The 'Billy Graham Rule' Expresses the Importance Mike Pence Places on His Faith


This article is sponsored by “The Faith of Mike Pence.”

One of the surprising controversies surrounding Vice President Mike Pence — particularly in the #MeToo era — is that he adheres to the so-called Billy Graham rule.

The rule the late evangelist adopted throughout his 60 years in ministry was not to be alone with a woman other than his wife, to avoid both the appearance of impropriety and the opportunity for an extramarital affair to develop.

The practice just made headlines again last month when Mississippi gubernatorial candidate Robert Foster declined a ride-along interview with a female reporter unless another man would also be present.

According to Leslie Montgomery, author of the new book “The Faith of Mike Pence,” it is not an archaic practice designed to exclude women, but an expression of the importance Pence places on his faith walk with Jesus Christ and his love for his wife, Karen.

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Montgomery told The Western Journal, “We live in a nation and in a time where people are easily offended.”

“Regarding the ‘Billy Graham rule,’ Mike is not only honoring Karen, but he’s following a biblical mandate in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to avoid all appearances of evil,” she said.

Further, she contended if Pence were to be seen eating alone with a woman there “would be a picture of it on the front page of every major paper in America accusing him of infidelity. Right?”

Montgomery said the mainstream media’s obsession with the vice president following the rule illustrates how disingenuous their reporting can be.

Do you support people following the "Billy Graham" rule?

She pointed out the media attack President Donald Trump for his alleged marital infidelities and then turn around and hit Pence for wanting to be faithful to his wife and avoid the appearance of impropriety. “What do you want?” Montgomery asked.

“It’s about building a zone around your marriage,” Pence said in 2002. “I don’t think [Washington is] a predatory town, but I think you can inadvertently send the wrong message by being in [certain] situations.”

Longtime Pence friend and former Indiana Rep. David McIntosh told Montgomery one need look no further than last fall’s Brett Kavanaugh hearings to see proof of the propriety of the rule.

In Kavanaugh’s case, the media gave wall-to-wall coverage to unsubstantiated accusations stemming back to the Supreme Court nominee’s high school and college days in the early 1980s.

“You expose yourself to future allegations” by not following the rule, McIntosh said. Further, it also reinforces the understanding that relationships between men and women in the workplace are to be professional.

“To the secular world, it seems odd that someone would think this way and act this way, but in God’s economy, it’s a completely different way of making decisions,” McIntosh said.

Montgomery told The Western Journal that contrary to the media allegations that the rule disadvantages women, Pence has promoted them to powerful positions as a congressman and Indiana’s governor.

The author pointed to his pick for lieutenant governor, Sue Ellspermann, who said she had no issues serving in Pence’s administration.

“I’m a feminist. If it had been a problem, I would have said something,” Montgomery recalled Ellspermann saying. “I had every opportunity to excel, just like anybody else. I never felt ostracized or excluded. It was a non-issue.”

McIntosh and Ellspermann were just some of the approximately 60 people the author interviewed researching “The Faith of Mike Pence.

The book covers the vice president’s spiritual journey from his childhood as a devout Irish Catholic to becoming an evangelical Christian in college to the intersections of his faith and his public life.

A big part of that journey has been his marriage to Karen, whom he has described as the “prayer warrior” of their family.

Montgomery — who also wrote “The Faith of Condoleezza Rice” — said the idea for her latest work came to her in a dream in 2017.

The author recounted she was under contract to write about the faith of another high-profile political figure and dived into the project, but two months later came to the realization that she was not the person meant to write that book.

“I can count on two hands the number of times that God has given me a dream and spoken to me through a dream, and every single one has been right on,” Montgomery said.

In the case of writing the Pence book, the proof was in the pudding. After having the dream, she prayed that God would bring a publisher to her if she was meant to write on the subject.

The next day, Whitaker House reached out to her asking if she had any nonfiction book proposals she would like to submit.

Days after she submitted her proposal, Whitaker contacted Montgomery saying it wanted to publish the book.

The author said she hopes readers will be inspired by Pence’s story.

The Faith of Mike Pence book

“There is absolutely no Mike Pence without his faith,” Montgomery said. “His faith is the core of who he is and everything else springs out of that.”

Learn more about “The Faith of Mike Pence” by Leslie Montgomery and purchase your copy by clicking here.

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