Karen and Michael Pence (courtesy of The White House/Flickr)

Second Lady Karen Pence recently announced her decision to return part-time to work at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia, where she was previously an elementary school art teacher for 12 years (of a 25-year teaching career). The move raised eyebrows, as the school (which boasts a US Department of Education “National Blue Ribbon School” title on its website) has an admissions policy and parent agreement that explicitly prohibits LGBTQ-identifying parents, children, and faculty from the school on the basis that this “lifestyle” is not in accordance with their Christian values. Apparently, tolerance, love of thy fellow person, and reserving judgment as the purview of God are not Christian principles that Immanuel Christian School or Karen Pence hold dear.

Well, sure, one can only find time for so many values, and it is far easier to be virulently exclusionary towards certain demographics than to grow as a person and just continue along with your own sad little life, keeping your nose out of who loves and has sex with the consensual partners of their choosing. I mean, it’s not as thought LGBTQ people have made any kind of contribution to art throughout history.

“I am excited to be back in the classroom and doing what I love to do, which is to teach art to elementary students,” Pence said in a statement, as reported by CNN. The statement did not indicate whether Pence was also excited to have the opportunity to bias young minds in the direction of hate and homophobia, but one presumes this is a fringe benefit of the work for her. After all, as Second Lady to the Vice President, one only has so much opportunity to model disastrous values in the name of Christ and family; if you really want to get in there and build future generations of toxicity, fear, and violence, you have to start while they’re young!

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Sarah Rose Sharp

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit —...

5 replies on “Second Lady Karen Pence to Return to Teaching Art at Homophobic Christian School”

  1. Painting Passion scenes with white glue and glitter, Arcs made from pasta shells. All according to the Lord’s plans.

  2. Hyperallergic I love you. No comments exposing their bias and trying to open a discussion about them on their social media accounts, wonder why… (or they’ve been removed)

  3. As a UK reader, I was baffled by the headline. I was beginning to think that the second Lady Pence was perhaps replacing the – what? deceased? – first Lady Pence. Hey, maybe it was a story about how the first Lady Pence had been murdered by those homophobic Christians, and now our heroine (the second Lady Pence – are you following this?) was returning to the scene of the crime in a gesture of Christian forgiveness. But where was Lord Pence in all this?

    Instead, it’s some sick little tale of some sick little people…

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