Inside The Faith Of New House Speaker Mike Johnson 🔌


The veteran religion writer notes:

Religious conservatives cheered Johnson’s election (Oct. 25), after which he brought his Bible to the rostrum before taking the oath of office. “The Bible is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority … each of you, all of us,” he said.

“Someone asked me today in the media, ‘People are curious, what does Mike Johnson think about any issue?’” Johnson said (Oct. 26) in a Fox News interview. “I said, ’Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview.’”

But progressive faith leaders are sounding the alarm about Johnson’s opposition to LGBTQ rights and his rallying of Republicans around former President Donald Trump’s legal effort to overturn the 2020 election results. And, more broadly, they are concerned about Johnson’s “desire to impose his narrow religious vision upon the rest of us,” in the words of Paul Raushenbush, president of Interfaith Alliance, a broad coalition of progressive religious groups.

Johnson’s Louisiana hometown: The new speaker is from Shreveport, a “small town masquerading as a city” that is guided by faith and family, according to the Washington Post’s Molly Hennessy-Fiske.

The Post writer interviews Johnson’s mother in this piece that characterizes the area this way:

The Ark-La-Tex region in northwest Louisiana that includes Johnson’s hometown is full of historic Black and White churches, more like neighboring Arkansas, Texas and the rest of the Bible Belt than the rest of the state. It’s often overshadowed by flashier cities to the south: New Orleans and the state capital, Baton Rouge. The idea that one of its sons is now second in line to the presidency has been met with joyous surprise in many quarters. But views are mixed about whether his ascension will benefit all residents, who remain divided, like much of the country, along ideological and racial lines.

Politics and policy: “The new House speaker has put his faith at the center of his political career, and aligned himself with a newer cohort of conservative Christianity that some describe as Christian nationalism.”

That’s the synopsis from the New York Times’ Annie Karni, Ruth Graham and Steve Eder.

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