Shortly after Representative Mike Johnson (R-La.) was elected Speaker on Wednesday ending a three-week leadership logjam, critics and news outlets began blanketing social media with details concerning the Louisiana social conservative.
Elected to the House in 2017, Speaker Johnson received the gavel and addressed those gathered in the chamber yesterday.
“The Bible is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority,” Johnson said. “I believe that each one of us has a huge responsibility today to use the gifts that God has given us to serve the extraordinary people of this great country and that they deserve it and to ensure that our republic remains standing as the great beacon of light and hope and freedom in a world that desperately needs it.”
A professing Christian who is married with four children, the Louisiana native has earned an A+ rating on the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life scorecard, as well as a lifetime score of 90% from The Heritage Foundation.
Back in January of 2022 on the anniversary of the horrific Roe v. Wade ruling, then Representative Johnson tweeted, “Abortion takes a baby’s life – a person – made in God’s image.”
As a member in the Louisiana state legislature back in 2015, Mr. Johnson told a reporter:
“Many women use abortion as a form of birth control in certain segments of society, and it’s just shocking and sad, but this is where we are. When you break up the nuclear family, when you tell a generation of people that life has no value, no meaning, that it’s expendable, then you do wind up with school shooters.”
Predictably, news sites like CNN also zeroed in on Speaker Johnson’s orthodox Christian beliefs concerning the sanctity of marriage.
“New speaker of the House Mike Johnson once wrote in support of the criminalization of gay sex,” read an afternoon headline. The story referenced Speaker Johnson’s tenure with our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, who, along with Focus on the Family and many other organizations, urged the Supreme Court to maintain existing marriage laws. Of course, the court wound up legalizing same-sex marriage in a controversial 5-4 ruling.
Previously warning about the consequences of casting aside thousands of years of cultural understanding of human sexuality, Speaker Johnson warned that such a ruling would open “a Pandora’s box” – a prescient observation given recent events.
During his first speech as speaker on Wednesday, Johnson touched on the Christian ethos undergirding our nation’s founding:
It was in 1962, in 1962, our national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ was adorned above this rostrum. If you look at the little guide that they give tourists and constituents and visitors to the House, if you turn to page 14, in the middle of that guide, it tells you the history of this.
It says very simply, “These words were placed above us, this motto was placed here as a rebuke of the Cold War-era philosophy of the Soviet Union. That philosophy was Marxism and Communism, which begins with the premise that there is no God.”
This is a critical distinction that is also articulated in our nation’s birth certificate. We know the language well. The famous second paragraph that we used to have children memorize in school”– and they don’t do that so often anymore but they should.
G.K. Chesterton was the famous British philosopher and statesman. He said one time, ‘America is the only nation in the world that is founded upon a creed.’ He said, ‘It is listed with almost theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.’
What is our creed? “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”
Not born equal. Created equal.
And they’re endowed by the same ‘unalienable rights, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.’
That is the creed that has animated our nation since its founding and has made us the great nation that we are.
Speaker Johnson than summed up his legislative priorities this way:
“I boil them down to individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets and human dignity,” he said. “Those are the foundations that made us the extraordinary nation that we are. And you and I today are the stewards of those principles.”
May the Lord give Speaker Johnson wisdom as he leads and the entire House discernment as they vote.
Image from Getty.