THE NEWS-SENTINEL EDITORIAL: South Bend Mayor off base in attacking Pence’s Christian faith

Vice President Mike Pence, known through three decades in politics as a “cordial conservative,” seems now to be a pariah for Democrats. While the former Indiana governor and congressman is widely known as a genuine “nice guy,” it has become a no-no to say so — if you are a Democrat.

After former Vice President Joe Biden called Pence a “decent guy” two weeks ago, he quickly backtracked when LGBTQ activists and others on the left criticized him for his comment.

Now, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has lambasted Pence for being a “cheerleader for the porn star presidency.”

Buttigieg, 37, is one of numerous Democrats who are running for president in 2020. If elected, he would be the nation’s first openly gay president. So he, like others, apparently feels he must make it clear he is against everything Pence stands for.

Take Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for example, who was asked by a reporter in Iowa two days after Biden’s “decent guy” comment, “You don’t think the vice president is a decent man?”

“No,” Warren said.

Buttigieg, like Biden, is on record as having said Pence is a “super nice guy.”

But when the online news magazine LGBTQ Nation responded by asking, “Where’s the outrage?,” we assume Buttigieg decided he’d better line up with others to besmirch the character of the vice president.

“He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face,” Buttigieg responded recently on The Late Show when Stephen Colbert asked him if Pence is a “good guy.”

“But he’s also fanatical,” Buttigieg hastened to add.

Then Sunday on CNN’s Town Hall, Buttigieg took his latest anti-Pence position even further when he questioned Pence’s Christian faith, asking, “How would he allow himself to become the cheerleader for the porn star presidency? Is it that he stopped believing in scripture when he started believing Donald Trump?”

Porn star Stormy Daniels said last year that she had an affair with Trump in 2006. But while the president has admitted he knew about payments to Daniels to keep her from selling her story, he has repeatedly denied they had an affair.

Pence has long said he was “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” As Indiana’s governor, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a bill critics say could be used by individuals and businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community on the basis of religion.

Pence’s apparent “sin” is that as a Christian first, he adheres to the teachings of the Bible and maintains a consistent Christian faith. The left mocks him for that, such as his public statement that as a rule he would not spend time alone with a woman other than his wife in honor of his wedding vows. And his position on LGBTQ issues is a balance between the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual sex and the inherent rights of gay people in general as protected by the Constitution.

But in the eyes of the left, Pence apparently can’t have it both ways. And so Buttigieg, in lockstep with LGBTQ activists, attacks Pence as being hypocritical as a Christian for allowing himself to serve a president who happens to have his own flaws.

Mike Pence is as justified for living his Christian beliefs as he serves in public office as it would be for Americans of any other faith or lack of faith.

Our position from the beginning has been that Pence’s role in the Trump administration is to advance the platform of the Republican Party and to be a positive influence on the president and his policies.

We remain glad he’s a key player in the White House.