Mike Johnson warned the US was going down a 'dark and depraved' path before he was named speaker and said the country 'almost seems irredeemable'

  • Mike Johnson in an October broadcast lamented the rise of LGBTQ+ youth and the waning role of the church in the US.

  • The now-House speaker called US culture "dark and depraved" on a World Prayer Network call.

  • In the past, Johnson has championed sodomy laws and sought to criminalize homosexuality.

Mike Johnson during remarks made weeks before he ascended to the House speakership called American culture "dark and depraved" as he pointed to the rise of LGBTQ+ youth and waning religious attendance, Rolling Stone reports.

In an October 3 prayer call, Johnson conversed with Christian-nationalist MAGA pastor Jim Garlow on a broadcast of "The Prayer Network" as the pastor called for "biblical justice as opposed to social justice."

"We're way beyond the issue of partisanship," Garlow said. "We're way beyond the issue of Republican versus Democrat," he added, saying their focus was on "right versus wrong, good versus evil, and light versus darkness."

The now-speaker said at the time that the US faced a "civilizational moment" and asked: "Is God going to allow our nation to enter a time of judgment for our collective sins? Or is he going to give us one more chance to restore the foundations and return to Him?"

"The culture is so dark and depraved that it almost seems irredeemable," he continued to say in his conversation with Garlow, highlighting the decline in church attendance rates across the country and the rise of young people identifying as LGBTQ+.

"One in four high school students identifies as something other than straight," Johnson said at the time. "We're losing the country."

However, Johnson said he didn't believe that "God is done with America yet" and remarked that "we need a supernatural intervention from the God of the universe."

The broadcast occurred on the same day that the House voted to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California as speaker, and it also happened weeks before Johnson was thought of as a serious successor to McCarthy among the House Republican Conference. (Johnson was sworn in as speaker on October 25.)

Johnson has a lengthy track record of challenging LGBTQ+ rights.

As an attorney for the Alliance for Defending Freedom, he advocated for sodomy laws and the criminalization of homosexuality.

The speaker's more conservative views have come under scrutiny in recent weeks, as he now leads a House where he'll have to exercise a great degree of bipartisanship in order to keep the chamber running given the GOP's razor-thin majority. But hardline conservatives, who quickly rallied behind Johnson's speakership bid after earlier candidacies by Reps. Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan, and Tom Emmer faltered, have made it clear they will continue to exert pressure on leadership to pursue a range of conservative priorities.

Johnson on Tuesday endorsed former President Donald Trump's reelection bid, just days after The New York Times unearthed old Facebook posts where the now-speaker questioned whether Trump was too dangerous to be president.

"He had a phenomenal first term," the speaker said of Trump on CNBC. "Those first two years, as you all know, we brought about the greatest economic numbers in the history of the world, not just the country. Because his policies worked. I'm all in for President Trump."

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