DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Vice President Mike Pence mixed faith and politics as he addressed as many as 15,000 attendees at the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas Wednesday.
The Vice President began by repeating what he often says. “I’m a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican. In that order.”
At times, it sounded like a campaign rally.
Mr. Pence told the crowd at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center that President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises during their first 500 days in office. “Jobs are back. Confidence is back. America is back, and we’re just getting started.”
The Vice President received a standing ovation when he mentioned the recent opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in the State of Israel.
Analysts say the Southern Baptists are a key constituency of the Trump Administration.
The Vice President sought to reinforce the President’s and his commitment to religious freedom and the core beliefs they share.
He told attendees, “I’m proud to report that President Donald Trump has stood with people of faith and for our most precious freedoms every single day… President Donald Trump is the most pro-life President in American history.”
After the Southern Baptist leadership announced the Vice-President would address the convention, a small number of members complained saying politics shouldn’t be a part of this event.
The Tennessean Newspaper quoted a Virginia Pastor, Garrett Kell who said at the annual meeting, “We must do all that we can to preserve the purity of the gospel, and this invitation works against it.”
An attendee from Virginia, Micah Maddox, acknowledged the dispute. “I was conflicted. I understand the message they’re trying to portray. I get it, but I think.. if the President or Vice President is invited or offers to come, we as
Americans, no matter our beliefs or affiliations, should welcome them as Americans.”