Two weeks into his new job, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives already has made the list. Although it’s a list he might not want to be on.
Mike Johnson is one of 12 “false prophets” highlighted this year by Faithful America, the organization behind the “False Prophets Don’t Speak for Me” campaign. The 12 new inductees into the hall of fame for promoting Christian nationalism join 20 “false prophets” named by the group last fall.
Christian nationalism is a political ideology that sees America as a “Christian nation” ordained by God to influence the world in the values held by conservative evangelicals.
The title of Faithful America’s campaign, “False Prophets Don’t Speak for Me,” is a reference to Matthew 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
“Christians across the country are sick and tired of seeing right-wing extremists hijack the gospel in an attempt to spread hatred and violently destroy American democracy,” said Nathan Empsall, executive director of Faithful America. “Christian nationalist leaders come to us in sheep’s clothing, claiming to promote the teachings of Jesus, but instead inject poison into society and our churches by distorting Scripture, spreading misinformation and inciting political violence. These false prophets do not speak for a majority of American Christians, many of whom are speaking out to reclaim Jesus’s name and promote the true Christian values of love, truth, peace and justice.”
“Leaders who selfishly exploit Christianity for their own personal and political gain must be held accountable to the Christian values of peace and justice,” said Karli Wallace Thompson, digital organizer for Faithful America. “Christian nationalism is sowing further division in our churches, politics. and local communities. These false prophets must be exposed for the wolves in sheep’s clothing they are to protect the future of our religion and our multiracial democracy.”
This year’s inductees, listed in alphabetical order, are:
- Mark Burns, televangelist and regular speaker on the ReAwaken America Tour. Time Magazine called “Donald Trump’s Top Pastor” in 2016. He is currently a board member of Pastors for Trump. On the ReAwaken America Tour, he regularly declares “war on Satan and every race-baiting Democrat” and uses the Bible to threaten explicit political violence. He frequently tells crowds, “This is a God nation, this is a Jesus nation, and you will never take my God and my gun out of this nation.”
- Julie Green, self-appointed New Apostolic Reformation prophet and speaker on the ReAwaken America Tour. On the ReAwaken America Tour, she has told pastors they are “under the greatest attack (they’ve) ever been in,” promised God would remove President Biden, and told Eric Trump the indictments against his father would “all fall apart.” She previously claimed God had spoken directly to her about overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election.
- Laura Ingraham, FOX News host. She is best known for her racist, anti-immigrant, and religiously motivated homophobic commentary.
- Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House. Johnson has been called “the most unabashedly Christian nationalist speaker in history.” He is an election denier who worked to discount the ballots of disproportionately Black and brown voters in 2020 and was an architect of Trump’s bid to object to certifying election results in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
- Jim Jordan, U.S. Representative, Ohio. Also an alleged conspirator behind the January 6 insurrection, he is an election denier who urged then-Vice President Pence to reject lawful electoral votes and is now leading an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. Journalist Amanda Marcotte has said Jordan’s goal is “annihilating anyone he believes gets in the way of total domination by white Christian conservative men.”
- Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA and TPUSA Faith; co-founder with Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University’s Standing for Freedom Center. He has wrongly claimed separation of church and state is “unconstitutional, immoral and a tactic of the enemy to try to keep the church submissive.”
- Jackson Lahmeyer, leader of Pastors for Trump, ReAwaken America Tour speaker and failed U.S. Senate candidate. He has declared: “I will embrace Christian nationalism because … we are at war in this country; it is a spiritual war between good and evil.”
- Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas. He advocated a new law allowing public schools to replace counselors with untrained, unlicensed chaplains. In 2022, Patrick claimed: “We’re a nation founded upon the words of God. He wrote the Constitution. He empowered them.”
- Donald Trump, former U.S. president. According to Faithful America: “Trump weaponizes Christianity to seize power for himself, as he demonstrated when he teargassed peaceful protesters in order to use the Bible as a prop outside an unwilling church in Washington, D.C. His use of religious symbolism is seemingly insincere: Trump has openly questioned the faith of those who criticize him, mocked pastors who support him behind their backs, and even bragged that he ignores Jesus’s teaching to ask for forgiveness and love his enemies.”
- Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostic Nuncio to the United States; “Stop the Steal” and ReAwaken America Tour speaker. An outspoken critic of Pope Francis, he also is known for joining a pro-Trump, Christian-nationalist “Stop the Steal” rally building up to January 6.
- Lance Wallnau, self-appointed New Apostolic Reformation prophet; author; ReAwaken America Tour speaker. Faithful America says he is responsible for the resurgence of “Seven Mountains” dominion theology that inspires many white Christian nationalists. He helped Trump win the White House in 2016 by convincing evangelicals they could vote for him as a King Cyrus-like biblical figure.
- Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms for Liberty; chair of Sarasota, Fla., School Board. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Moms for Liberty a hate group. Ziegler also runs a training center to teach school board members how to weaponize race and LGBTQ issues.
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