March 30, 2017


Mike Pence and the 'Billy Graham Rule' : Their method of protecting their marriage may be misguided, but it shows the Pences have an admirable awareness of their own human weaknesses. (ANDREW EXUM, 3/30/17, The Atlantic)

What an age to be alive! The internet has broken out into a feverish and wildly entertaining debate over, of all things, the fallen nature of man. What prompted all of this was a profile of the vice president's wife, Karen Pence, in The Washington Post, that included this detail about the vice president:

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.

How sexist! screamed half of the internet. This is akin to Salafism, argued others. Conservative Christians who attempted to stand up for Pence were quickly shouted down.

I have to confess: As a present Calvinist and as a former management consultant, I find this all exhilarating.

First off, as my colleague Emma Green has written, the vice president's rule is a variation of what is known in evangelical circles as the "Billy Graham Rule." Billy Graham famously refused to meet, travel, or dine with a woman alone. The presumed reasoning behind this rule was that Graham did not want to create the conditions that might lead to any extramarital dalliances or, given Graham's ministry, the mere appearance of any impropriety that would harm his ability to win souls to Christ. Many, many evangelical pastors and laymen still follow some version of this rule.

...why would a straight man spend any time at all with women (outside the workplace) unless his wife made him?

Posted by at March 30, 2017 3:53 PM