Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, declared the long-standing concept of the separation of church and state as a “misnomer.”

Johnson argued that the traditional understanding of this fundamental principle was a “misunderstanding” and aimed to shift the narrative surrounding the intentions of the country’s founders.

Separation of Church and State

Speaking with Squawk Box, Johnson asserted, “The separation of church and state is a misnomer. People misunderstand it. Of course, it comes from a phrase that was in a letter that Jefferson wrote. It’s not in the constitution.”

Johnson referred to Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, suggesting that the founding fathers intended to prevent government interference with religion rather than the commonly accepted interpretation. Jefferson’s letter explicitly emphasizes a robust separation of church and state, enshrined in the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Religion and Governance

This latest statement from Johnson aligns with his persistent efforts to integrate Christianity into American politics. Dubbed by The New York Times as the first Christian nationalist in the powerful position of Speaker of the House, Johnson’s views have stirred controversy and raised concerns about the intersection of religion and governance.

In a CNBC interview, Johnson was questioned about the sight of him praying on the House floor shortly after assuming the role of speaker. Unapologetic about his religious convictions, he told Fox News that his worldview could be summed up by picking up a Bible off the shelf and reading it.

Johnson’s perspective frames the United States not as a democracy but as a “biblical” republic, a sentiment he expressed in a 2016 interview.

As Johnson continues to shape the political landscape, the nation grapples with the implications of his Christian nationalist ideology on the principles that have long defined the American system.

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