"Someone asked me today in the media, 'People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue?' I said, 'Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That's my worldview.'" (Rep. Mike Johnson, in an interview Thursday with Fox News)
The media appears shocked that Congressman Mike Johnson – a conservative, a Christian, a believer in traditional marriage, and a foe of abortion – has been elected Speaker of the House. The Associated Press, for example, reports that John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah University in Pennsylvania, considers Johnson "a Christian nationalist" and "a culture warrior with deep connections to the Christian Right."
The same AP story quotes Nathan Empsall, executive director of the liberal group Faithful America. Empsall, in a statement, depicted Johnson as "an insurrection-supporting politician who will do anything to grab power, no matter who it hurts, simply to enforce his brand of right-wing Christianity on the rest of us."
There's more: Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, told AP via email that "Johnson's brand of Christian nationalism is bad American history and a betrayal of the historic Baptist commitment to religious freedom."
Optimism is a … threat?
American Family News spoke with Richard Stern of The Heritage Foundation and asked why liberal reporters are so worked up about Johnson's ascendency to the Speaker's post.
"…The Left rejects reason at a fundamental level," he responds. "The Left offers an ideology that asks you to beg the elites to run your life for you, [and] they offer a vision that is lacking in faith [and] lacking in any kind of optimism and hope."
Stern contends that when a conservative comes along with an agenda to restore hope and faith in the future, the Left considers that person and his or her ideology as a threat.
"It's a direct threat to their entire sordid business of playing on people's fears and depression and playing on people's anxieties," he states. "They see that, rightfully so, as an existential threat to the racket they've been running politically."
Stern, an economist, argues Johnson's election is also sending a message to moderate and liberal Republicans.
"We've spent decades with a Republican Party having been – I always like to joke about it – the 'generic version' of the Democrats," he offers. "They spend, they tax, they regulate … they just do a little bit less of it than the Left does."
A man of deep faith
While the Left steams about House Speaker Johnson, the Right has been ecstatic. In fact, a Christian law firm is celebrating that "one of their own" has ascended to the #2 position in presidential succession.
Before he entered politics, Johnson a constitutional attorney with First Liberty Institute and a passionate advocate for religious liberty.
"We know that fighting for religious freedom and for our constitutional rights runs deep in his roots," says First Liberty attorney Mike Berry. Americans, he continues, should have every reason to believe Johnson will continue to do that as House Speaker.
"He has a unique ability to be a bridge between the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress," says Berry, "and he is incredibly sharp and intelligent. He understands the Constitution and what's required."
More importantly though, says the attorney, is that Johnson is a "man of deep faith."
"He's a family man and he puts those things first," Berry adds. "I think that's going to keep him well-grounded as he serves out his time as Speaker.
"There's a lot to be excited about – not only if you're a Republican, but really if you're a patriotic American. This is a Speaker of the House who we can be proud of."