“Mother” Has Many Meanings…

More from the theocrats…

By this time, most politically-aware Americans have read about Karen Pence’s new job.

“Mother” is once again teaching at the Washington, D.C. school where she worked when Mike Pence was in Congress. The Huffington Post describes that school, noting that everyone isn’t welcome there.

In a “parent agreement” posted online, the school says it will refuse admission to students who participate in or condone homosexual activity, HuffPost learned through an investigation into discriminatory admissions policies. The 2018 employment application also makes candidates sign a pledge not to engage in homosexual activity or violate the “unique roles of male and female.” …

The application says that the school believes “marriage unites one man and one woman” and that “a wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ.” The application asks potential employees to explain their view of the “creation/evolution debate.”

Not only did Mrs. Pence (aka “mother”) previously teach at the school for 12 years, the Pence’s daughter Charlotte attended, according to the school’s website.

JoeDee Winterhof, who is a senior Vice President for policy at the Human Rights Campaign,  had an excellent response.

“Why not teach at a school that welcomes everyone, instead of choosing one that won’t serve LGBTQ kids, kids of LGBTQ parents? The Pences never seem to miss an opportunity to show their public service only extends to some.”

Mrs. Pence is certainly entitled to believe that gay people are sinners, that women should submit to men and that there is actually a “debate” about evolution. (Although–forgive the snarky aside–according to people who worked in the statehouse when Mike Pence was governor, she doesn’t seem to obey that “submission” directive. Quite the contrary.) The fact that a Congressman’s wife chose to work at a school with this philosophy might raise eyebrows, but there are a lot of Congressmen and a lot of wives, and so far as I know, their choice of employment is rarely seen as sending a political message.

The spouses of Presidents and Vice-Presidents, however, are judged by a different standard; at least they were  before this disastrous and embarrassing administration.

When the wife of a Vice President–even an accidental and smarmy Vice President–chooses to work for an institution that labels a significant  proportion of Americans sinful and unworthy, that’s not only a statement of her values, it’s a deliberate message of exclusion that is directly at odds with important American principles.

That message is underlined by its hypocrisy.

If “mother” and Pastor Pence really disapproved of all the forms of sexual immorality described by the school, they wouldn’t even enter the same room with Donald Trump. Since they agreed to be part of the Trump Administration, it’s pretty obvious that they are willing to be selective about the sorts of “immoral” sexual behavior they condemn.

Pussy-grabbing and other assaults on unwilling women, serial infidelity, and consorting with prostitutes–those things are evidently minor transgressions. What must be condemned are relations between people of the same sex who love each other–and who may even be married to each other.

This is bigotry (barely) masquerading as piety, and it’s nauseating.

These people are vile.


  1. And now Pastor Pence describes criticism of his wife’s job choice as an attack on Christian education. Really? Christian education? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  2. This has certainly become one “Mother” of an issue in an already chaotic and leaderless administration. Trump is the titular (pun definitely intended) figurehead who is allowed to tell us anything but give us nothing as long as Mitch McConnell agrees. Rev. Pence is waiting in the background for his chance at the Oval Office. The past two day’s blogs dealt with what is surmised to be in another’s mind and judge them accordingly; judge them morally or legally depending on the situation. We knew “Mother’s” set of evangelical values while still wife of Indiana’s governor; she is simply in a position to let the world know her views on the LGBTQ Americans seeking only their civil and human rights and to be allowed to live their lives.

    On the one hand; we need to allow “Mother” Pence that same set of civil and human rights as defined in the 1st Amendment. On the other hand; as a public figure and in a position of a certain level of leadership to our youth, she should keep her bigotry within her home, her family and those friends of like lack of morals and humanity.

    “This is bigotry (barely) masquerading as piety, and it’s nauseating.” And it certainly is vile and only “politically correct” within the current Republican party and their White Nationalist followers.

  3. Vile people indeed, those Pences.

    Oh, and the same goes for all of the evangelical fake Christians that Pence has placed into the White House inner circle who are there only to obtain more power and money.

  4. Worse still –
    these nut jobs have packed the federal courts the jack asses who think like this.
    That will mess us up for decades.

  5. You have to hand it to JoAnn. Her use of the English language is superb. “Mother” indeed!

  6. Sheila writes, “…this is bigotry (barely) masquerading as piety, and it’s nauseating.”


    I do believe Mike has a history with frequenting gay bars as a younger man. It would explain his overt hostility toward gays. We see this all the time with GOP characters. Those who condemn the lifestyle are committing the same acts privately and frequently get caught.

    As for attacks against Christians and their organizations, it’s our public servants like Pence who bestow special privileges for his Christian buds and then cry foul when other public servants remove those privileges.

    Pence scratched the backs of Indiana Wesleyan so they can continue to receive government funds and discriminate against non-Christians.

    Then, as Sheila mentions, they cry foul when someone points it out or removes the benefit rewarding exclusionary tactics.

