Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday he was surprised by media criticism of his wife’s decision to teach art at a school with devout Christian beliefs, and said he’s gotten lots of practice in forgiving his critics.
“As a Christian believer we’re charged to pray for our loved ones, but also pray for our enemies. You have lots of opportunities in politics to do that,” Mr. Pence said.
He was speaking to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian religious liberty organization, and ADF CEO Michael Farris asked him for advice on how to handle attacks on his faith and beliefs.
Mr. Pence recounted the criticism of his wife Karen earlier this year when she returned to a part-time position reaching art at Immanuel Christian School, in Northern Virginia, which discourages gay teachers or students.
Her decision drew criticism in the press, and fierce pushback from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, which said it was “a terrible message.” Mr. Pence said one television commentator said he should have expected the outrage over the decision.
“We honestly didn’t see that one coming. Our kids went to this school,” he said.
Mr. Pence said that as a politician he faces a lot of attacks, and had several pieces of advice.
“No. 1 is, spend more time on your knees than on the internet,” he said.
He also added: “Forgiveness is a great gift.”