By Aaron Earls
In his speech Wednesday night (Aug. 26) at the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence mixed biblical and patriotic imagery, which led some to search out the actual Scripture verses.
At the close of his remarks accepting the Republican vice presidential nomination, Pence said:
Let’s run the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Old Glory and all she represents. Let’s fix our eyes on this land of heroes and let their courage inspire. And let’s fix our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith and freedom and never forget that where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom — and that means freedom always wins.”
The Vice President was alluding to passages in both Hebrews and 2 Corinthians.
Hebrews 12:1-2 reads:
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Corinthians 3:17 says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Some were encouraged by Pence’s use of civil religious language. Others lamented his substituting “Old Glory” and “land of heroes” in the place of Jesus and conflating civil liberties with the freedom Paul was referencing.
His biblical allusion did lead some to search for the actual verses.
Google searches for phrases like “where the Spirit of the Lord is” spiked immediately after the speech.
Jonathan Petersen, content manager at Bible Gateway, said searches for Hebrews 12:1-3 were up 15% on Aug. 26-27 over the same period last year.
For 2 Corinthians 3:17, he said total searches for the verse were not statistically significant worldwide in either 2019 or 2020, but searches did climb 100% this year over last.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor for Facts & Trends.