The economy is strong – Pence said the Trump administration has cut a lot of red tape to give the economy a boost. He cited the “largest tax cuts and tax reform in American history” as a big win. So far, the removal of red tape has allowed businesses to create 3.4 million new jobs. And, the unemployment rate hasn’t been this low in 65 years.
The repealing of the Johnson Amendment – Pence reminded the audience of Trump’s executive order involving the Johnson Amendment and assured them the administration won’t rest until it’s been expunged from the law.
Nomination of Supreme Court Judges – Pence cited the appointment of Neil Gorsuch as a prime example of Trump’s commitment to getting some conservative judges back in the Supreme Court.
Aiding persecuted Christians – We are witnessing the “largest exodus of believers in the Middle East since the days of Moses,” Pence said. He assured the crowd that USAID is working on it and that “we will not rest until we give our fellow Christians and persecuted communities across the Middle East the resources and support they need to recover, rebuild and flourish in their ancient homeland once again.”
Recognizing the sanctity of human life – Pence repeated a line he’s used many times: Trump is the “most pro-life President in American history.” He cited several examples to back up that claim, including his support of the Mexico City policy, the fact that the U.S. has withdrawn from the U.N. population fund, the work to defund Planned Parenthood, and the push to ensure Title X funding won’t go to any programs that provide abortions.
What did Pence say about faith?
Moving on to focus on issues of faith, Pence reiterated a message he spoke to pastors at the Watchmen on the Wall conference in Washington D.C. in May. He told the group they had one of the hardest, and most influential, jobs in the nation. “Thank you for the essential and irreplaceable role you play in America,” Pence said. He cited the fact that ministers, Southern Baptists in particular, are often some of the first people to show up to help in times of crisis and natural disaster—shoulder to shoulder with first responders. “This president, this VP and our administration will always stand with you. The most important work in America doesn’t happen in the White House. The most meaningful, transformative work happens where you live.” Concluding his thought, Pence admitted that nothing the Trump administration does “will be more powerful than your prayers.”
He encouraged ministers to “Preach the word….Keep changing lives. Keep ministering to the spiritual and the practical needs of the American people—especially the most vulnerable.” Pence also admonished the crowd to pray for America.
Earlier in his speech, Pence told the group he had grown up in a Christian home where he said grace before dinner and went to church on Sunday. But he didn’t really make a commitment to follow God until he was in college and he heard the Gospel message “fresh in his ears.”
How did people respond?
J.D. Greear wrote a tweet shortly after the speech acknowledging the “incredibly mixed signal” having Pence speak at the convention sent. “I know that sent a terribly mixed signal. We are grateful for civic leaders who want to speak to our Convention—but make no mistake about it, our identity is in the gospel and our unity is in the Great Commission. Commissioned missionaries, not political platforms, are what we do.”
I know that sent a terribly mixed signal. We are grateful for civic leaders who want to speak to our … https://t.co/BT1SgUXWgj
— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) June 13, 2018