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Oh lord, what’s up with the GOP?

If Mike Johnson is God’s chosen speaker, the Lord is certainly working in mysterious ways.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson told Fox News that if anyone wanted to know what he thought “about any issue under the sun,” they should just “go pick up a Bible … and read it. That’s my worldview.”Anna Moneymaker/Getty

What in God’s name is the Good Lord up to?

I ask because I recently learned that HE has been secretly pulling strings in the House of Representatives. Apparently even scheming like a celestial Matt Gaetz to vacate the speaker’s chair.

How did I discover that? Through long hours of prayer.

Kidding. My first clue came when Speaker Mike Johnson told Fox News that if anyone wanted to know what he thought “about any issue under the sun,” they should just “go pick up a Bible … and read it. That’s my worldview.”

Then, after reporters were cleared from the room, Johnson laid it all bare at a gathering for conservative Christian lawmakers. Several weeks before his, ah, ascension to the speaker’s post, the Lord had instructed him to prepare himself.


For what, Johnson wanted to know?

“We’re coming to a Red Sea moment,” the Lord replied. Red Sea not as in deficit spending, mind you, but as in the parting of the political waters to clear a path for a new political Moses. Night after night the Lord woke the lowly Republican representative in the wee hours to prod him toward his duty. If your household includes an imperious feline with a my-needs-can’t-wait attitude and a belly that commences rumbling well before sunrise, you’ll have some sense of what it was like for the poor lawmaker.

Now, most of us would just tuck our head under the pillow and leave our partner to deal with whatever pesky being had come importuning at such an ungodly hour. Not James Michael Johnson, however. By his own telling, he began “to write things down, plans and procedures and ideas on how we could pull the [House Republican] Conference together.”

Pull it together as an aide-de-camp to, say, a Speaker Steve Scalise or Jim Jordan or Tom Emmer, Johnson assumed. But lo and behold, after the bolt of lightning that smote Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s chair, none of the aforementioned Pharisees could reap the necessary votes.


Whereupon the Lord made his big annunciation.

“It came to the end, and the Lord said, ‘Now, step forward,’ ” Johnson recounted. Imagine the astonishment that beset the reverential rep as he lay there in his New Orleans Saints PJs, suddenly realizing he was destined to become speaker.

“Me?” he asked, before bowing to heavenly wisdom and concluding that “only God saw the path through the roiling sea.”

Just as an aside, what if God had had some fellow deities over to watch the House proceedings, and while they were all shaking their heads sadly, HE had said, “Your sorrow is a blight unto my eyes. Let us have mirth. Behold as I unloose a plague of belligerent stupidity upon the land!” And then wiggled his nose like Samantha in “Bewitched,” whereupon Marjorie Taylor Greene had emerged from the parted waters with the speaker’s gavel in her hand.

Now that would have been one great gag. But I digress. Now that we know Johnson is God’s chosen one, I would have expected congressional governance that was positively Edenic. Instead, we’ve seen failures worse than a plague of gnats, ridiculous reputational ruination that has begat rivers of rancor and recrimination.


After years of insistence that border security was their top priority, Republicans finally got the big border-crackdown legislation they have long insisted upon — only to do an abrupt about-face and banish that bipartisan bill from the land. Why? Because their angry earthly Almighty Ruler furrowed his fascist forehead in furious fulmination against it.

On the House side, Johnson brought the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the floor — and then proved unable to muster the votes to achieve that GOP priority. Add to that Congress’s failure to pass aid for either Israel or Ukraine.

What can we divine from it all?

Perhaps the Lord’s abilities as a celestial coach are overrated. After all, this god-awful week brought back painful memories of Bill Belichick selecting Mac Jones as the Patriots quarterback and sending the hapless bumbler out to blunder about on the field of play.

Or perhaps the Lord simply enjoys a good demolition derby.

But the best lesson is probably this: Any politician who contends that a deity has anointed him for this role or that is either daft, deluded, or a God fraud. And anyone who thinks the Lord favors their party’s candidate is — how to put this diplomatically? — at least a bit off their beam.

Remember Jesus’s admonition to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s?

Some 2,000 years later, keeping politics and religion separate remains very sound advice.


Scot Lehigh is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at scot.lehigh@globe.com. Follow him @GlobeScotLehigh.