Probing Pence: Did his Hillsdale College commencement speech get anything right?

By Andrew Seidel

Every year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation gets complaints about graduations in public schools. Preachers delivering sermons, staff and students scheduled to deliver prayers, the graduation being held in a church — you name the violation, we’ve seen it. None of these is an issue for a commencement ceremony at a private religious college, such as Hillsdale College in southern Michigan, which, however, had a problem of its own.

The trouble with Hillsdale’s commencement, which was full of religion, was that it was also full of lies and alternative facts (but perhaps I repeat myself). The source of this problem was Vice President Mike Pence, who addressed the graduating class.

One of Pence’s favorite lines, which he used when he accepted the Republican nomination and trotted out again for the graduates, nicely illustrates the Pence problem: “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican — in that order.” Pence considers himself a Christian before anything else, including someone who values facts and truth (but perhaps I repeat myself yet again).

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  1. Pence considers himself a Christian before anything else, including
    someone who values facts and truth

    We have a name for that : Liars for Jesus.

  2. Pence uses every speaking opportunity he gets to praise Trump in some way because he’s a disgusting sycophant who places far more importance on his political ambitions than in facts or truth. Plus he’s busy building up an organisation to support him in a possible 2020 run for president or to take over if anything happens to Trump. This is causing Trump some concern so Pence brown noses him frantically to stay in his good graces.

  3. @OP – The source of this problem was Vice President Mike Pence, who addressed the graduating class.

    Surely history has shown us that unless Pence was likely to be abysmal as a vice president, Trump would not have chosen him!

  4. Alan4discussion #4:
    I wonder if Trump surrounds himself with people who are even stupider than he is, so (he thinks) he looks (relatively) “good” by comparison…

  5. Probing Pence: Did his…

    Maybe some aliens will come along and “probe” Pence so we won’t have to. Aliens don’t seem to know about consent issues or if they do then they just don’t seem to care.

  6. @ LaurieB #6

    Maybe some aliens will come along and “probe” Pence so we won’t have

    The evangelicals are pretty strident in their aversion to sodomy, but there is a suspicion it is more often than not a projection of wishful thinking.

  7. rogeroney

    a projection of wishful thinking.

    Oh yes. Never underestimate the consequences of forcing people into a puritanical lifestyle. It produces a twisted human who goes on to make the lives around them just as miserable as their own. While I feel very resentful toward these agents of misery, I also feel great pity for them. They seem stunted in a way that I can’t relate to. Sexuality is a great evolutionary force that drives much of human behavior and it seems that it would take such a great degree of indoctrination starting from a young age to overcome that in us. I suppose this speaks to the power of religious brainwashing. It’s very sad to see children and young people falling victim to the repressive monsters in the clergy and their supporting prigs.

    God forbid the day when women get the upper hand in the mating and reproduction game! What will happen to men when women can have casual sex with whoever they fancy at any moment of the day or night?! What if they want to have sex with other women or participate in thrilling group sex and walk away from it without a single shameful feeling?! And then to top it off, with no catastrophic consequences at all?!! No illegitimate children to punish for their mother’s licentious behavior! No wracking guilt from an abortion, just a feeling of relief. No feelings of shameful dirtiness, just strolling away from an encounter feeling satisfied, peaceful and happy with oneself.

    Those of us of a certain age remember being told that if we weren’t a virgin on our wedding night that it would be a shameful catastrophe that would destroy our marriage, possibly on the spot. Now we can say – Oh course I’m not a virgin- not that it’s any of your business and why get married in the first place? When young women have their own careers with their own money and benefits then who needs to lock themselves into a legally binding relationship with someone who intends to control and diminish them?

    And when the time comes to think about reproduction, we hold the cards there too. Not in a permanent relationship with a document to prove it? So what?! Women always know that their child carries their own DNA and until recently, men could never be sure of it. That must really suck. But that’s where religion comes into the picture. While there must have always been the guarding of wives and daughters to control their sexual behavior and fertility, religion must have provided an addition safety measure. Infecting our minds with shame and fear is a powerful and effective tool to control us.

    This is what I see all over the face of Pence in that picture above. A sputtering barely contained rage against the natural evolutionary reproductive strategy of human females. A strategy that does not bode well for the interests of control freak alpha males like him and their intellectually stunted minions.

    Why are women voting for these assholes? The Republican party openly declares themselves to be anti-abortion and never gives up hope of abolishing Planned Parenthood. They openly advocate so called “family values” which can be translated as sending women back to the days of barefoot and pregnant with no legal rights at all. This is a life of domestic and reproductive slavery. There is no such thing as “the good ole days” for women. The good days are happening right now.

    Feminism is an ideology that has always been splintered into factions but through it all, it has been a guiding force for many women to demand change for the better. Everything I’ve said here is standard second wave feminist thinking. Coming of age in the seventies, the second wave feminists offered me and other young women a paradigm shift in our worldviews and gave us the motivation to walk away from our insidious religions. Feminism brought me in a straight line to atheism and I’ll be forever grateful for that.

    With the current upsurge in Christian fundamentalism in this country and their access to the highest political offices in the land, now is the time for all American women to be aware of the goals of those who seek to oppress us (and the men who will also suffer under Christian control), and I hope that feminists of all stripes will unite to push back against fundamentalists and their power grab.

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