Longacre: Why ‘MAGA Mike’ Johnson is an election denier


Reading about the biblical beliefs of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., is like reading about the character Matthew Harrison Brady in the old Spencer Tracy movie, “Inherit the Wind.” While he is difficult to pin down, he seems to be a Christian fundamentalist of the old school, who believes in the literal truth of the Bible, including Genesis; that the theory of evolution is false; and that acceptance of LGBTQ rights and a woman’s right to choose is evil.

Perhaps the most important position taken by Johnson and his ilk is that our country was not founded on the separation of church and state. They claim that the Declaration of Independence infuses the Constitution with religious meaning (here, we see the influence of one of his mentors, controversial “historian” David Barton), nullifying the usual interpretation of the following statement, known as the establishment clause of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The meaning of this statement is further clarified by Thomas Jefferson, who stated in a famous letter that the First Amendment built “a wall of separation between church and State.” Johnson obviously thinks Jefferson is wrong.

This is important because it is only against this backdrop that Johnson’s election denialism makes sense. If there is no distinction between church and state, then God picks the winners, and elections are just window dressing. If, for some reason, the election results don’t agree with God, so much the worse for the elections. How do we know where God stands? Just ask the appropriate “church authorities” or their spokespeople, true believers like Mike. For them and many like them, Donald Trump is the favored one. Hence, Mike Johnson’s sobriquet, “MAGA Mike.”

It is frightening that Mike is second in line for the presidency after Kamala Harris.

Frederick Longacre


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