In March, Vice President Pence came under fire for saying he never eats alone with women other than his wife, Karen, or goes to an event featuring alcohol without her. People on the left claimed his rule was just another way to keep women down, and they criticized Pence’s conservative views.
But over half of America probably rolled their eyes at the outrage. A new poll for the New York Times reveals that 60% of women and 48% of men think having a drink with the member of the opposite sex is inappropriate when you’re married. Likewise, 53% of women and 45% of men think having dinner with a member of the opposite sex is inappropriate. These stats reveal that over half of American women polled want to protect their marriages.
The New York Times also interviewed people about how they feel about spending time with a member of the opposite sex. “When a man and a woman are left alone, outside parties can insinuate about what’s really going on,” said Christopher Mauldin, a construction worker in Rialto, Calif. “Sometimes false accusations create irreversible damages to reputations.”
NYT says Mauldin, 29, avoids solo interactions with other women, and so does his girlfriend with other men. “When he needs to meet with women at work or his church, he makes sure doors are left open and another person is present.” Mauldin isn’t alone; others interviewed said they used similar tactics to make sure a meeting with a member of the opposite sex stays appropriate.
“Temptation is always a factor,” adds Mauldin.
While NYT gives Pence credit—or the burden—for the role, it’s been around for a while. Back in 1948, Billy Graham articulated it in his Modest Manifesto. He wrote, “The second item on the list was the danger of sexual immorality. We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel. We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion. From that day on, I did not travel, meet or eat alone with a woman other than my wife.” Conservatives came to know this as the “Billy Graham Rule.”
It’s refreshing to see that there are Americans who value their marriage, and they are willing to endure a little bit of inconvenience to protect the sanctity of marriage. Many in D.C. decried that this effectively means no woman can meet with the VP after 8 p.m. but isn’t his marriage worth that small nuisance? If only 100% of men and women placed the same weight on marriage.