In “Two Corinthians” 6:14, Paul says to the Corinthian Christians (who, we suppose,  were Christians first, Corinthians second):

Yoked Oxen - Free Documentation GNU License; by: Cgoodwin - 1950
Free Documentation GNU License; by: Cgoodwin – 1950

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Typically, Bible teachers have used this verse to exhort young Christians not to date or marry outside the Faith, older Christians not to enter into business partnerships with unbelievers, and Christians-first politicians not to entangle themselves politically with non-Christian running mates.

Oh wait. No. That’s not right.

Because if that were right, Mike “Christian First” Pence could not have allied himself so closely with Donald “Me First” Trump.

Mr. Pence must have considered the “Two Corinthians” (I can’t help myself) passage. He is, after all, Christian first, and as such, considers such questions as, “Will running with Donald Trump violate the unequal yoking clause of Second Corinthians?” Because “Christian First” people think like that.

Yoked Trump Pence CC By-SA - by: DonkeyHotey; remixed with yoke
Creative Commons By-SA – by: DonkeyHotey; remixed with yoke

Clearly, then, having thought about it deeply, Mike Pence determined that yoking himself politically with Donald Trump was not an unequal yoking.

(Indeed, the image of yoked oxen is particularly apt when applied to political running mates, is it not?)

Or, if Mr. Pence acknowledged to himself that the yoking was an unequal one, perhaps he determined that such compromise was acceptable for the sake of the country. Perhaps he thought, “America needs a sane individual to counteract the crazy, and it might as well be me.”

Alas, we have to be clear.  Mr. Pence has nowhere said, nor has he  implied that his alliance with Mr. Trump was made in any way to provide a sane buffer, or a possible soft-landing for when the Trump Administration implodes from over-fast-fooding or such epic conflicts of interest that even Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will have to sit up and smell the rotten. No. Mr. Pence signed on wholeheartedly.

We are left with a third option. That there is no unequal yoking because these two men are two sides of the same coin. Or, to go with the yoked-oxen imagery These two oxen are walking side by side, in lock step, making one agreed-upon furrow. 

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not unequally yoked. They are the same. They hold the same views. Sure, they state them differently. Sure, one of them is brash and often incoherent while the other (Mr. Pence) appears calm and gentlemanly.  True, Mr. Trump appears to be intellectually chaotic, while Mr. Pence come across as mentally stable. But they are pulling the same plow and plowing the same furrow.

Mike Pence underlines Donald Trump’s statements, emphasizes them. Artistically speaking, he adds the color. Musically speaking, he adds the grace notes. But make no mistake: he’s not different. He wants the Wall. He wants the Muslims out. He wants Mrs. Clinton in prison. He blames young women and gays for the failures of America that were actually perpetrated by powerful white men. But make no mistake: they are the same.

Maybe it’s even worse: because when Pence takes over—an inevitability in my opinion—there will be a national sigh of relief that the crazy is done and now the Sane Guy is in charge. Everyone will breathe this sigh of relief, and Mr. Pence will have wide, wide sway to do his alt-right best to plunge us all into his vision of America, a repressive and backward look indeed.


Sharon Hambrick grew up in Fundamentalist Christianity and still “defaults” Fundy much of the time, to her own consternation. A licensed California lawyer, mother of five, wife of one, writer, inveterate road-tripper, and burgeoning feminist Democrat, Sharon wept away November 9, but woke up on November 10 determined to do something. When the idea of a Pence Watch was presented to her, she eagerly hopped on board.

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