On the new Speaker of the House:
If you follow American politics, you will know that a new Speaker of the House has recently been voted in. Republican Representative from Louisiana Mike Johnson became the 56th Speaker. This follows several weeks of stalemate after Kevin McCarthy from California was ousted from the position. Johnson was unanimously elected by the 220 Republicans in the House.
In case you are not up on what the role of the Speaker is, one site puts it this way:
The Speaker of the House acts as the leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Every two years, the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives vote on the first day of each new Congress. Both of the major political parties nominate one candidate for the position of Speaker. The candidate from the majority party usually wins.
The Speaker of the House is responsible for administering the oath of office to the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, giving Members permission to speak on the House floor, designating Members to serve as Speaker pro tempore, counting and declaring all votes, appointing Members to committees, sending bills to committees, and signing bills and resolutions that pass in the House. The Speaker is also second in line, behind the Vice President, to become President should the President be unable to fulfill his or her duties.
While serving as Speaker of the House, the Speaker continues to serve the residents of his or her district and has all of the duties of other Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Traditionally, unlike other Members, the Speaker does not serve on committees or participate in floor debate. https://kids-clerk.house.gov/grade-school/lesson.html?intID=39
The 51-year-old is a conservative and a Christian, and is not shy about it. He is pro-life and pro-family and pro-faith – something becoming less prominent in politics these days. He is a Southern Baptist and is open about sharing his faith. As to his views on abortion he has said this:
“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.” https://www.lifenews.com/2023/10/27/speaker-mike-johnson-im-pro-life-today-because-my-teenage-parents-chose-life/
In his first speech as Speaker he said this in part:
I want to thank my dedicated wife of almost 25 years, Kelly. She’s not here, we couldn’t get a flight in time. This happened sort of suddenly, but we’re going to celebrate soon. She spent the last couple of weeks on her knees in prayer to the Lord and she’s a little worn out, we all are. I want to thank our children, Michael and Hannah and Abby and Jack and Will….
This is a beautiful country. It’s the beauty of America that allows a firefighter’s kid like me to come here and serve in this sacred chamber where great men and women have served before all of us and strive together to build and then preserve what Lincoln did refer to as the last best hope of man on earth. We stand at a very dangerous time, I’m stating the obvious. We all know that the world is in turmoil, but a strong America is good for the entire world. We are the beacon of freedom and we must preserve this grand experiment in self-governance. It still is. We’re only 247 years into this grand experiment. We don’t know how long it will last, but we do know that the founders told us to take good care of it….
[God] 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….
G. K. Chesterton was the famous British philosopher and statesman and he said one time, “America is the only nation in the world that is founded upon a creed” and he said, “It’s listed with almost theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.” What is our creed? We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, not born equal, created equal, and they’re endowed by the same unalienable rights, with the same unalienable rights, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. That is the creed that has animated our nation since its founding, that has made us the great nation that we are and we’re in a time of extraordinary crisis right now and the world needs us to be strong. They need us to remember our creed and our admonition….
In his farewell address, President Reagan explained the secret of his rapport with people and I like to paraphrase his explanation all the time. He said, “You know, they call me the great communicator, but I really wasn’t that.” He said, “I was just communicating great things and that the same great things have guided our nation since its founding.” What are those great things? I call them the seven core principles of American conservatism, but let me concede to you all. I think it’s really quintessentially the core principles of our nation. I boil them down to individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets and human dignity. Those are the foundations that made us the extraordinary nation that we are, and you and I today are the stewards of those principles, the things that have made us the freest, most powerful, most successful nation in the history of the world, the things that have made us truly exceptional….
You can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbJfDMOfjiI
And in a letter to supporters he said this:
I’m humbled that my Republican colleagues in the House united behind me as the next Republican Speaker, and I owe everyone who voted for them a debt of gratitude. It’s a debt I intend to repay by being the best servant leader I can be.
The Speaker’s gavel is a solemn responsibility, especially in a time like this when the course of history will be set by our actions over the next year. I relied on my faith in God each day before I was Speaker, and I’ll continue to do so each day after.
Scripture is very clear: God is the one who raises those up in authority. I believe that each one of us in Congress has a huge responsibility, to use the gifts that God has given us to serve the people of this great country, for one simple reason; they deserve it. I’m determined to save our country from the powers which seek to destroy it, but I cannot do that alone….
He of course is already being attacked as a theonomist and Christian nationalist, etc., by all the usual suspects. We can ignore them, but we do need to keep him in prayer. He is now in London with 1500 other conservatives for the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) conference. He gave a brief talk along with other luminaries such as Jordan Peterson, Prof Niall Ferguson, Tom Holland, Os Guinness, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Jonathan Haidt and Bjorn Lomborg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ83l1r-Imo
Bill Muehlenberg teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. His independent blog, Culture Watch, has over 5,000 articles commenting on the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. Bill's podcast is exclusively produced for Good Sauce readers and fans.
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