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Hate To Say I Toldja, But…

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In March, I wrote an article called, “The Pences are Doing Something Right” for another publication. I went back and re-read it today in light of the whole Weinstein scandal. Weinstein made a practice of wining and dining actresses with the intent of getting them alone for sex. Sometimes, this started with a simple dinner. Alone. Exactly what VP Pence has said he never does. Pence was widely mocked and ridiculed and his marriage to second lady Pence portrayed as some sort of matrimonial prison…or worse. I am re-publishing the article in full here because what I wrote in March is still true. It will always be true. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has ever been betrayed by a partner, harassed by someone, abused, objectified or intimidated. Many will say it started at a simple dinner…

The Pences Are Doing Something Right

By Linda Stockton

Vice President Mike Pence has taken a lot of unwarranted criticism this week because of his wife, Karen, revealed that he never dines alone with another woman or attends events which serve alcohol without her present. The surprising thing here is not that there is criticism. That is expected because it doesn’t really matter what anyone in the current administration does or does not do, the haters will find it wrong, distasteful, sexist, racist or some other socially or morally unacceptable idea. No, the surprise is that much of the criticism is from women. And that is also very sad.

To explain, the article in which this piece of information was reported, was a Washington Post piece about Karen Pence and her influence on her husband, the Vice President. From a female perspective, it would seem that Mrs. Pence would have earned the esteem and admiration from those who claim to promote those very things and wish to see women with clear thought and positive influence in the public discussion. But, sadly, somehow, this piece which highlights the extraordinary closeness and “enduring connection” between the Pences, has been twisted into a hit on Mrs. Pence as a controlling, jealous wife and V.P. Pence as an untrustworthy henpecked wimp.

So, let’s clarify. The Pences have been married for over 30 years…since 1985…and are devout Christians. Theirs is a marriage which has largely been admired and lauded as one of unique closeness and enduring love. Unlike so many marriages in politics and elsewhere, both the Pences have stated that they take their commitment to one another and to God seriously. They confirm that they work on their relationship. Because it is a priority to them. This begs the question then: what is all the fuss about?

Well, apparently, in today’s society it is supposed to be perfectly acceptable for a married man or a married woman to dine alone with a member of the opposite sex with whom they are not married. For what purpose? In what circumstance is this 1) appropriate 2) necessary 3) faithful to one’s vows?

 

  • Appropriateness is, of course, a matter of perception. But that is part of the problem. For VP Pence, it would not in any circumstance be appropriate for him to dine with another woman alone. It would be perceived by some as him stepping out on his wife. The tabloids would have a great time with those stories. Fake news would abound. His marriage and family would be affected. In that case, it is inappropriate.  Even if one was not a public figure,  the appearance of something clandestine is enough to cause rumors and there are few marriages that are so rock solid, that these do not infiltrate and sow seeds of doubt. Why would one risk their marriage or the real threat of hurting their spouse because of it?

 

  • Necessity is a bogus argument. There is nothing that can be discussed or achieved over dinner that cannot be done in the work environment. One does not need to have an “offsite” with a colleague of the opposite sex to discuss work matters or employee issues or company policy or any other matter regarding one’s occupation. If it cannot be discussed within the work environment, perhaps, it is best left unsaid.

 

  • Faithfulness. Marriage and true commitment is not something one does to fit in somewhere in the parameters of an already full social life. If it is to be a lasting union, it must be a full commitment. One may say that they would never cheat on their spouse, never ever commit adultery or hurt the one they love. OK. When one shares their time or focus or attention on another person, other than their spouse, how is that not cheating? Cheating is not just a physical acting out. Cheating is emotional as well. It is the withholding of one’s time, one’s affection, one’s complete commitment to another. Having dinner is not about whether the person on the other side of the table is someone you want to sleep with or not. It is about whether that person is the one person in the whole world you could choose to have dinner with over anyone else…including your spouse. In choosing to spend that quality time with them rather than your spouse, you have just sent the message to you husband or wife, that they are not as important. That is cheating.

 

The bottom line is this: In today’s world, we are at a crisis point of infidelity, divorce, single parent families, sex addiction, sexual harassment litigation…and the list goes on. What one person sees as a harmless dinner, another may view as much more. . . a date, the first step to an affair, a way to “get ahead” in their job, an opportunity to influence. It is a risky and pointless road to travel. Avoiding this, as the Pences choose to do, is wise beyond words. And incredibly respectful. Mr. Pence is telling his wife that he not only loves and honors her, but that he would rather have dinner with her than any other woman in the world. His time with her is more important to him than to waste it on someone else.

Maybe that is why they have been happily married for so long and why she holds his heart and his respect as his most trusted partner. Maybe that too, is why many in D.C. respect their coupleship and commend them for their commitment. Rather than criticize them, maybe we ought to try to learn from them. No one can stand outside of someone else’s marriage and judge what happens behind closed doors. What one can do, is see the fruits of a happy marriage and take notes. And maybe hope for something similar in their own lives.

And let me just add, the alternative is what we see so much of in Hollywood and in Washington D.C. Maybe the whole Weinstein revelation will be a wake up call to bring our country back to it’s moral senses.

Colorado mom, wife and grandma. Wanting a better America for the next generation. Just a regular girl...with opinions.

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Culture and Religion

Video: What is a Classical Liberal?

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A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.

In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.

OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?

Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.

The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018

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Culture and Religion

$.02: When is it OK to quit church?

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Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:

  • Sermon quality
  • Welcoming environment/people
  • Style of worship
  • Location

Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.

1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.

2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.

3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.

4.  It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.

5.  It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.

Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.

The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.

Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.

Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.

This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-21 ESV

The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.

Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?

There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.

That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.

That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.


This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.

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Culture and Religion

Video: So, You Think You’re Tolerant?

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Leftists like to fancy themselves as being tolerant and Liberal, but they fall way short in both qualities.

Leftists will tell you that they are the most tolerant people who have ever lived, they will also scream at you for being a racist, xenophobic troglodyte if you happen to mention that you’re a conservative. They are supposedly ‘Liberal’, being in favour of Liberty while demanding it’s polar opposite – socialism.

Yes, if there is one constant in the universe, its that Leftists cannot be honest about who they truly are. This is what we love about our wonderful opponents on the nation’s socialist Left, for they are nothing like another group that went by the same nomenclature who also screamed at people in the streets with the motto: Common Good Before Individual Good. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz]

But let’s not talk about the epithets they project on their enemies, let’s talk about how they get along with everyone who just happens to agree with everything they say. A new PragerU video featuring Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report looked at who is really tolerant. He is a true Liberal that discovered that it is actually the Pro-Liberty Right that is more tolerant, go figure.

Dave Rubin
Jul 9, 2018
Are you tolerant? You probably think so. But who is tolerant in America today? Is it those on the left, or those on the right? In this video, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report analyzes this question and shares his experience.

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