Twenty-two days following the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives by his party members, the House Republicans, after numerous voting rounds considering various leadership contenders, ultimately united in their support for Representative Mike Johnson from Louisiana, resulting in his election as the new Speaker.
Johnson addressed criticisms from liberal figures and media personalities regarding his Christian faith. Johnson, who openly professes his Evangelical Christian beliefs and considers the Bible his guiding worldview, responded to negative remarks from HBO’s Bill Maher, MSNBC’s Jen Psaki, and others.
In a discussion with Fox News’ Kayleigh McEnany, Johnson faced comments about his faith. McEnany mentioned an interview with Politico, where a historian labeled Johnson a “Christian nationalist” and suggested his beliefs align with “Christian supremacy.” She also referenced Psaki’s characterization of Johnson as a “fundamentalist.”
When asked for his reaction, Johnson stated he was unfazed by such criticism, seeing it as part of being an influential political leader. He wanted critics to understand him better, clarifying that he did not aim to establish Christianity as a national religion.
Johnson further explained his perspective, citing the Bible’s emphasis on love and peace towards all. He articulated his belief that steadfast adherence to the Bible’s teachings inherently opposes hate, as the central commandments involve loving God and one’s neighbor.
McEnany brought up further media critiques, including the Daily Beast referring to Johnson as a “Christo-fascist” akin to the Taliban or Iran’s mullahs and Bill Maher’s comparison of Johnson to a mass shooter in Maine. Johnson condemned these analogies as “disgusting” and “absurd,” emphasizing that Christianity advocates love and acceptance, starkly contrasting the violent actions of the Taliban or a mass shooter.
Despite acknowledging the hurtful nature of these attacks, Johnson accepted them as part of his leadership role, expressing his readiness to endure criticism. He voiced concern about the broader implications of such attacks on many Americans and the foundational principles of America.