Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House, hails from the great state of Louisiana. Although he was a relatively unknown Congressman, Republicans united behind him to select a worthy successor to the former Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. Speaker Johnson is not only open about his Christian faith, but he also embraces every opportunity to discuss how it profoundly influences his decision-making. This unwavering commitment to his beliefs has left many on the left both appalled and aghast.

Former White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, for instance, branded Johnson a “Christian fundamentalist,” asserting, “Most Americans might not be able to pick Mike Johnson out of a lineup, but in reality he’s far from benign. It’s not just his political ideology that should scare us. Johnson is basically a Christian fundamentalist.”

Further criticism emerged from other left-leaning individuals, with HBO host Bill Maher drawing a comparison between Johnson and the Maine shooter, stating, “When you’re this much of a religious fanatic, there is no room for real democracy. That’s not what you believe in. He said it today. ‘Look in the Bible. That’s my world view.’ And I was reading about this horrible shooting in Maine. And, you know, we don’t know much about the guy yet, but apparently he heard voices and I thought ‘Is he that different than Mike Johnson?’”

Speaker Johnson responded assertively during his appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered” on Tuesday, conveying to host Kayleigh McEnany that he found the comments made by his detractors “disgusting and absurd.”

The dialogue kicked off with a deep dive into the comments made by former White House spokesperson Jen Psaki on her MSNBC show, where she raised concerns about Speaker Johnson’s faith. McEnany directly posed the question to Johnson, asking, “What do you think when you hear that?”

In response, he commenced by acknowledging that as a politician, he understands that such attacks, however brutal, are part and parcel of the territory, and they don’t greatly perturb him, stating, “Look, there are entire industries that are built to take down public leaders, effective political leaders like me. I’m not surprised by that, I mean, it comes with the territory — it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Continuing, he provided additional context to his statements, expressing, “I just wish they would get to know me. I’m not trying to establish Christianity as the national religion or something. That’s not what this is about at all. If you truly believe in the Bible’s commands and you seek to follow those, it is impossible to be a hateful person, because the greatest command in the Bible is that you love God with everything you have and you love your neighbor as yourself.”

McEnany then delved into the harsher critiques aimed at Johnson due to his faith, including Maher’s likening him to the Maine shooter, as she inquired, “What is it like to be compared to the mullahs of Iran, the Taliban, and the Maine shooter?”

Johnson displayed less willingness to extend understanding and seek reconciliation in that regard. He stated, “It’s just disgusting. I mean, that is absurd. Of course, our religion is based on love and acceptance. So to compare that worldview with the Taliban who seek to destroy their enemies or with, you know, some deranged shooter who murders people, is absolutely outrageous. And I think everyone who follows and believes in a Judeo-Christian worldview should be just terribly offended by that. I’m okay, I’ll take the arrows, I understand it comes with leadership. And when you step into the fray, that’s what you take. But what really hurts me is that it really is a statement about everyone who believes in this that the country was built upon. Our Judeo-Christian foundation is the heritage of our country.”

He added, “I mean, look, our enemy is like Hamas and terrorists and tyrants who want to do great harm to our country. Someone who is on the other side of the aisle is is a fellow elected representative of the greatest deliberative body in the world. And they should be treated as such. And even if they have crazy ideas, sometimes, you know, part of the process is that I will be willing to engage with them in a dialogue to to forge consensus that will move the ball forward for the most people.”