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Speaker of the House Mike Johnson leads a prayer vigil for Israel. Video

New House Speaker Mike Johnson responds to media attacks on his faith

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., the newly elected speaker of the House, has responded to critics of his Christian faith. He said attacks by MSNBC host Jen Psaki, HBO host Bill Maher and others who trashed him for his faith don’t bother him.

“Look, there are entire industries that are built to take down public leaders — effective political leaders like me,” he told Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany. “I’m not surprised by that. I mean, it comes with the territory. It doesn’t bother me at all. I just wish they would get to know me. I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something. That’s not what this is about at all.”

He then discussed how the Bible commands Christians to show peace and love toward all people. “If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands, and you seek to follow those, it’s impossible to be a hateful person, because the greatest command in the Bible is that you love God with everything you have, and you love your neighbor as yourself,” Johnson said.

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The criticism ramped up after Johnson led a candlight vigil on behalf of Israel at the Capitol.

McEnany brought up other media attacks against Johnson’s faith, including the “Daily Beast” calling Johnson a “Christo-fascist” who seeks to impose his religion on others like the Taliban and the “mullahs in Iran.” She also asked him about HBO host Bill Maher’s comments in which he compared Johnson to the mass shooter suspected of killing nearly 20 people in Maine because the shooter “heard voices.”

“That is absurd,” he said. “Of course, our religion is based on love and acceptance. So, to compare that worldview with the Taliban, who seek to destroy their enemies, or with some deranged shooter who murders people is absolutely outrageous. And I think that everyone who follows and believes in a Judeo-Christian worldview should be just terribly offended by that.”

He noted his willingness to face such attacks, saying, “I’m OK, I’ll take the arrows. I understand it comes with leadership, and when you step into the fray, that’s what you take.”

Johnson admitted it does bother him in the way such attacks go after many people in the country and the principles that shaped America. “But what really hurts me is that it really is a statement about everyone who believes in this, that the country was built upon — our Judeo-Christian foundation is the heritage of our country,” he said.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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