My wife got me up early this morning

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DALLAS – Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention this morning. When it was announced that the Vice President was going to speak it was also announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be in force at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to make sure Mr. Pence was going to be safe and free from harm and danger.

Yesterday, several motions were made to prevent the VP from speaking at the Convention. One motion stated that Southern Baptists should not be political and should avoid any hint of partisan politics. Another motion stated that Mr. Pence’s invitation to speak should be rescinded and that H. B. Charles, Jr. preach his sermon on “Unity.” However, none of the motions to boot the Vice President to the curb were adopted and most seemed excited that he was going to be on the program.

Martha Jean Harris at the Dallas convention center this morning. GERALD HARRIS/Index

Mike Pence is an avowed Christian and has unashamedly testified that his priorities are his faith and family. He has demonstrated poise and integrity amidst an administration sometimes marked by volatility and uncertain sounds. It is doubtless that the VP has helped advance values and an agenda that most Southern Baptists have welcomed.

However, regardless of the Vice President’s position on the issues that concern us and his political party affiliation, the office itself should be respected. When I grew up my parents taught me to acquire a reverence for God, a respect for authority and a reason for living. Those three qualities are as needed today as ever.

Back to the protocol for getting into the convention center -the TSA security checkpoints were in place at 5:00 a.m. and the TSA personnel were in place for the purpose of screening convention messengers by 5:30. We were told that it would take two hours to get through the lines and into the convention center. So, we were up at 4:25 to get ready for the day. My wife wanted to make sure we got a good seat. We did. In a huge facility that rivals the World Congress Center we are front and center, waiting for the session to begin – and very sleepy.

This was written from my cell phone because the TSA would not allow computers in the Convention hall. That is why you are getting an abridged commentary on this early bird experience.

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