Although newly installed House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has made no secret about his connection to the religious right, he insisted on Fox News that he isn’t trying to make Christianity the official religion of the U.S.
In an interview that aired Tuesday with Donald Trump’s former press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, Johnson said he wasn’t “surprised” that people are digging up information about his past.
Since Johnson became speaker, news outlets including HuffPost have delved into his work for a creationist group trying to get tax incentives for a Noah’s Ark amusement park and for officials attempting to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. HuffPost also reported that his wife runs a counseling business that just days ago linked to documents comparing homosexuality to bestiality on its website.
McEnany asked Johnson for his thoughts on being characterized as a “religious fundamentalist” by former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and other critics.
“Look, there are entire industries that are built to take down public leaders, political leaders like me. I’m not surprised by that,” Johnson said.
He added: “I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something, that’s not what this is about at all. If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands and you seek to follow those, it is impossible to be a hateful person.”
Johnson: I'm not trying to establish christianity as the national religion, that is not what this is about. If you believe in the bible commands and seek to follow those, it is impossible to be hateful person. pic.twitter.com/ZX5hJEYLVZ
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 31, 2023
Johnson might have intended for his comments to ease voters’ minds, but people on social media did not seem reassured.
P-O-TA toe, Po-Ta-toe “I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion, I already assume it is. I just want everyone to follow my very narrowly defined ’Biblical’ principles whether they are Christians or not.” https://t.co/iBtvQrQJfx
— JayMallow (@JayMallow3) October 31, 2023
Counterpoint: Damn near everything Christian Nationalists do is hateful. https://t.co/1c9sMNeHZQ
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) October 31, 2023
Mike Johnson should tour some European torture museums so he can see how “correct” Christian doctrine was imposed on those deemed to be deviant in their beliefs: https://t.co/0H1uY15aq9https://t.co/1KRLVqS7wb
— Sanho Tree (@SanhoTree) October 31, 2023
Everyday I read about another Christian that molested children, so…. https://t.co/paqm9Y3A9B
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) October 31, 2023
Dude literally attempted to install an unelected dictator just a few months ago. https://t.co/Yzp854tGhs
— Daniel Kurz (@daniel_kurz) October 31, 2023