It took Mike Johnson just a couple days last week to rise from a relatively obscure Louisiana congressman to House speaker. Suffice it to say his background and policy positions did not hold up well under their first exposure to national attention.
Johnson is an opposition researcher’s goldmine. Even over the weekend, news reports and video clips steadily trickled out exposing the new speaker for embracing views that are far out of step with mainstream America.
In particular, Johnson is deep in the Christofascist derp. And if you didn’t know that already, it became clear last Thursday during his first big TV interview as speaker, a spot on Sean Hannity’s show where he explained that his position on any issue comes straight from the Bible.
“Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview; that’s what I believe,” Johnson told on Hannity, with a proud little head tilt.
Johnson’s statement is difficult to credit. The Bible is a heterogenous document with a long, complicated interpretive tradition, and lots of odd little injunctions tucked away. Johnson has not, as far as I know, come out strongly against mixing fabrics.
But it might be more comforting if he had. Because what Johnson means when he says that his worldview is that of the Bible is not that he’s going to make a good faith (as it were) effort to follow biblical prescriptions. Rather, it means he’s certain that his own particular white evangelical Christian nationalist tradition is sanctioned by God, and that, therefore, whatever smug and barmy thing comes out of his mouth is divinely inspired. [Continue reading…]
Harry Litman speaks with Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, about the rise of Christian nationalism in the United States.