Christian nationalists gathered Tuesday night at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C, for a National Association of Christian Lawmakers gala at which House Speaker Mike Johnson delivered the keynote address and received the NACL’s American Patriot Award for Christian Honor and Courage.
The tenor of the evening was set by far-right anti-LGBTQ pastor E.W. Jackson, who used his time at the podium to declare that he refuses to use the words “transgender” or “gay” because, he said, “to be gay means to be happy, to be joyful, to be carefree, and there is nothing happy, joyful, or carefree about being a homosexual in rebellion against almighty God.”
When Johnson took to the stage, he thanked the NACL for banning media from the event, claiming that the media loves to “pick my comments out of context.” Of course, banning the media from attending doesn’t accomplish much if the event is livestreamed on social media, which is exactly what NACL founder Jason Rapert did on his Facebook page.
Johnson began his remarks by claiming that weeks before he became House Speaker, God began preparing him to lead the nation through “a Red Sea moment.” Johnson said he didn’t know what that meant at the time, but assumed it meant that he was to serve as an Aaron to someone else’s Moses. But, it turned out, God intended for him to be that Moses.
“The Lord impressed upon my heart a few weeks before this happened that something was going to occur,” Johnson said. “And the Lord very specifically told me in my prayers to prepare, but to wait.”
“I had this sense that we were going to come to a Red Sea moment in our Republican conference and in the county at large,” he continued. “[God] had been speaking to me about this, and the Lord told me very clearly to prepare and be ready.”
Johnson said that once Rep. Kevin McCarthy was removed as Speaker of the House, God began to wake him up in the middle of the night “to speak to me, [telling me] to write things down; plans, procedures, and ideas on how we could pull the [Republican] conference together.”
“At the time, I assumed the Lord was going to choose a new Moses and thank you, Lord, you’re going to allow me to be Aaron to Moses,” Johnson declared.
As one candidate after another stepped forward to run for Speaker but failed, Johnson said that “the Lord kept telling me to wait” but “then at the end, when it toward the end, the Lord said, ‘Now, step forward.”
“Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron,” Johnson said. “No. The Lord said, ‘Step forward.'”
Following his remarks, NACL founder Jason Rapert presented Johnson with the Honor and Courage award, along with a piece of a destroyed Ten Commandments monument that Rapert had placed in front of the Arkansas state capitol in 2017.
“It’s very obvious to see, you’re one of us,” Rapert told Johnson.
The event then closed out as it began, with anti-LGBTQ evangelist Andrew Wommack calling transgenderism and homosexuality “demonic” and complaining that even when people speak out against these things, they often do so in ways that “validates the ungodly.”
“I am not against homosexuals, but it is not a godly lifestyle,” Wommack said. “We don’t have to stand up and say that you have a right to be this way, you have a right to practice pedophilia, you have right to choose to try and change your sex. Those things are demonic.”
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