By all accounts, United States Vice President Mike Pence is a sociopath asshole with dead eyes and worse intentions. He seems to hate gay people, immigrants, women, dogs, bunnies, and pizza with equal zeal. He's basically anti-fun. Which makes it all the more surprising that he claims to have found God at a Christian music festival in 1978.
In a feature on The Guardian titled "Mike Pence, Finding God, and the Shifting Agenda of Christian Music Festivals," the VP is quoted as saying in 2010: “Standing at a Christian music festival in Asbury, Kentucky, in the spring of 1978, I gave my life to Jesus Christ and that’s changed everything.”
Not much more is known about what happened that weekend, although the article speculates that it could have taken place in a mass baptism in a lake or prayer gathering...or a port-a-potty at 3AM. Christian festivals in those days were a much hippier affair, and although nobody really admitted to passing around a "doobie" or two, it MUST have happened. To make matters even weirder, apparently Pence was born to a Democratic family and even voted for bleeding heart liberal Jimmy Carter until he found Jesus and flipped to a very conservative mindset.
Nowadays, well-known bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Twenty One Pilots play the Christian festival circuit. The Christian music festival industry is a billion dollar enterprise in the United States, but these days they're struggling to keep the interest of young believers who are distracted by the ubiquity of secular media. “Nowadays, kids migrate towards mainstream pop because they no longer care that Lady Gaga or Beyoncé has non-Christian content. They ignore that. They’ve accepted so much more spiritual contamination, which is one of the reasons they’re so weak in their faith," a Christian festival promoter is quoted as saying.
He went on: "You wanna be a Christian, but you’re listening to the garbage that’s in rap music, the philosophies of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Well, it’s unrealistic to think you’re not gonna get contaminated. You can’t have a strong faith if you live in the sewer."
It's not all curmudgeonly ranting against those darnded kids, though. The Executive Director of the Christian Festival Association was quoted as saying: “As a community, we’re known more for what we’re against than what we’re for,” he says. “We want to acknowledge the negative associations with Christianity – that it’s anti-homosexual, highly judgmental, hypocritical, old-fashioned, and we don’t accept people of other faiths. We took a real hard look at ourselves and we’re trying to change. We want to be known for what we love, not what we reject.”
Even considering all these overtones of huggy, lovey progressivism, VP Pence didnt' seem too pleased when a queer dance party erupted on his front porch a few weeks ago!