A lengthy New Yorker feature on Mike Pence and the dangers that his presidency would bring has been making the rounds on social media today, but mainly for one paragraph which provides a stark window into his relationship with Donald Trump.
“Trump thinks Pence is great,” Bannon told me. But, according to a longtime associate, Trump also likes to “let Pence know who’s boss.” A staff member from Trump’s campaign recalls him mocking Pence’s religiosity. He said that, when people met with Trump after stopping by Pence’s office, Trump would ask them, “Did Mike make you pray?” Two sources also recalled Trump needling Pence about his views on abortion and homosexuality. During a meeting with a legal scholar, Trump belittled Pence’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade. The legal scholar had said that, if the Supreme Court did so, many states would likely legalize abortion on their own. “You see?” Trump asked Pence. “You’ve wasted all this time and energy on it, and it’s not going to end abortion anyway.” When the conversation turned to gay rights, Trump motioned toward Pence and joked, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
Here’s your periodic reminder that 78% of white evangelical protestants approve of Trump’s job performance—which is proof that a significant chunk of America’s loudest political faction cares more about gaining power than adhering to their stated version of morality. Trump has lived an entire life in opposition to Jesus’ teachings, but that won’t stop a segment of American Christianity from preaching to the rest of us that The Donald is a repentant sinner who found God. If Trump’s own public words weren’t enough to sway these voters (remember two Corinthians?), then reports of him belittling a legitimately evangelical man certainly won’t do it. Trump—not Pence—is the face of white evangelical Christianity in America.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.