of “religious freedom.”