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Why Mike Pence left the Democrats and the Catholic Church

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House GOP-CC

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/20/16

From The New York Times: 

When Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana was in college, he found himself admiring a gold cross hanging from the neck of his fraternity “big brother.”

The response he received left such a powerful impression that he would recall it decades later on the floor of Congress.

“Remember, Mike, you have got to wear it in your heart before you wear it around your neck,” Mr. Pence said his fraternity brother told him.

Soon after this exchange, at a Christian music festival in Kentucky, Mr. Pence took a very different sort of pledge from the one he had taken to join Phi Gamma Delta. “I gave my life to Jesus Christ,” he recalled years later, “and that’s changed everything.”

It was a decision that would redefine Mr. Pence, setting him on the path to becoming an evangelical Christian and one of the country’s most outwardly religious and socially conservative legislators.

But it also caused him to break with two institutions that had been central to the Pence family: the Roman Catholic Church and the Democratic Party.

…Though the family remains close, his embrace of evangelical Christianity was long a source of disappointment to his mother, according to the Rev. Clement T. Davis, the priest at the church in Columbus, Ind., where Mr. Pence was baptized.

…All four of the Pence brothers were altar boys at their church, St. Columba, and attended its parochial school. They were at church six days a week, sometimes seven, if they were serving Saturday Mass. Even after they all went off to college, the church would call the Pence house during vacations or over the summer when it was in need of an altar boy.

…But at Hanover College, a small liberal-arts college in Indiana near the banks of the Ohio River, Mr. Pence came to feel that something was missing from his spiritual life. The Catholicism of his youth, with its formality and rituals, had not given him the intimacy with God that he now found himself craving.

“I began to meet young men and women who talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said years later in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “That had not been a part of my experience.”

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