Tag Archive for: God Bless America

‘It’s a New Day’: Mike Johnson Brings Principles and Purpose to Speakership

While D.C. politicos scramble to figure out who House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is, here at Family Research Council, we needed no introduction. To most of us, the young-looking Louisiana lawyer represents the best the movement has to offer. “He’s a social conservative’s conservative,” Politico pointed out in a lengthy piece about his relationship with FRC. But more than that, he’s a man who deeply loves God and this country. So as senators like Susan Collins (R-Maine) turn to Google to find out who the new speaker is, we can tell you simply: he’s the real deal.

My boss, FRC President Tony Perkins, met Mike more than two decades ago when the future speaker was just an up-and-coming law student at LSU. During Tony’s days in the Louisiana legislature, the two crossed paths a lot, eventually working together on a blockbuster bill that became one of the first abortion clinic regulation laws in the country.

“You mentioned how far back we go,” Johnson said in an interview on “Washington Watch” a couple years ago. “I saw you as a young state legislator, and I remember that your banner and your motto when you ran for office was ‘raising the standard.’ And that resonated with me, because I felt that same call on my life. And in so many ways, Tony, you were a huge influence on my life. I saw that you could do it. … [Other] people that I knew [also] did it right and did it well, and they followed the Lord first. And it showed in all their work and their life and their family. And that was a great encouragement to me.”

As Johnson alluded to in his speech before the House chamber Wednesday, the road to Congress was paved by his God-fearing parents. “I was blessed,” he emphasized to Tony. “I was raised in a Christian household, and my parents — I was actually the conception of a teenage pregnancy my parents’ junior year in high school. And they dropped out, decided to have me, and keep me. And that’s why I’m so pro-life today. I’m a living example of faithfulness. … They just trusted God.”

And made sacrifices. “My dad went to work early. They didn’t finish high school. Then he went back later, got his GED, but I don’t have any memory of not being a Christian,” Mike said. “I got saved when I was seven years old. I got baptized in a horse trough out behind our old country church in northwest Louisiana. And I was just raised to know and understand and believe that faith is very real. And it was just part of the fabric of our family, and who we are.”

But the fabric of that family was tested when Mike was just 12. His dad, an assistant chief for the Shreveport, Louisiana fire department, was a training officer. “And on September 17th, 1984,” he remembers, “he went into work on a hazardous materials leak in a cold storage plant. And the building blew up. He was burned 80% of his body, third-degree burns — and given a 5% chance to live. His co-captain died in the fire, so it was a terrible tragedy. [But] God miraculously saved my dad’s life.”

“He had a long journey back,” Mike said. “He lived another 30 years. And he was in pain every day — but he survived. … I was the oldest of four kids in my family,” he pointed out. “[And I learned that] our faith was real. … God saved my dad’s life … and I just knew that prayer worked. So that’s never left me. It’s been with me my whole life.”

When Tony asked Mike what surprised him most about his time in Congress, he replied that his answer was “kind of a sad one.” “I was surprised to see that many members of Congress are elected to serve, and they don’t truly have a fully formed philosophy of government. Some of them are not even crystal clear on what their worldview is, you know? And so it has an effect on their work and the decisions they make. … If you don’t have a fully formed philosophy of government, if you don’t have your principles set in stone … before you get there, then you’re going to be easy prey for all the influences that are out there.”

That’s why, he says, he’s been trying to encourage his colleagues to think about what it means to be a Christian in public service. “The only seedbed of virtue,” Johnson insisted, “is in religious faith. I mean, men have to understand that they owe an allegiance to a higher power, and they have a judge that is above all others. And that is what has guided our country since its founding. And that’s what’s going to continue to guide it. So we shouldn’t make apology for it. We should go out and live that boldly and encourage others to do the same.”

He owes that strength of conviction to a number of people who encouraged him along the way. “I had a mentor when I was really young, [and he] told me one time — he said, ‘Mike, you know what? Always remember this: What is popular isn’t always right, and what is right isn’t always popular.’ And we have to remember that even in politics, you know, highest levels of elected office in the country, that’s a pretty simple axiom that everybody needs to follow.”

