Highlighting a raft of promises fulfilled by President Donald Trump through policies advancing economic prosperity and religious freedom, Vice President Mike Pence rallied faith leaders in Michigan Wednesday to pray for and support four more years of the Trump administration in 2020.
“I wanted to come here today and make sure you all knew, as leaders in the faith community here in western Michigan, the priority this president has placed on ensuring the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech of every American,” Pence said to applause in remarks made at the Valley Family Church, a nondenominational place of worship in Southwest Michigan.
“We really understand as — actually, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in ‘Democracy of America’ that the greatest of America doesn’t come from her corridors of government, federal or state, and it doesn’t even come from the bustling factories and industries and farms of this country. The strength of this country comes out of the character and the faith of the American people in preserving that freedom and preserving that faith,” Pence said.
Pence’s remarks, according to MLIVE, inspired several bouts of standing ovations, particularly when Pence highlighted the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We’ve stood up to our enemies, we’ve stood with our allies. And nowhere more so is that true than the way this president stood with our most cherished ally. It was four administrations in a row that promised that they would recognize the capital — the capital of our most cherished ally in its historic place; the capital that that nation recognized. But it was President Donald Trump who recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the United States Embassy there,” Pence said to applause.
“I can honestly tell you, and I can tell all the great ministers in this room — and I know, in every little buckboard church that dots the landscape of this country, that since before the founding of America, that aspiration of seeing Israel restored to her historic home was there,” he continued, emphasizing that it was President Trump who had the courage to do what other presidents wouldn’t.
“It was this president — this president who’s recognized Israel’s capital and moved our embassy and recognized the Golan Heights are a part of Israel. And I promise you, this president and this administration will stand with Israel,” Pence assured.
Founding pastors of Valley Family Church, Jeff and Beth Jones, welcomed Pence with a prayer upon his arrival which praised God for His hand on President Trump.
“Thank you, Lord, for President Donald J. Trump and your hand upon him,” Beth Jones said during the prayer, MLIVE reported. “Thank you for his 2017 declaration in the Rose Garden that we are a nation of faith. We are in agreement with that and thankful for the favor that the president has shown toward people of faith and faith-based organizations.”
Pence’s Michigan visit comes amid ongoing impeachment proceedings in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, which polls show have not resulted in diminished support for President Trump among white evangelicals. In his speech Wednesday, the vice president took a swipe at Democrat leaders in the House as well as some of the more controversial policies supported by some prominent progressive candidates.
“Obviously we have a choice to make in the next year. And for all that we have done for a stronger, more prosperous America, a more secure America — all that we’ve done for our freedoms — I don’t need to tell you about the other party,” Pence said.
“I mean, the truth of the matter is that while the Democrats in Congress have been spending the last three years on endless investigations and a partisan impeachment, we’ve seen the Democratic Party, nationally, taking a leftward turn like I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.
“To this day, in places like Cuba and Venezuela and elsewhere around the world, socialism is — socialism is a scourge. And yet, now we have leading voices in the Democratic Party. Well, I think the people of Michigan know it was freedom, not socialism, that created the most prosperous and powerful nation in the history of the world. It was freedom,” Pence declared to applause.
“It was freedom, not socialism, that ended slavery, won two world wars, and has made America a beacon of hope for all mankind. And that’s why, over the next 11-some-odd months, we need to say what the president said in that State of the Union Address, with one voice: that America will never be a socialist country,” he stressed.
While assuring faith leaders that both he and the president value their work in the lives of people in Michigan, Pence also took time to highlight efforts by the Trump administration to promote pro-life policies domestically and internationally as well as curbing religious persecution globally.
He later urged faith leaders to pray for the nation.
“I believe that the effective and fervent prayer of a righteous nation availeth much. And I believe that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll do like He’s always done in the long and storied history of this country. In these too divided of times, He’ll hear from Heaven and He’ll heal this land,” Pence said.
“So I encourage you — I encourage you to let your voice be heard. Tell people what they’re not hearing on most of their major cable television stations every day, OK? Tell them about the ways America is more secure and more prosperous.
“But I’d just encourage you to keep telling your congregations to pray for America, pray for all the people of America, because it’ll make a difference. It’ll make a difference in the life of this nation, and it’ll see us through these challenging times,” he added. “…With four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House, and with God’s help, we’re going to make this state and nation more prosperous than you could possibly imagine. We’re going to make this state and nation more secure than it’s ever been before. We’re going to inspire the world with the heights that we achieve when we keep America great.”