Christian Nationalist Mike Johnson— a Southern Baptist from Louisiana, U.S. Republican Congressman and recently elected Speaker of the House— is all in on a “biblical worldview.”
“What does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun? Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview, that’s what I believe,” the man in question said.
Great! I’m taking you at your word, Bible Mike.
But there is just one problem: You’re not very familiar with the Bible. If you had read the Bible, you would never claim that the ancient worldview of the Bible is your worldview. But since you did, here’s what you believe—because your Bible says so, whether you’ve read it or not.
Let’s begin with your family. In your Bible, God commands how to enslave your daughters.
Exodus 21:7-11 – “When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money” (ESV).
What’s that you say? You’ve never told your daughters that your Bible and your God decree— and thus you believe— that you can sell them into slavery?
What about your marriage? Certainly your marriage is biblical— arranged by your parents to a wife with no rights, one you can divorce anytime for any reason— just like in the Bible.
What? Your marriage is not biblical? It is, instead, a modern Western marriage where the partners make their own decisions about who to marry, and each with legal rights?
This is nothing at all like the Bible.
You’re not doing too well so far when it comes to an actual biblical worldview, but I’ll give you another chance. Surely you support the enslavement of humans, just like the Bible does?
What? You don’t believe the Bible’s dozens of pro-slavery passages?
You do, of course, know who believed them. It was conservative white Christian slaveholders in your home state. They quoted the Bible as justification for enslaving Black people—until the “liberal” federal government defeated the South in the American Civil War and liberated enslaved people from their “biblical” place in life.
Why do you pretend to have a biblical worldview when you don’t?
Is it because you are an extremist, far-right politician, and you need cover for your anti-democracy, autocratic agenda? After all, authoritarianism, not democracy, is a biblical storyline.
It seems that your worldview isn’t biblical, but rather Dominionist, a belief that God’s self-perceived chosen few – such as yourself – are called to use political power (and if necessary take up arms) to destroy democracy and implement a theocracy.
Dominionism is a modern heresy, a movement of power-hungry white Christian nationalists like yourself. By flying a white Christian nationalist / Dominionist flag outside your office door, you are signaling your pride as a member of this extremist clan.
Your anti-constitutional efforts to overturn the 2020 election and illegally keep Donald Trump in power as an autocrat by throwing out the presidential election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were also Dominionism, not living out a “biblical worldview.”
You are a lawyer, which means you knew what you were doing was illegal. Yet you did it anyway.
You work for the Christian nationalist Alliance Defending Freedom as a “religious liberty defense lawyer.” But you’re not actually defending Americans’ freedoms, are you? Instead, your far-right extremist organization demands the right to discriminate against and persecute others.
As a Baptist, you obviously know better. Your Baptist forebears in the 17th century—Thomas Helwys, Roger Williams, John Clarke, Isaac Backus, John Leland, for starters—cut their teeth on advocating for equal freedom of conscience and equal religious liberty for everyone— including Jews, Muslims and pagans.
You also are undoubtedly aware that your Baptist forebears— who were a minority harshly persecuted by authoritarian colonial “Christian” theocracies—celebrated America’s founding as a secular nation. In a secular government separating Church from State, Baptists would no longer be beaten, stoned, jailed and even executed by state-funded far-right “Christians.”
But today, as a member of a self-magnifying majoritarian faith, you are the persecutor of others, not the persecuted. You demand that only people who believe like you should have “religious liberty.” You also insist that your liberty allows you to discriminate against, persecute and harm those who disagree with you, including women, non-heterosexuals, persons of other faiths or no faith and anyone you deem to be a “liberal.”
I know this will come as a shock, Mike, but your crusade to gain power over and harm others is the opposite of what Jesus taught. It is anti-Jesus.
Do you recall the few people who Jesus criticized? They were the conservative religious leaders, the wealthy and the powerful who discriminated against others. Sometimes those self-righteous folk called Jesus evil because he was way too kind and inclusive for their liking.
As a congressman, you are in a great position to implement Jesus’ inclusive and compassionate human rights values. Indeed you are demanding that your state and federal government use our tax dollars on the pro-life policies of making certain that every child and family has sufficient food to eat, access to health care, and a decent roof over their heads.
What’s that? You don’t believe the compassionate, human rights, pro-life teachings of Jesus? And you don’t want our government to reflect Jesus’s values of common humanity and radical inclusiveness?
I should have known; I’ve read about anti-Jesus, anti-common sense politicians like you. Your fellow Southern Baptist Russell Moore – editor in chief of Christianity Today – warned me of people like you.
Moore said recently on a radio newscast that many pastors tell him that folks in their pews do not want them to preach Jesus of the gospels. Many white Christians are especially offended by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he observed. “Where did you get those liberal talking points?” of compassion, kindness, and human rights, more and more white Christians in the pews are asking their pastors, Moore noted.
“When the pastor would say, ‘I’m literally quoting Jesus Christ’ … The response would be, ‘Yes, but that doesn’t work anymore. That’s weak,” Moore added. “When we get to the point where the teachings of Jesus himself are seen as subversive to us,” Moore observed, “then we’re in a crisis.”
Mike, that’s you and your “biblical worldview” that Russell Moore is talking about, isn’t it? Rather than having an inclusive and compassionate “Jesus worldview,” you created your own self-serving, authoritarian and hateful “biblical worldview.”
I guess that’s why you, as a self-perceived “Christian,” blindly support Donald Trump’s lies, cruelty and crimes. In the Trump cult world, reality following Jesus’ life and teachings does not matter. All that matters is cruelty and power.
Jesus, in his wilderness temptations found in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, taught that forcing God upon the world through political and military power is evil.
Give Jesus’s life and teachings some thought, Mike. In fact, read the gospels. If you take them seriously, you just might be converted to a “Jesus worldview.”
And should you ever step outside your power-worshiping Trump cult for a moment and breathe reality, let’s meet for coffee. I’ll buy.
And be sure to bring your Bible.
Managing Editor for Publishing and Experiences Director at Good Faith Media. He is a historian, lecturer, public speaker, award-winning author and award-winning photographer.