Early County News

Good news out of Washington with Mike Johnson as Speaker

The Briefing



There is good news out of Washington D.C. The United States of America has a Speaker of the House of Representatives!

It came last week when representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, first elected to the House in 2016, was elected by virtually all members of the Republican Conference. Even as he achieved the requisite number of votes, we remember he was the fourth individual to be nominated by Republicans since the toppling of the former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy of California.

First, this is good news because the House of Representatives cannot act without a speaker. A lot of Americans had not understood that before. The Speaker fulfills a very important constitutional role, even putting it in the line of presidential succession.

There’s a second reason. Mike Johnson is a solidly conservative Republican legislator. In terms of worldview commitments, it’s safe to say he is very much in line with what we would be looking for in a Speaker.

Mike Johnson has been associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. He was a board member with one of our SBC agencies. He has been an attorney and spokesman for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is one of the most important religious liberty litigators here in the United States. He has also been a faculty member, including service currently as an adjunct member of the faculty at Liberty University.

So we are talking about a self-consciously committed evangelical Christian. We’re talking about an attorney who has put his reputation on the line to defend religious liberty. We’re talking about someone who clearly is willing to identify with evangelical Christians as an evangelical Christian. He comes with a great deal of experience, not only as a legislator, both in Louisiana and now in the House of Representatives, but also as a litigator and attorney with Christian commitments.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what signals are sent by the new speaker. We will be watching the media and cultural response once Americans begin to understand what he believes, what his biography represents and what his worldview is. That’s going to be very interesting.

It’s also interesting from a Christian worldview perspective to understand why it was Mike Johnson (and not someone else) who was elected the Speaker of the House by the Republican majority.

On the one hand, you could say he had fewer enemies than the three previous nominees. That turns out evidently to be true. You could also say that the more nominations that had failed, the more likely it was that a nomination would succeed. That’s just a political reality.

Eventually, a party grows embarrassed for failing to pull off a leadership election, especially in a time where Israel’s been attacked savagely by Hamas. Other national and international stories demanding congressional attention, also put Republicans under a lot of pressure.

There’s something else playing into this. Most of his colleagues like Mike Johnson. It might not be the most important thing that the Republicans would elect a speaker who is nice. On the other hand, that is a biblical issue.

The biblical issue simply tells us that we are to treat people with respect. We are to seek to get along with people in goodwill. That is a matter of Christian testimony.

We understand that can be abused. People can be friendly at the expense of conviction. But in the case of Mike Johnson, he has somehow pulled off the task of being very convictional and, I believe, right on most of the issues. At the same time he is considered to be respectful, gracious and even well-liked by members of his own party and many in the other party as well.

It does remind us of the importance of being winsome and demonstrating integrity. We should earn the respect of our colleagues. It turns out that’s really important in the House of Representatives.

I think most parents want their children to understand it’s important in just about every arena of life. It’s important in the church as well. But, it is like so many things first learned in the family. If not learned there, it’s likely never learned at all.

This is an edited excerpt of The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview. For the complete transcript, to listen or to subscribe, visit www.albertmohler.com/thebriefing.

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