A comprehensive examination of the statements made by newly appointed House Speaker Mike Johnson on talk radio reveals a set of deeply conservative views that diverge significantly from the mainstream, as per a CNN analysis.
Delving into over a hundred interviews, speeches, and public comments spanning more than a decade, CNN found that Johnson supports imprisonment for abortion providers, advocates for the removal of hate crime laws, endorses criminalization of gay sex, and calls for the imposition of “biblical morality” in public life.
Norm Eisen, a CNN legal analyst and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute characterized Johnson’s views as radical and outside the mainstream. He noted that Johnson’s endorsement of certain positions, notably regarding Thomas’s legal perspective, even surpasses the conservatism of the Supreme Court majority.
Johnson has been involved in legal battles to advance religion in the public sphere, collaborating with the Alliance Defense Fund and expressing a desire to restore values he believes were eroded by the counterculture of the 1960s. Reports indicate that he has characterized American culture as “dark and depraved,” deserving of divine judgment.
In a radio show appearance in 2010, Johnson stated, “One of the primary purposes of the law in civil government is to restrain evil,” asserting the inherently evil nature of humanity that requires collective acknowledgment and restraint.
Discussing an anti-discrimination case involving a wedding photography company in New Mexico in a 2009 radio interview, Johnson argued against recognizing “behavior” like homosexuality within discrimination laws. He differentiated between immutable characteristics and what he referred to as “homosexual behavior,” stating that the law recognizes this distinction.
Johnson frequently addresses homosexuality, describing it as “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle.” He has supported an Arkansas law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children and criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas ruling, which invalidated a ban on gay sex in the state, claiming it recognized a constitutional right to sodomy.