In what must be considered a bit of creative, albeit, over the top street theater, a group of protestors showed up at a speech that Vice President Mike Pence was giving to a social conservative group wearing the red robes and white bonnets of characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The costumes, from a novel by Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, which has been turned into a series on Hulu, is set in a future world where radical Christians have overthrown the United States and had renamed it the Republic Of Gilead.

What does ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ have to do with anything?

In the dystopian future depicted by the book and series, some sort of environmental catastrophe had made most women infertile. Those women who can still bear children are enslaved by the elite who ritualistically rape them in hopes of impregnating them. The society is kind of a Christian version of the Islamic State, with savage punishments meted out to anyone who violates a number of theocratic laws designed to regulate human behavior in all aspects.

Pence and Focus on the Family oppose both abortion and same-sex marriage. It is unclear how either position, deeply ingrained within the mainstream of American conservative politics, is going to lead to a regime that mandates sexual slavery or executes people summarily for violating various laws against unsanctioned sex or other proscribed behaviors.

The group performing these theatrical protests, called United Colorado Springs, is undermining its message by acting a little hysterically.

What did Vice President Pence have to say at ‘Focus on the Family?’

Vice President Pence began with remarks on the importance of faith and family, especially healthy marriages. He then lingered over issues of importance, such as the persecution of Christians by ISIS and the need to repeal Obamacare.

He did not advocate executing people for having abortions or the parceling out of young, fertile women to the elite into a life of sexual bondage. Indeed, insofar as ISIS, a real life theocracy, was concerned, he seemed to oppose such things.

The intersection of popular culture and politics

Popular culture and politics can become intertwined, hence the use of imagery from “The Handmaid’s Tale” as a part of protest theater.

One might wonder if other groups were to borrow from literature and cinema to make their points. Perhaps people could dress in the drab overalls worn by the Outer Party members of Oceana to protest Bernie Sanders or carry around hunting bows, like Katniss in “The Hunger Games,” to confront Hillary Clinton. The possibilities are endless.