Pence warned graduating seniors of the Christian university that they needed to prepare for persecution from critics he described as “the secular left.”
“Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” the vice president warned, according to the Washington Times. “So as you go about your daily life, just be ready.”
As an example, Pence pointed to a “bevy of Hollywood liberals” who’ve been waging a boycott effort against the state of Georgia, whose Republican governor, Brian Kemp, recently signed a strict pro-life “heartbeat” abortion bill into law.
The vice president noted that strident criticism against Christians is relatively new in American experience.
“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence told the gathering, according to USA Today. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.”
According to the Christian Post, Pence said his wife Karen was subjected to “harsh attacks by the media and the secular left” when she returned to teaching at a Christian elementary school earlier this year.
“These attacks on Christian education are un-American,” Pence said, according to the Post, adding that President Trump and his administration have taken “decisive action to protect religious liberty.”
In 2017, Liberty University was the first college where President Trump delivered a commencement address since taking office. The school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., has been a staunch supporter of the president.