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Pence says evangelicals must get off sidelines in presidential race

Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence told students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Wednesday that evangelical Christians “cannot stand idly by” in the presidential race.

Urging students and guests to vote for Donald Trump for president, Pence said he was satisfied with Donald Trump's apology for the crude remarks he made to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush during a taping of an interview in 2005.

 

“It takes a big man to admit when you’re wrong,” Pence said. “Donald Trump did just that” in his Sunday night debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Pence told the crowd, comprised largely of evangelical students from across the country, that Christians are called to believe in grace and forgiveness.

“Donald Trump showed humility,” Pence said.

Pence said that while he could not support what Trump said on the 2005 videotape, he chose to stand by Donald Trump because of the stakes in this year’s presidential election.

Pence urged evangelicals, who were a key to Trump’s primary victories, not to turn their backs on him now.

“I urge you to beware the temptation of pride,” Pence said, and to avoid the “trap of inaction.” 

“This is a time for action, not essays.” Pence said.

Some evangelicals have not been as forgiving of Trump.

Beth Moore, the popular author of a series of Bible study books, criticized those who supported Trump despite his remarks about women.

In a series of Twitter posts on October 9, Moore said she was "try[ing] to absorb how acceptable the disesteem and objectifying of women has been when some Christian leaders don't think it's that big a deal."

"I'm one among many women sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn't. We're tired of it," Moore said.

As for Pence, he also used his speech to attack Hillary Clinton.  

Pence pointed to an email exchange between Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and the Center for American Progress’ John Halpin that Halpin titled “Conservative Catholics,” recently released by WikiLeaks.

 

“[Conservative Catholic converts] must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy," Halpin said.

 

“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals,” Palmieri said.

 

Pence called on the Clinton campaign to apologize for the “bigoted, anti-Catholic remarks” in those emails.

Pence also made note of his own social conservative bona fides.

 “I am pro-life,” Pence said. “And I don’t apologize for it.”

 Pence promised that a Trump presidency would see the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade overturned.

 He also promised to pass legislation defunding Planned Parenthood and instituting a ban on late term abortions.

 “Supporting the health and well-being of women, and the sanctity of life, will help make America great again,” Pence said.

 “Now is the time to stay the course,” Pence said, “not to flinch in the face of harsh political winds.”

 “Let’s work like it all depended on us,” Pence said.