by Jorge Gomez • 4 min read
Several members of our team along with a group of friends recently had an opportunity to be in Washington, D.C. for a special nighttime tour of the U.S. Capitol.
Guided by historian David Barton of Wallbuilders, our group learned about the religious heritage prevalent through the history of America’s Legislative branch. It just so happened that the House of Representatives was in session at the time of our tour. And right there in the Statuary Hall, Speaker Mike Johnson made a surprise appearance as he was walking through to the House Chamber for a vote. Talk about divine intervention!
Speaker Johnson graciously stopped to greet our group. We said hello to our former senior counsel and took a moment to pray for him, asking God to give him wisdom, strength and courage.
Speaker Johnson is no stranger to the world of religious freedom according to First Liberty’s president:
“Mike is a fantastic constitutional attorney and passionate advocate for religious liberty,” Kelly Shackelford said a couple of weeks ago when Johnson was elected as Speaker.
In addition to his years in public service, his experience includes working as a First Liberty attorney. He is widely recognized as a leading defender of religious liberty, free speech and the First Amendment. He devoted nearly 20 years of his career to successfully litigating high profile constitutional law cases in district and appellate courts nationwide.
He led 13 House and Senate lawmakers in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in our Faithful Carrier case (Groff v. Dejoy) earlier this year. The brief supported our client and urged the Court to protect the religious liberties of employees as Congress originally intended. They wrote that this was the Court’s opportunity to “correct its error before any more persons of faith, like Gerald Groff, are forced to decide between their job and their God.”
During a recent interview, CNBC asked Speaker Johnson about religious freedom, specifically what he thought about the “separation of church and state.” He responded by clarifying the origin of that phrase, which is often misused to stifle religion. He also emphasized that “we need everyone’s vibrant expression of faith because it is such an important part of who we are as a nation.” Watch below:
Speaker Johnson also attended our annual major attorney event the next day. He spoke to a room full of our volunteer attorneys, some of the brightest legal minds in the country.
He went into detail about his longstanding relationship with First Liberty, including the religious freedom cases he worked on while he was with our organization. His remarks concluded by telling the room that First Liberty is among the most influential legal organizations in America.
In this increasingly intense and significant time for our nation, elected leaders such as Speaker Johnson—who stand for truth, integrity and fight boldly for values like religious freedom—are under constant attack.
Please join us as we continue praying for Speaker Johnson and his family. Your prayers are tremendously meaningful. We pray that God grant him strength and resolve to lead the House of Representatives in accordance with truth and righteousness.