Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Pence and the nation’s second lady, is now teaching art at a local Christian elementary school that reserves the right to reject LGBTQ students and employees, according to documents on its website.
The school also asks prospective employees to explain their views of the “creation/evolution” debate, and it has planned field trips for students to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The museum displays exhibits depicting the world as 6,000 years old — which is the belief of “Young Earth Creationists” — and rejects the scientific theory of evolution, the animating principle of modern biology.
An employment agreement posted on its website for applicants spells out the church’s “Statement of Faith,” including: “A husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church. A wife is commanded to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33).”
The office of the nation’s second lady announced Tuesday that she was taking a part-time job teaching art at the Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia, where she taught for 12 years when Mike Pence served as a congressman from Indiana from 2001 to 2013.
Karen Pence, a watercolor artist, said in a statement said that she has “missed teaching art” and is “excited to be back in the classroom,” The Washington Post reported. Her watercolors appear in the book “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President,” which was written by her daughter Charlotte.
The Huffington Post reported that the Christian school says on its website that it reserves the right to reject students and employees who violate its principles, including people who engage in “sexual activity” and “practices” it condemns. A parent agreement posted on its website, which parents with students in the school are asked to sign, says in part:
I understand the biblical role of Immanuel Christian School is to partner with families to encourage students to be imitators of Christ. This necessarily involves the school’s understanding and belief regarding biblical morality and standards of conduct. I understand that the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission to an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student if the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.
The school’s website also has posted a 2018 employment agreement that asks applicants to provide shorts answers to prompts, including:
1. Explain when and how you came to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and describe your relationship with Christ today.
2. Describe your current practice of personal Bible study and prayer.
3. Explain your view of the Bible as the infallible Word of God.
4. Explain the importance of the Trinity.
5. Explain your view of the creation/evolution debate.
The employment agreement says that “Immanuel Christian School does not discriminate in its employment practices against any person because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age or qualified disability.”
But it also says applicants are to “maintain a lifestyle based on biblical standards of moral conduct" and that homosexuality, premarital sex and transgender identity, among other things, do not meet job qualifications spelled out for for employees. The agreement says in part:
I will strive to live a personal life of moral purity that is separated from the world according to Scriptures, as defined by the Statement of Faith of Immanuel Bible Church and agreed upon by the Elders and Pastors of Immanuel Bible Church. I understand that the term “marriage” has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive covenant union as delineated in Scripture and that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other and that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity is engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Further, I will maintain a lifestyle based on biblical standards of moral conduct. Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law. Further, I am not, nor have been in the past, engaged in inappropriate conduct toward minors, nor do I have inclinations toward such conduct. Persons so involved or who condone such behaviors cannot be employees of Immanuel Christian School. (I Cor. 3:16, 17; I Cor. 6:19, 20; I Cor. 11:3; Romans 1:24-32; Gen. 1:27-28; 2:21-24) 11
The school describes its mission in part on its website like this:
We believe that all truth is God’s truth and that Scripture, the revealed Word of God, must be taught as truth. The Bible is taught as a core subject and integrated into the entire learning experience.
We believe that the Christian mind should be the best mind, enlightened by the mind of Christ and having integrated God’s principles with academic pursuits. Our students are taught from a biblical worldview and are well prepared physically, emotionally, spiritually, and academically for life.
A 2017 profile of Karen Pence published by The Washington Post says in part:
The Pences were married in a Roman Catholic church in 1985 but later became evangelical Christians.
In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.
Supporters and critics alike cite her as a force behind her husband’s socially conservative stances, including his opposition to gay marriage and the religious freedom law he signed as governor of Indiana, which opponents worried would allow business owners to discriminate against gays and lesbians by citing religious concerns.