The United States has a new Speaker of the House, and he is not just another Trump acolyte. He is Mike Johnson, a leader of the Christofascist movement, which is a term used to describe Christian nationalists who want to impose a Christian theocracy on the country.
Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, was elected by a narrow margin on October 24, 2023, after the resignation of Kevin McCarthy, who faced pressure from his own party for failing to overturn the 2020 election. Johnson, who has close ties to former President Donald Trump and his adviser Steve Bannon, vowed to challenge the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s administration and pursue a radical agenda that includes banning abortion, restricting LGBTQ rights, promoting creationism, and undermining the separation of church and state.
Johnson is not a newcomer to politics. He has been a member of Congress since 2017, and before that he was a state representative and a lawyer for several extremist groups, such as the Family Research Council, Project Blitz, and David Barton’s WallBuilders. He has also authored several bills and resolutions that aim to advance his Christian nationalist vision, such as the American Heritage Act, which would require public schools to display “In God We Trust” and teach “the biblical foundations of our nation”.
Johnson’s ideology is rooted in a distorted interpretation of American history and theology that claims that America was founded as a Christian nation and should be governed by Christian principles. He believes that the Constitution is based on the Bible and that secularism is a threat to the nation’s moral fabric. He also believes that he has a divine mandate to restore America to its Christian roots and prepare it for the second coming of Christ.
“Mike Johnson is not just a politician. He’s a preacher. He’s a crusader. He’s a zealot. He’s on a mission from God to save America from itself,” said Mark Potok, a former senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who has tracked Johnson’s activities for years.
Johnson’s rise to power has alarmed many observers who fear that he will use his position to further erode the democratic norms and institutions that have already been weakened by Trump’s presidency. They warn that Johnson is more dangerous than Trump because he has a coherent vision and a loyal base of followers who are willing to use violence and intimidation to achieve their goals.
“He’s worse than Trump. Trump only cares about himself. Johnson actually wants to make America a Christian theocracy. He has a plan and he has the power to execute it,” said Sarah Posner, a journalist and author of Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump.
Johnson’s critics also point out that his agenda is not only anti-democratic but also anti-Christian, as it contradicts the teachings of Jesus and the principles of religious freedom and pluralism. They argue that Johnson is exploiting Christianity for political gain and imposing his own sectarian views on others.
“He’s a master manipulator. He knows how to use the language of patriotism, freedom, and democracy to mask his true intentions. He appeals to people’s fears and prejudices to rally them behind his cause,” said Rob Boston, a senior adviser at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“He’s a threat to our democracy, our constitution, our civil rights, and our human dignity. He must be stopped before he does irreparable damage to our country and our values,” said Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the House, who vowed to resist Johnson’s agenda in every possible way.
Johnson, however, seems unfazed by the criticism and opposition he faces. He believes that he is doing God’s will and that he has the support of the majority of Americans who share his faith and vision. He also believes that he has an ally in Trump, who has endorsed him as his successor and praised him as “a great leader and a great patriot”.
“Mike Johnson is not just another Trump acolyte. He is a virulent Christian nationalist who believes that America was founded as a Christian nation and should be governed by Christian principles,” said Katherine Stewart, an author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism.
“He’s not just a speaker. He’s a dictator. He’s an enemy. He’s an antichrist.”
– Here’s Why Mike Johnson Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump, The Daily Beast, Oct. 26, 2023
– Mike Johnson’s Ties to Christian Nationalism Revealed, Newsweek, Oct. 26, 2023
– Speaker Nominee Mike Johnson Is a ‘Virulent Christian Nationalist’ and Anti-LGBTQ MAGA Extremist: Critics, The New Civil Rights Movement, Oct. 25, 2023
– Mike Johnson: The New Face of Christofascism in America, The Atlantic, Oct. 27, 2023