By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
November 15, 2023
In a recent interview, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) passionately discussed the vital role of faith in the public square, emphasizing that the concept of the separation of church and state is often misunderstood. Johnson’s remarks came during an insightful interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he delved into the intersection of faith and politics.
The conversation was sparked by a photograph of Speaker Johnson praying on the House floor earlier this year, a powerful gesture that symbolized his belief in the importance of faith within the nation’s public life.
In his interview, Johnson shed light on the intentions of the United States’ founders, emphasizing that they envisioned faith as a cornerstone of the nation’s public life. He noted that the founders sought a vibrant expression of faith in the public square because they believed it was essential for establishing a general moral consensus and virtue.
Moreover, Johnson challenged the common misinterpretation of the phrase “separation of church and state,” highlighting that this phrase does not appear in the Constitution but originates from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. He clarified that the founders’ primary objective was to prevent government interference with religious institutions, not to exclude the influence of faith-based principles from public life.
Speaker Johnson, a staunch advocate for religious conservatism, has consistently voiced his faith-based worldview and its profound significance in shaping his political positions. His commitment to these principles has garnered attention, particularly due to his unwavering stand for the unborn and traditional marriage.
In a poignant moment, Speaker Johnson brought a Bible to the House rostrum before taking his oath of office, symbolizing his belief in the indispensable role of faith in leadership.
During the interview, Johnson underscored the founders’ prescience in recognizing the critical role of religion in maintaining the nation’s democratic system. He stressed the need for a diverse array of faith expressions within the public arena, emphasizing such diversity is a fundamental aspect of the nation’s identity.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, expressed his support for Speaker Johnson’s commitment to his faith-based worldview.
Creech noted, “Speaker Johnson has said that the way to learn how he feels about any issue is to read the Bible: ‘That’s my worldview, that’s what I believe,’ he has said. Undoubtedly, many will not believe it, and some will gnash their teeth over it. Nevertheless, the evidence is voluminous that Johnson is very much on the same page with our nation’s early settlers, the colonists, and our founders.”
Creech went on to highlight the decline of biblical literacy in recent years and its negative impact on the nation’s direction. He said America had largely become secularized in recent generations.
“Perhaps the greatest culprit of secularization has been the churches, where professing Christians do not view life’s issues through the lens of God’s Word. This is not only unfortunate but sinful. Only a few ministers today, proclaim and teach the Bible, applying its teachings to the issues of our time. Instead, most weave and dodge the social issues and stay clear of anything that smells of politics,” said Creech. “With this kind of environment, it should be no surprise that biblical illiteracy is deeply and negatively impacting the overall direction of the West. As we have abandoned the Bible in recent decades, we have experienced a creeping loss of liberty, justice, and prosperity being supplanted with tyranny, oppression, and less opportunity. I feel very sorry for the younger folk. They are mostly rudderless in life, and their opportunities aren’t nearly as good as those of their parents and grandparents.”
Creech also acknowledged the role of education in this secularization process, with public education often prioritizing secular subjects and institutions of higher learning emphasizing secular knowledge and research.
Speaker Mike Johnson’s commitment to his faith-based worldview serves as a beacon for those who value the role of faith in American public life. His dedication to preserving the principles upon which the nation was founded echoes the sentiments of the Founding Fathers and provides a true north in an ever-evolving societal landscape.
“I thank God for Speaker Johnson,” said Creech. “In these days of troubled waters, he is like a lighthouse for the ship America to find her way safely back to shore.”