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Sorry My Wife Couldn’t Make It, She Blew Out Her Knees Praying: The Creepy Religious Extremism Of Speaker Mike Johnson
The new speaker of the House is a theocratic fascist lunatic.
We’ve been talking about how new House Speaker Mike Johnson is a bizarre religious extremist whose lunatic theocratic tendencies render him unfit for the job he thinks God chose him for.
But really, y’all, this guy is goddamn weird.
Yesterday, while he was doing his little tiara dance after the speaker vote, he made a weird crack about how his wife couldn’t be there that day because she had been on her knees for the past two weeks — praying! — and oh boy is she tired. Don’t you hate it when you blow out your knees praying?
“She’s spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord. And, um, she’s a little worn out.”
Just a little Christian humor for ya!
Except no. Dude is a fucking creep. If anybody’s got resting “Don’t report your sexual assault to me unless you want us to pray about what you did to deserve it” face, he does.
People have been digging into the history of this man who, before he was in Congress, worked for anti-LGBTQ+ hate cells like the Family Research Council and what’s now called the Alliance Defending Freedom (it used to be Alliance Defense Fund), the group that’s currently employing Josh Hawley’s wife to overturn the FDA’s longstanding approval on the extremely safe and popular abortion drug Mifepristone.
Obviously he’s a severe white anti-gay, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-abortion bigot, who wants a national abortion ban and introduced a national Don’t Say Gay bill. Throwing around “Handmaid’s Tale” references is a bit passé these days, but if anybody’s got the energy of one of those babydicked “commanders,” it’s this guy.
For evidence, we can look at all his past writings about his desire to criminalize homosexuality, and for that we can start with KFile.
Gay Sex Is Far Too Evil And Hot To Be Legal!
In 2003, Johnson fought hard for the continued criminalization of gay sex, just as the Supreme Court decriminalized it with Lawrence v. Texas. While working as a lawyer for Alliance Defense Fund, which filed an amicus in the case, he argued in an op-ed for the Shreveport Times that “[s]tates have many legitimate grounds to proscribe same-sex deviate sexual intercourse.” He prudishly sneered for the sake of states’ rights to “discourage the evils of sexual conduct outside marriage” — what a goddamned dork — and posited that since you couldn’t then have gay sex within a marriage, then “the state is right to discriminate.”
“All are capable of changing their abnormal lifestyles,” he wrote. “By closing these bedroom doors, [the Supreme Court has] opened a Pandora’s box,” he wrote. Raise your hand if you think piece of shit Mike Johnson has earned the right to possess an opinion on what happens on either side of your bedroom door, or in the doorway if it’s sturdy enough.
In another op-ed in 2004, he babbled that marriage equality could “place our entire democratic system in jeopardy by eroding its foundation.” (No mention of what plotting coups to overturn presidential elections and thereby overthrow the government might do to our democratic system.) He claimed it would lead to man-pet marriage, pedophile marriage, “chaos and sexual anarchy.”
Try not to laugh as you read this one from 2004:
If you were shocked by the moral lapses at the Super Bowl you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Experts project that homosexual marriage is the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.
“Experts.” LOL. Oh God. Probably just the religious Right jockstrap sniffers he called colleagues back in those days, writing in their columns.
(The religious Right have always invented their own studies and experts and even fake medical associations, in order to make it look like there’s scholarly support for their bullshit. For an example, we again reference the Mifepristone case winding its way through the courts, brought by the “Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine,” which sounds real, but really was formed last year and really is just a bunch of anti-abortion fascists who want you to think they’re mainstream doctors.)
In 2005, while bitching that the damn Shreveport homosexuals were trying to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance, Johnson argued that “homosexuality and cross-dressing are things you do,” not who you are, therefore they don’t deserve protection. “This is a free country, but we don’t give protection for every person’s bizarre choices,” he wrote. (Later, in 2015, while in the Louisiana legislature, Johnson sponsored a “fuck the gays” bill to legalize discrimination, because those were all the rage that year.)
Mike Johnson didn’t just write for the Shreveport Times. He’s also been a contributor for Answers in Genesis, the crackpot creation Bible science organization that built that stupid fucking Noah’s Ark and Creation Museum in Kentucky.
He also spent some of that time period going after grown-up hoo-hah-titty-wiener video stores, because waaaaaah Jesus was crying.
So he’s a serious guy.
Here’s Some More Weird Shit
Judd Legum’s newsletter this morning casts a wide net, hoo boy. But y’all might be particularly interested in Johnson’s advocacy for the weird, creepy, patriarchal and abusive practice of so-called “Covenant Marriage.” Conservative Christian extremists love it because it makes divorce really hard. Like, not even if you both just agree you want to get a divorce. Legum explains:
In Louisiana, for example – the first state to formally recognize covenant marriages – couples seeking a divorce “must go through marriage counseling,” submit evidence, and “be separated for at least a year before a divorce can be granted.” These requirements apply even in cases involving physical and sexual abuse, and increase the chance that a woman continues to experience violence at their hands of their partner.
Even in cases of physical and sexual abuse.
See why conservative Christians love it?
But don’t worry, y’all: Mike Johnson isn’t just the president of covenant marriages. He’s also a client!
Johnson and his wife entered into a covenant marriage in Louisiana in 1999. They’re now “proponents of the cause.” In an interview with ABC in 2005, Johnson said that opting for a covenant marriage was "kind of a no-brainer."
Sorry his wife couldn’t make it today. The thing with the knees and the exhaustion.
Pretty Sure He’s Still Like This, Folks
Not to harp on it, but again, his wife couldn’t be here today because she’s nursing that old prayer injury. When will she learn you’re supposed to lift your prayers WITH YOUR LEGS? All kinds of gnarly things will happen to your back if you don’t.
Anyway, lest we think all this was a long time ago and perhaps Mike Johnson has grown the fuck up, KFile points out that part of the opposition to Tom Emmer’s recently failed bid for the speakership was that he voted to codify marriage equality protections into federal law, and Mike Johnson was part of that opposition.
Johnson’s first speech as speaker was wildly Christian fascist. He said “God is the one that raises up those in authority,” within the context of how he had just been elected speaker after three weeks of Republican clownfucking and failure instigated by Matt Gaetz. The Lord works in all kinds of mysterious and inefficient ways, we guess.
“I believe that God has allowed and ordained each and every one of us to be here at this specific moment,” he yapped. He bemoaned that children are no longer taught that “all men are created equal. Not ‘born equal.’ Created equal.”
Here’s a whole creepy clip:
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It’s kind of disturbing the extent to which we could go on all day here. Mike Johnson has left so much cringe-inducing evidence of his extremism and general creepiness.
In 2016, he argued that America isn’t a democracy but a constitutional republic set up in the biblical way, and that “our generation has been convinced that there’s a separation of church and state.” He continued, “Most people think that that’s part of the Constitution, but it’s not. Remember, I’m a constitutional lawyer!”
He’s a pretty dumb white Christian fascist constitutional lawyer, because it’s right there in the Establishment Clause.
He also preached that year that mass shootings are caused by teaching evolution. Really.
We’ll close this post with this picture and tweet from journalist David Cay Johnston. Note that it’s from the speaker vote in January that led to Poor Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy, but our new speaker is prominently featured.
Evan Hurst on Twitter right here.
@evanjosephhurst on Threads!
I have profiles those other places but I think I forgot how to log on.