The recent revelation that Kelly Johnson, wife of newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), operates a counseling business promoting the belief that homosexuality is comparable to bestiality and incest has raised eyebrows and ignited a heated debate. This revelation sheds light on the intertwining of the Johnsons’ political and business endeavors, as well as their deeply conservative Christian perspectives. This article will analyze the implications of these beliefs on Speaker Johnson’s political career and potential policy advocacy.
The Johnsons: Politics, Business, and Faith:
Mike and Kelly Johnson have been prominent figures in Louisiana’s conservative circles since the late 1990s, championing causes aligned with their Christian beliefs. They gained national attention as advocates for Louisiana’s marriage covenant law, which aimed to make divorce more difficult. Their podcast, “Truth Be Told,” serves as a platform for discussing political and social issues from a conservative Christian standpoint, with 69 episodes to date.
Faith as a Driving Force:
Speaker Johnson’s identity as an evangelical Christian has played a pivotal role in shaping both his personal life and his career. This influence is evident in his eight-year tenure as the senior attorney and national spokesperson for a legal nonprofit affiliated with the religious right. In interviews, Johnson has unapologetically affirmed that his worldview is rooted in his faith, emphasizing the centrality of the Bible in his beliefs.
Onward Christian Counseling Services: Advocating Conservative Beliefs:
Kelly Johnson’s counseling business, Onward Christian Counseling Services, advocates for Bible-based pastoral counseling. The 2017 operating agreement of the company explicitly states conservative beliefs about LGBTQ+ individuals and women’s reproductive rights. It equates homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender identities with acts considered morally reprehensible, such as bestiality and incest.
Speaker Johnson’s Involvement:
The operating agreement bears Speaker Johnson’s signature, indicating his endorsement of the document’s contents. He notarized it in 2017, though it’s important to note that notaries are typically discouraged from reading the documents they notarize for privacy reasons.
The document’s comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and incest harks back to a time when such views were relatively common among Republicans. However, public sentiment on LGBTQ+ issues has evolved, with a majority now supporting same-sex marriage. Notably, Kelly Johnson’s document was drafted two years after Senator Rick Santorum’s widely criticized comparison.
While it remains uncertain whether Speaker Johnson personally subscribes to the views expressed in the operating agreement, the question arises of whether these ideologically extreme conservative Christian principles will influence his policy positions. His statements on the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage suggest a willingness to accept legal precedent.
The revelation of Kelly Johnson’s counseling business and its controversial beliefs has opened a window into the intersection of faith, politics, and business in the lives of Speaker Mike Johnson and his wife. The implications of these beliefs on Speaker Johnson’s political agenda remain to be seen, but it is clear that they will be closely scrutinized in light of his elevated position as House Speaker. This development has ignited a broader conversation about the role of personal beliefs in the realm of public policy.