Pence: Some things haven't and may never change

Pence: Some things haven't and may never change

Pence: Some things haven't and may never change

The former vice president recently told the SBC he's at peace with his rift-creating actions on January 6. And in his view, life should be the main issue this November.

Remembering the early days of 2021, Pence told Southern Baptist messengers gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday – the day after Donald Trump virtually addressed the inaugural meeting of the convention's new organization dedicated to protecting life and religious liberty through political involvement – that he had heard rumors that the president expected him to challenge the Electoral College vote on January 6 and unilaterally choose which electors to count.

But he still believes now as he did then: that was an illogical notion.

"As a student of American history and of the Constitution, it made no sense to me from first thought," Pence told the messengers. "There's almost no idea more unamerican than the idea that any one person can choose the American president."

So when the day came, he was determined to stand firm.

"Throughout all of it, through the riot that happened, I was determined to stay at my post, which we did, stay at the Capitol and finish the work that day," the former vice president recalled.

He acknowledged that the 2020 election was not without problems but said it was already out of his hands by the time it came to his duty.

"While I share the concerns that millions had about irregularities in the election, I'd hoped that when all was said and done, [Trump] would recognize that those who were telling him I had some authority to overturn the election were wrong," said Pence. "But it was not to be."

He realizes the rift that created between him and the former president may never be mended.

"In the months and years that have followed, we've endured some criticism," Pence noted. "My old running mate and I still have a very strong difference on my duties that day, and I don't know that that'll ever change."

Now, with so many issues making noise leading into Trump's and Biden's rematch – immigration, secure elections, foreign policy disasters – the former vice president said he remains focused on the overriding matter.

"I think the destiny of this nation is inextricably linked to whether we restore the sanctity of life in the center of American law," he declared. "It may take us as long to restore the sanctity of life to the center of American law in every state in the country as it took us to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but we can't rest."

Later, in a panel discussion with Brent Leatherwood of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Pence deflected when asked directly about the 2024 campaign of his former running mate.

"I honestly believe that in this day and age of the internet and clickbait, that there are voices not just in our party but around our party, influential voices in the media that would have us move away from that," he responded, still referencing the sanctity of human life.

Regardless, based on Trump's recent assertion that Christians "just can't vote for Democrats," it seems that he and Pence firmly agree on something.

"There's a big debate over the president's condition and ability to do the job," Pence regarded. "Let me just assure you, Joe Biden has always been that wrong. I mean, that's not new."

The SBC settled many high-profile legislative items at its annual meeting this week. Votes on the biggest issues – a proposed measure against in vitro fertilization (IVF) and a constitutional ban on women pastors – are scheduled to take place this morning.