This article appeared in the June 17, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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How Mike Pence braved the ‘lions’ den’ on Jan. 6

House Select Committee/AP
In this image from video released by the House Select Committee, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, walk through the Capitol on Jan 6, that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol displayed June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Linda Feldmann
Washington Bureau Chief

Mike Pence has long described himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order.”

Though the former vice president did not testify at Thursday’s hearing of the Jan. 6 committee, his evangelical grounding – including a strong sense of morality – came through clearly via the words of close aides.

It was that faith-filled determination to follow his highest perception of right, despite intense pressure from President Donald Trump to try to undo the results of the 2020 election, that sustained Vice President Pence on Jan. 6, 2021.

Rioters at the Capitol chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” and at one point were essentially just around the corner from the vice president and members of his family and staff. Yet he refused to leave the Capitol until the election results were finalized.

What gave Mr. Pence the courage to stand fast? Prayer.

The day began, surrounded by aides, with a prayer for God’s guidance. And after Mr. Pence and Co. were whisked to safety in the bowels of the Capitol, his chief counsel pulled out his Bible and turned to the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.

“In Daniel 6,” Greg Jacob told the committee, “Daniel has become the second in command of Babylon, a pagan nation that he completely, faithfully serves. He refuses an order from the king that he cannot follow, and he does his duty – consistent with his oath to God.”

After the drama had subsided, chief of staff Marc Short said via video, he texted his boss a passage from 2 Timothy: “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Ironically, Mr. Pence’s religious profile was a key reason Mr. Trump chose him as his running mate, to reassure the GOP’s evangelical base. In the end, it proved a bulwark against a presidential request that might have plunged the country into chaos. For more on Thursday’s hearing, see the article in today’s Monitor Daily by Christa Case Bryant.

This article appeared in the June 17, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 06/17 edition
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