How 'Fringe' Movements Shaped Mike Johnson's Far-Right Ideology

Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson

Christianity, like Islam and Judaism, has its moderates as well as its extreme fundamentalists. Christian nationalists are hardcore fundamentalists, promoting a severe form of Protestant Christianity that the Republican Party and the MAGA movement have aggressively promoted.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has a long history pushing Christian nationalism — a history that reporter Annika Brockschmidt examines in an article published by Religion Dispatches this month.

"Johnson is a white Christian nationalist — and a true believer at that — part of a growing number who see right-wing reactionary Christianity, white supremacy, and authoritarian politics as an integral part of 'real' American identity," Brockschmidt explains. "Those who do not fall under it must submit, or be forced, if need be, through violence."

Before joining the House of Representatives, Johnson served in the Louisiana State Legislature. And before that, Brockschmidt notes, Johnson spent a decade as an attorney for the Christian Right group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Brockschmidt reports, "The ADF advocates for the disenfranchisement of and discrimination against LGBTQ people and seeks to criminalize abortion — it was the driving force behind the fall of Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to abortion, last summer…. Indeed, Johnson has a long, well-documented history of bigoted views toward LGBTQ people."

The journalist adds, "In 2005, he claimed that domestic partnerships were not legitimate couples but 'same-sex, live-in lovers' and framed it as an attempt to impose homosexuality on Christians. Two years earlier, Johnson wrote an editorial calling for the criminalization of gay sex."

The House speaker's "fringe" views, according to Brockschmidt, also include "being influenced by Chistian reconstructionism" and "dominionism" — which dictate that only severe Christian fundamentalists should hold public office and that the United States was meant to be a strict theocracy.

"Further evidence that Johnson is deeply anti-democratic is his effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election," Brockschmidt warns. "Johnson, according to the New York Times, 'played a leading role in recruiting House Republicans to sign a brief in support of a lawsuit aimed at overturning the election results' in four contested swing states won by Biden — a swing that would have given the presidency to Trump.… And while the Supreme Court rejected the outrageous claim, this didn't stop Johnson from continuing to spread lies about the election being stolen."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.


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