    The white Christian Nation is shrinking because of demographics (evolution). What I find very interesting is the fear it arises from this segment. Some would call it “reactionary”. Its root cause is fear.

    I’ve asked this question for years now and nobody has answered it adequately: “Aren’t people of faith supposed to be fearless?”

    If God is truly in charge then everything happening today is part of His design. Where’s the acceptance? Where’s the faith? Why can’t these people practice what they preach?

    Their actions publicly indicate they belong to a cult – not a religious institution. Cult leaders prey on fearful members. That’s what binds them together.

    Christians are supposed to love thy neighbor and treat others like they want to be treated (LOVE).

    Love is the opposite of fear.

  7. they have a agenda,and the shriligious dont care who they step on to get it. if they dont get it,they flood the courts,congress and local venues of gov,to get it. the need for church to spread the word,and practice hate by voice,and brow beating into others, thier need for freedom to spread the word. like any other creed or org,to stand with us!! now!!! seems this is the now issue?demand,,,,its been a long haul up a hill,we have seperated the people to an extent,we are actully crossing to the other side of the street to avoid confrontation,in just eyes meeting..seems social media has won,we are now just memes looking for a place to act..
    i remember well,the vietnam protest era, we bumped shoulders with alot who were alike,and who werent, but we had a unified goal t o stop a atrocity,fueled by goverment. we had a social media,local radio,it was those songs we could sing about,and against a wrong. today,the medai has us choosing sides,and taking names, and a not so hidden confrontation. us and them. we dont need more,we need less,of this so called,social media,and more social interaction,to,find were all in this together. face,twit,and the like, never had a place in my life, im here because i live out in this world,and see and live it,as a working person,who actully walks on the street,and talks to everyone. i work everyday,and even those who are totally against some behavior,act, or spiel,i always remind them,we only have one country,quit dividing it..

  8. Todd,

    I think you may have seen too many Charlton Heston movies as a kid. Nobody is supposed to be fearless. Besides, it takes a lot more courage to stand up to bigots and bullies, as you do regularly, than to be a bigot or a bully.

  9. I have to say, I tend to think of this as a non-story. I mean, I know they’re awful people already. I think there is a lot of good news here. I would have 3/4 expected Mother to work at a school with some kind of electro-shock conversion therapy or Ludovico treatment a la Clockwork Orange. The fact that she’s working at a pretty normal right wing religious school surprises me not at all.

  10. These are the kinds of attitudes that lead to suicides in gay teens. Mr. and Mrs. Pence simply do not understand this.

    The commandment to love God and one’s neighbor has no conditions on it whatsoever. It does not say love your neighbor IF.

    Jesus sat down and ate with those who were marginalized. I doubt that either Mr or Mrs Pence have ever done this. Like many of us, they are staying in their comfortable silo.

    Obviously Mr. and Mrs. Pence don’t understand that some of their neighbors are gay men and lesbian women. I would not be one bit surprised if they support “conversion therapy.” Yeah, I think they need to have some conversion therapy to cure their homophobia!!!

  11. Another meaning of Mother (Courtesy of Pink Floyd)


    Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
    Mother do you think they’ll like this song?
    Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
    Mother should I build the wall?
    Mother should I run for president?
    Mother should I trust the government?
    Mother will they put me in the firing line?
    Mother am I really dying?

    Hush now baby, baby, dont you cry.
    Mother’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
    Mother’s gonna put all her fears into you.
    Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
    She wont let you fly, but she might let you sing.
    Mama will keep baby cozy and warm.
    Ooooh baby ooooh baby oooooh baby,
    Of course mama’ll help to build the wall.

  12. The “parent agreement” linked to the Huffington article is worth the read. It sets out clearly the bible is the word of God and is infallible. Evolution is clearly denied. The only salvation from sin is from personal faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace alone and not by works.

    Side bar -> A Buddhist who feeds the poor, tends to the sick, and helps the disabled has these “good works” negated by a lack of personal faith in Jesus Christ. The good Buddhist will go to Hell. <<

    It is quite clear as you read this "parent agreement" points 10 through 13, salvation (heaven I guess) is only through Jesus.

    As Sheila writes above, " If “mother” and Pastor Pence really disapproved of all the forms of sexual immorality described by the school, they wouldn’t even enter the same room with Donald Trump. Since they agreed to be part of the Trump Administration, it’s pretty obvious that they are willing to be selective about the sorts of “immoral” sexual behavior they condemn.

    Pussy-grabbing and other assaults on unwilling women, serial infidelity, and consorting with prostitutes–those things are evidently minor transgressions."
    The bible thumper's have come up with a ready explanation for this cognitive dissonance or hypocrisy. President Agent Orange is viewed as the modern day Persian King Cyrus the Great, who supposedly freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity. President Agent Orange thus becomes an empty vessel doing God's will, through President Agent Orange. I have seen numerous photo shopped pictures on Facebook with the white Jesus standing over President Agent Orange as he sits in the oval office.

