Newly-elected Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is under scrutiny for his controversial far-right views on LGBTQ+ issues, climate change, and abortion. Despite mounting evidence of his extreme positions, Johnson, a professed Christian, has argued that his faith prevents him from being a "hateful person."
In an interview with Fox News personality and former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, he expressed his belief that there are "entire industries" dedicated to undermining "effective political leaders like me" and expressed a desire for others to "get to know [him] better."
You can hear what he said in the video below.
“I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something. That's not what this is about. If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands and you seek to follow those, it is impossible to be a hateful person."
"The greatest command in the Bible is that you love God with everything you have and you love your neighbor as yourself.”
Johnson's previous affiliations and statements have raised concerns about his positions. Prior to his congressional tenure, he held a senior role in the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Back in 2004, while he served as legal counsel for the ADF, he actively campaigned for the Louisiana Marriage Amendment, in which he characterized same-sex couples as "inherently unnatural" and drew inappropriate comparisons to pedophilia.
Interestingly, Johnson now professes to have no recollection of making those statements. Additionally, he occupied a leadership position within the Southern Baptist Convention, a group known for its conservative stance on LGBTQ+ issues.
He has contended that "a parent has no right to sexually transition a young child," underscoring the legal system's role in safeguarding children from harm and claiming that these parents believe that they have "a constitutional right to injure their children.”
Johnson's critics were quick to point out that his record has done nothing to persuade people he isn't a "hateful" person.
Johnson is the epitome of a MAGA extremist.
Johnson is known for consistently supporting anti-abortion policies, having voted for a nationwide abortion ban and co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban.
His unwavering stance on these issues has led to an A-plus rating from the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. Johnson notably celebrated the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, describing it as an "extraordinary day in American history."
Johnson co-hosts a religious podcast with his wife and regards Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, as his mentor.
Last year, he introduced a bill that sought to prohibit federal funding for sex education programs addressing LGBTQ+ topics for children under 10, akin to Florida's contentious "Don't Say Gay" law. Johnson defended this legislation as a matter of "common sense."