Now, Johnson is passing that advice along to his four children — and all of the young leaders he meets. At the time, his son, Jack, was just starting high school, and he wanted to make sure that his son was firmly rooted in truth. “I said, ‘Listen, I want you to be real intentional about this. You know, the calling of a Christian young man or young woman is that you are not called to be a thermometer. You’re called to be a thermostat. What does that mean, Jack? You know, what does a thermometer do? Well, a thermometer goes into a new environment, takes a temperature, and adjusts to it. That’s not what we do. The Christian young man or woman is called to be an atmosphere changer, to be a thermostat. So you walk in, and you hold that standard, raise the standard.’”

At the end of the day, Mike said, “You live according to that truth that you know, and it will change the atmosphere you’re in. And people will look to you. … [They’re] dying for truth and authenticity. They want to know that there really is an absolute … that there’s a standard.” He pointed to Chronicles 6:9. “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the whole earth, seeking those whose hearts are holy, committed. There’s only a few in every generation, but if you’ll do that, God will give you His blessing. He’ll give you His platform. His promotion principles will set in place, and He’ll give you things that will amaze everyone.”

They were prophetic words for a man whose heart is holy, whose God has just given him that enormous platform he spoke of. And yet, back in January, Mike would have been the last to guess that when he and a handful of Republicans knelt in the House chamber to pray for the speakership, they would ultimately be paving the road to him.

As Tony said in a Newsmax interview Wednesday, America can be proud to have a man of substance at the helm. “That’s why he’s the first speaker, I think since 2011, to have unanimous support from his colleagues on the Republican side. … I’ve known Mike for 25 years, and he is going to be an excellent speaker for the times in which we live.”

Looking back on the arc of their long friendship, he said with pride, “He has a sense of purpose, and that comes from his faith. … And this is what’s important, because in politics this has gotten lost. It’s really about people. And he cares about people,” Tony insisted. “… He told me this morning, I was talking to him as he was working on his speech, and he said, ‘It’s a new day. They’re going to see a new thing in this Congress.’”

And those of us who admire him believe it.


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Tale of Two Speeches: Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Jeffries Articulate Different Visions for America

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

You will NEVER guess what one Sheriff has done To Combat Political Correctness!

The age of Political Correctness is coming to an end. At least that is what the vast majority of Americans and even Europeans are hoping because the recent spat on American college and university campuses has many Americans shouting, enough is enough. People are seeing that Political Correctness is anti-Constitutional and anti-American.

We have heard about a number of Sheriffs across the nation standing up for Gun Rights and the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. But now we are starting to see these same lawmen (that includes women who are sheriffs as well – I’m not PC) across the nation standing up against this vocal Political Correctness garbage.

One, in particular, is causing quite a stir and he only began his “campaign” a few days ago. This Georgia county sheriff decided to put up a sign that puts Political Correctness in its place. In an effort to “stir people’s belief and patriotism,” Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley posted a new sign Tuesday morning outside of his department that says his county is politically incorrect, and if you have a problem with that, you can leave.

Paid for by Jolley, the sign reads: “WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE!” Jolly said Tuesday he was tired of the silent majority becoming “more silent.”

The sheriff paid for the sign out of his own pocket and then erected it at his county line. What the sheriff has found out is that many within his jurisdiction have similar sentiments and some have even asked how they could place similar signs on their own properties.

The sheriff did not ask for donations to help defray the cost of the sign, but he says he has gotten checks from citizens that helped pay for the sign. He has received overwhelming support for the sign that cost him $553, he said. He purchased it from D&S Sign Company on Linwood Boulevard in Columbus. Jolley said several citizens have wanted to post one on their property. Some have even sent checks. “The sign has been purchased double,” he said.

Sheriff Jolley is not trying to offend anyone who does not believe as he does. In fact, the sheriff says that folks can worship whomever they wish but as for him and his house they worship Jesus Christ and he does not feel that he has to be quiet about it while others who worship other gods do not have to be silent.

In fact, Sheriff Jolley says it’s time for the silent majority to be a lot more vocal. His office has about 75 employees total and he does not interfere with the worship habits of his staff. The sheriff only wants to tell Americans they have a right to stand up for what they believe and that they have the freedom to express those beliefs.

Let’s hope this trend grows all across the nation and Christians and Jews begin to once again feel they can be out in the open about their faith and not be silent simply because someone else says they are offended.

Now if that offends you, I would suggest you do not read this.