Mike Johnson said that America is “dark and depraved” because there are too many LGBTQ+ people

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson Photo: Shutterstock

Speaker Mike Johnson has a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ comments, and one of his most extreme happened just weeks ago, right before he was voted speaker.

Speaking on a call with the World Prayer Network on October 3, Johnson said that American “culture is so dark and depraved that it almost seems irredeemable.” His reasoning? A lot of young people are identifying as LGBTQ+.

“One-in-four high school students identifies as something other than straight,” he said on the call. He then talked about Sodom, a city in the Bible that was destroyed by God. Many evangelical Christians claim that it was destroyed because there were gay people in the city.

“We repent for our sins individually and collectively. And we ask that you not give us the judgment that we clearly deserve,” he said at the closing of his prayer.

He was referring to the CDC’s 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey, where 75.5% of high school students responded that they identify as heterosexual. 12.2% said that they were bisexual, and 3.2% said that they were gay or lesbian. 5.2% said that they were questioning their sexuality, 3.9% said they identified as “other,” and 1.8% said they didn’t understand the question.

In 2015, 89% of students said that they were straight on the same survey. The 2015 survey, though, didn’t include options for students to say that they’re questioning or other.

Johnson is closely tied with the conservative Christian movement. The comments he made about the survey were part of an appearance with pastor Jim Garlow, and he has appeared on broadcasts with Garlow in the past. Earlier this year, Garlow and Johnson organized a National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance with anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Family Research Council’s president, Tony Perkins, who Johnson said “is like my big brother.”

Johnson himself is on the board of a conservative Christian publishing company that says MPOX is the “appropriate penalty” for being gay. His wife, Kelly, runs a Christian counseling service that compared LGBTQ+ identities to bestiality on its website.

Mike and Kelly Johnson have complained about the non-existent “lesbian toys” in Disney’s Toy Story 4, criticized “woke corporations” like Bud Light and “satanic” Disney, and praised anti-transgender broadcaster Matt Walsh during Pride Month on their podcast this year.

Johnson has previously said that same-sex marriage will lead to “chaos and sexual anarchy” and “place our entire democratic system in jeopardy by eroding its foundation.” He claimed legalizing same-sex marriage would lead to “pedophiles” seeking legal protections for having sex with kids and people trying to marry their pets. He has also said, “Homosexual relationships are inherently unnatural… ultimately harmful and costly for everyone.”

He has sought to criminalize private gay sex between consenting adults, called gay marriage the “harbinger of chaos,” and said gay people should not be a protected class because they “are capable of changing their abnormal lifestyles.”

While Johnson’s ties to extreme forms of Christianity might be troubling for many LGBTQ+ people, he assures people that he can’t be “hateful” because he’s a Christian.

“I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something,” he said in a mocking tone in a Fox News interview. “That’s not what this is about.”

“If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands and you seek to follow those, it is impossible to be a hateful person!” he continued. “It’s the greatest command in the Bible that you love God with everything you have and you love your neighbor as yourself.”

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