The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘The Powers That Be’: Mike Johnson Elected 56th Speaker of the House

Posted on | October 25, 2023 | Comments Off on ‘The Powers That Be’: Mike Johnson Elected 56th Speaker of the House

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
Romans 13:1-2 (KJV)

Ending three weeks of leaderless chaos — Matt Gaetz owes the nation an apology — and repeated failure, the Republican caucus finally united behind a little-known member whose name wasn’t even mentioned previously, Rep. Mike Johnson from Shreveport, Louisiana:

A member of the Christian right faction of the Republican Party, Johnson is known for his strong support for a nationwide abortion ban and an end to legal same-sex marriages.He has called for the Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges to be overturned and for medical marijuana to be restricted, referring to the latter as a “gateway drug”. In December 2020, Johnson signed an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. In January 2021, Johnson voted to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania. Johnson has cultivated close ties to Protestant fundamentalist groups Answers in Genesis, Louisiana Family Forum, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Focus on the Family. Prior to his career as a politician, he worked with them to “represent churches, pastors and congregants whose vision of religious freedom conflicted with government regulations.”

While the Wikipedia article doesn’t mention Johnson’s denomination, his acceptance speech was profoundly Calvinist:

I want to tell all my colleagues here what I told the Republicans in that room last night; I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible, is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us, and I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in this time.
This is my belief. I believe that each one of us has a huge responsibility today to use the gifts that God has given us to serve the extraordinary people of this great country — and they deserve it — and to ensure that our republic remains standing as the great beacon of light and hope and freedom in a world that desperately needs it.

This idea, that God ordains authority, is really the bedrock of Christian teaching on the rule of law. What if we are ruled by fools or tyrants? This is our fault, a curse we have earned by our own sinful disobedience to God. After all, wasn’t it God’s will that Judea should be conquered by the Romans? And it was while the Israelites suffered under the yoke of Rome that Christ was born, setting in motion a chain of events that took centuries to unfold before the Jews were finally restored to the land that God promised to Abraham in their covenant. We do not know, at any given moment, how our current woes and troubles may figure into what God has planned for our future, but if we believe that our lives have meaning and purpose — if we are willing to do whatever duty may command, to serve God even through confusion and humiliation — we are assured by scripture that everything will work out in the end.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:28-31 (KJV)

Even Satan himself is powerless to defy God’s will, and while I don’t want to say Matt Gaetz is the Devil incarnate, I’m pleased that the result of Gaetz’s infernal scheme was that this mild-mannered Christian from Louisiana has taken the Speaker’s gavel. Certainly, this must be an auspicious occasion, a sign of God’s favor. Selah.



Comments are closed.