Speaker of the House Mike Johnson will give a keynote address and receive an award at a gala being held by the National Association of Christian Lawmakers at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The Museum of the Bible has become a base camp for right-wing Christian organizing in the nation’s capital.
The National Association of Christian Lawmakers was founded a few years ago by Jason Rapert, a former Arkansas state senator who has received a “mantle” from dominionist New Apostolic Reformation apostles Chuck Pierce and Dutch Sheets, who, like NACL leaders, want to “take authority” over government and bring American law and society in alignment with their “biblical worldview.” In June, NACL met at Liberty University, where Rapert got choked up at the idea of an NACL member one day becoming president of the United States.
The NACL has modeled itself after the American Legislative Exchange Council, which feeds its member legislators model right-wing legislation to introduce on behalf of ALEC’s corporate funders. Rapert has taken credit for anti-trans legislation signed into law by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in March. In a video celebrating that legislation, he said, “We are fighting against the people that are putting the queer books into your school libraries and trying to groom these children into homosexuality.” In November, Sanders appointed Rapert to serve on the state library board.
Among the other dominionists, Christian nationalists, and anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists Johnson will be joining:
- Andrew Wommack will be receiving a Lifetime Christian Leadership Award at the gala Johnson is addressing. Wommack has used his Charis Bible College and Truth & Liberty Coalition as platforms for promoting Christian nationalist ideology and political organizing to take over the local public schools in Woodland Park, Colorado and then broadening their power-building plans. Wommack is vehemently anti-LGBTQ; he has declared that gay people should be required to “put a label across their forehead” declaring that homosexuality “can be hazardous to your health.” He has said that supporting transgender rights is “demonic.”
- Gene Bailey, who will emcee the gala, hosts the “FlashPoint” program on televangelist Kenneth Copeland’s Victory Network. FlashPoint is a major platform for spreading far-right conspiracy theories and pro-Trump propaganda to conservative Christian viewers. As Right Wing Watch noted in April, “’FlashPoint’ played a key role in spreading lies about the 2020 election and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, with Bailey regularly welcoming right-wing “prophets” and evangelists like Lance Wallnau, Hank Kunneman, and Mario Murillo on to the program, where they steadfastly refuse to accept the election results.”
- Janet Porter is an anti-abortion activist and promoter of abortion-banning “heartbeat” legislation. In the lead-in to Ohio’s recent vote on a pro-choice constitutional amendment, she and her allies promoted false claims that it would abolish all limitations on abortion and tried to mobilize an anti-trans panic against the amendment. But voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment to protect reproductive choice, after which Porter began arguing that the amendment had no authority over the state’s anti-abortion laws, and urged state lawmakers to ignore voters’ wishes and strip state courts of the power to enforce the constitutional amendment.
- E. W. Jackson, a right-wing pastor and radio host who launched a farcical campaign for the presidency in June, has a long record of using his radio program to vent viciously anti-LGBTQ views. At the Family Research Council’s 2021 activist conference, Jackson lumped homosexuality, “transgenderism,” Marxism, socialism, and abortion together as “works of the devil.” At his presidential campaign kickoff, Jackson demonstrated a Trumpish disdain for the rule of law, declaring, “I don’t care what the Supreme Court says, I don’t care what the legislature says, I am not bowing down to a law that violates the law of God.”
- Frank Pavone, a longtime leader of anti-abortion Priests for Life, is a former advisory board member of Catholics for Trump who denied that Trump lost the 2020 election. Inaccurately described in NACL promotional materials as Father Frank Pavone, he was defrocked—dismissed from the priesthood—by Pope Francis last year for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience” of his bishop.
- Glenn and Jenny Story are co-founders of Patriot Mobile, a cellphone company whose profits are used to fund Christian nationalist political activism, including the takeover of school boards by right-wing Christians. Earlier this year, Patriot Mobile organized an “Equip and Educate” event that featured David Barton and his son and heir apparent Tim to promote their bogus Christian nationalist pseudo-history. At the Moms for Liberty national summit this summer, the executive director of Patriot Mobile Action introduced herself this way: “My name is Leigh Wambsganss. And my pronouns are Bible believer, Jesus lover, Gun Carrier and mama bear.” Wambsganss declared, “This is a spiritual war, not a political war,” and she vowed, “we will take America back.”
- Illinois state Rep. Mary Miller claimed this year that the Biden administration is “wholly against Christian Americans.” In February, she was at the Museum of the Bible for a “National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance,” at which politicians and religious-right activists prayed that God would remove “ungodly” people from positions of authority. During her turn at the microphone, Miller lamented that we as a nation “have lost our way because we have rejected you as Creator, Lord, and Savior. Now we are adrift and foolish, calling evil good and good evil. And we are bankrupt, morally and financially.”