    Given the bible thumper's explanation of an imperfect President Agent Orange performing God's Will no amount of rational thought or critical thinking is going to shake their belief in President Agent Orange or Pastor Pence. Mother Pence is doing God's Work.

    However, it is very clear as Anne Lamott has said, "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

  13. Yes these Pence people are vile. So are those who support them. It takes a special kind of hatred to hold and further their evil philosophy, or, if you prefer, theology. They are perfect examples of why Gandhi said, “I love your Christ, but not your Christians.”

  14. Pretty disgusting… Then, self-righteous assholes permeate the land. They are almost always Republicans. Clearly, the political philosophy is steeped in fairy tales just as their religious dogma does as it directs their lives. Thing is, the money-changer / Temple rousting by Jesus doesn’t seem to apply to the politicians who are ever so Christian. Similarly, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is lost on the homophobes that the mind-control organizations create and inculcate.

    Thus, my comments from yesterday about religions are mostly cults that try to manage human tribalism through various means. As far as I can tell, only the Quakers actually walk the walk when it comes to religion. Oh. Wait. There was Richard Nixon. Oops.

  15. Very well stated, Sheila. Thank you for voicing my thoughts about professed “religious piety” being un-acted-out in the lives of many, specifically the Pences, who state their convictions in the Commandents, their love of Jesus, and willingness to follow the Gospel teachings.

    Makes me confused about what is ,or who really are, Christian.

  16. Supporting Donald Trump, the Groper-in-Chief, makes perfect sense when you remember that the Evangelical Fundamentalists are more interested in having the “Rapture” come about than in having any of their actions align with the teachings of Jesus. To quote Ghandi: “I like your Christ. I dislike your Christians. They are so un-Christ-like.”

  17. Did you see this report from Pastor Pence?

    “To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us,” Pence said.

    “We’ll let the critics roll off our backs,” the vice president continued. “But this criticism of Christian education should stop.”

    His whole life is offensive to me and others that think like me. His whole xian schist is offensive to me. Look out Karma, she’ll get ya Pastor Pence.

  18. Highlighting the hypocrisy that is Bubbles and mother, whilst they espouse Christian bona fides, Jesus the Christ condemns them as adulterers. And it is mother who is dragging Bubbles into the maw…

    Matthew 5:32 New International Version (NIV)

    32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Are they wolves in sheep’s clothing? Seems Jesus thinks so…

  19. “The outrage fatigue is real.” Great point AGL.

    It’s endless but not pointless. We saw this coming, we knew it would be bad, it exceeded expectations. The corruption and incompetence grows daily.

    We need to gird our loins with more than outrage though because there’s work to be done and a war to be won and a people to make one.

    Democracy is effective but sloth slow. This year will see the prosecution of the Trump campaign, the triumph of Pelosi and Mueller and the sorting out among several candidates of who will get to start the repairs. That’s a lot of progress at the rate things happen. We need to focus on those tasks and on uniting the states as Lincoln did against their common enemy. He had a black and white enemy and chose the tool of war. Ours is more gray and civil war is no longer an option but we need to be as dedicated to solving our problems as he was of the problems of his time.

    Who will we unite behind?

  20. I really can’t wait until one or more of their grandchildren is found to be gay!

  21. Such piety on behalf of the “liberals.”
    Remember : when you all point your finger at those who offend you , you’re pointing 3 back at yourselves.

  22. Mary Fran,

    When our son came out to us at age 19, my wife said, upon reflection, it was a “gift”.
    As much as I loathe them, I hope they will find it the same, albeit a healing gift.

  23. Excellent article and ending! I read part of her application, and it stated that being LBGTQ (to paraphrase) and professional excellence are mutually exclusive. I also read in the “Fifth Risk” that Karen refused Pence’s kiss when they won the election, saying something like “now you got what you wanted, so go away.” Whatever, she wields equal weight in that marriage, and she has been rabidly anti-LBGTQ all her life. I think that is one reason Pence was attracted to her.

  24. Mark – I am a democratic socialist, but I have never vilified my Republican friends. Us liberals tend to be more inclusive than you conservatives.

  25. First – great post Sheila, but

    That title was like not thinking of pink elephants – my mind went on a tangent

    1) Where I grew up, “mother” was a half-word (thank you for bringing that up, JoAnn)
    2) That would literally mean that Rev Pence is a “mother” — figuratively as well, perhaps
    3) That would mean that “Mother” Pence is married to “mother” Pence
    4) Sounds suspicious – better not tell her employer

    Sorry – these tangents just happen

  26. To Todd Smekens,
    I love everything you said. My very words.
    Thank you
    Beth Chase-Avraham, sister of Paul Chase- who had to deal with that asshole in the statehouse.

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