AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
Following Representative Mike Johnson’s election as Speaker of the House last week, the main criticism levied against the Louisiana Republican by Democrats and the liberal media has had nothing to do with a specific policy or issue area. Instead, they have declared Johnson “dangerous” and unfit to lead on account of his strong faith – underscoring just how hostile the modern left has become toward Christianity.
Most Americans outside of the Pelican State likely knew very little about Johnson before his sudden emergence as the leading speaker candidate. But soon after taking the gavel, it became evident how important Johnson’s faith is to him and how much it guides his life.
During his first remarks to Congress following his election, Johnson declared, “I believe that Scripture and the Bible is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us. And I believe God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment and this time.”
Photos circulating on social media also showed Johnson praying with other members of the Republican delegation. During an appearance with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Johnson said that if anyone wants to know what he thinks about an issue, they should “go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.”
These public demonstrations of faith have enraged and terrified the left far more than any of Johnson’s comments on education, immigration, the economy, or any other issue before Congress.
“Mike Johnson is a pro-gun Christian nationalist. Yes, be afraid,” declared Washington Post columnist Kate Cohen shortly after Johnson’s election. MSNBC columnist Sarah Posner similarly warned, “Mike Johnson’s Christian nationalist track record isn’t a mystery – it’s a tragedy.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall likewise expressed great alarm that “Mike Johnson is the first person to become speaker of the House who can be fairly described as a Christian nationalist.” Far-left outlet Mother Jones was scandalized that “Mike Johnson conducted seminars promoting the U.S. as a “Christian nation,” while Michael Podhorzer, a longtime Democrat strategist and former AFL-CIO political director, wrote in his Substack that Johnson’s election was part of the “ongoing white Christian nationalist takeover of the American government through MAGA.”
Even the supposedly “unbiased” news departments at major papers obsessed over Johnson’s religious beliefs. Time quickly published a piece detailing “the Christian nationalism of Speaker Mike Johnson.” The AP’s headline read, “Christian conservatives cheer one of their own as Mike Johnson assumes Congress’ most powerful seat.” The New York Times wrote that Johnson has “aligned himself with a newer cohort of conservative Christianity that some describe as Christian nationalism.”
Politico Magazine, meanwhile, ran a feature piece on “the Christian nationalist ideas that made Mike Johnson,” interviewing a “historian” who meandered from accusing Johnson of wanting to establish “Christian supremacy” to claiming that the Bible is anti-democratic and warning that Christian radio is full of “misinformation” and “propaganda” – all before himself claiming to be a Christian.
But what is “Christian nationalism,” exactly? According to Time, it is “a cultural framework that advocates for a particular expression of Christianity to be fused with American civic life, with the government vigorously promoting and preserving this version of Christianity as the principal and undisputed cultural framework.” Christianity Today describes it as, “the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.”
Democrats and the liberal media, always eager to play word games, have likened “Christian nationalism” to “white nationalism,” and often conflate the two by describing their enemies as “white Christian nationalists.”
Johnson has notably never described himself as a “Christian nationalist.” That label appears to stem from Johnson’s professed belief in a traditional biblical worldview – a position that would’ve been considered completely mainstream in both political parties less than a decade ago. Yet now, it earns the new speaker an “extremist” label from the media.
The left has also sounded the alarm over Johnson describing the United States as a republic rather than a democracy – a statement that is, as a matter of fact, true. Yet Kristin Kobes Du Mez, the historian interviewed by Politico, warns readers that “repeatedly talking about our nation being a republic” is “a very common theme in Christian nationalist circles and in conservative evangelical circles generally.”
The New York Times took another not-so-subtle dig at Johnson in writing, “He believes that his generation has been wrongly convinced that a separation of church and state was outlined in the Constitution.” Again, there’s no denying that Johnson is correct – the phrase “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the Constitution, and was instead a legal creation of the Supreme Court.
The left’s eagerness to target Johnson over his faith also should be viewed in context with their broader hostility toward Christians. Earlier this year, an FBI memo tagged “radical traditionalist Catholics” as potential “violent extremist threats.” Biden’s DOJ also infamously conducted a dawn raid on the home of pro-life demonstrator Mark Houck that many viewed as being motivated by Houck’s Christian faith.
The reaction to Johnson’s election is just another display of this anti-Christian animus that has now engulfed the media establishment and the Democrat Party.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on X @ShaneHarris513.