New Speaker Mike Johnson Blamed School Shootings on the Teaching of Evolution

“And people say, ‘How can a young person go into their schoolhouse and open fire on their classmates?’ Because we’ve taught a whole generation, a couple generations now of Americans, that there’s no right or wrong, that it’s about survival of the fittest, and you evolve from the primordial slime. Why is that life of any sacred value? Because there’s nobody sacred to whom it’s owed. None of this should surprise us.”

Johnson was showing a slide presentation during his sermon. During this segment, Johnson displayed a slide showing an atheist banner, women’s rights protesters, and coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 staff members.

This gives considerable more weight to comments I made in a thread three years ago about atheist scientists’ fear of conservative Christians being perfectly rational. These opinions are not coming from some street-preacher, but from the holder of one of the most powerful offices in the Federal government – and one which is second in line to the presidency (after VPOTUS).

[Edit, I accidentally botched the link to the previous thread – it should now show the correct one.]


There’s plenty of reasons for Christian scientists’ fear of radical right-wing (they have not been conservative for a long time) so-called Christians being perfectly rational.


I wouldn’t argue with that. I would probably go so far as to say that anybody with even a smidgen of sanity has a perfectly rational fear of them (and would agree that these ‘Christians’ worldview does not appear to have much in common with the teachings of Jesus).

However, it was “atheists” that were the boogeymen of that previous thread, and it was the “atheist banner” that Johnson was juxtaposing with school shootings – so it is atheists who are most directly in the firing line.

Agreed. I’m a Bible-affirming Christ-follower who has always thought of myself as a fairly politically conservative individual—and I find these radical right-wingers absolutely terrifying, an ominous threat to our democracy. I don’t want to risk getting too close to Godwin’s Law territory but how can I NOT think of what happens in a society when the radical right threatens the very foundations of government?

Amen to that. Very little in common. Indeed, so many of the far-right loons who so casually throw about the word “Christian” seem to have much more in common with the Pharisees and evil leaders (e.g., Jesus called Herod “that fox”) who Christ deplored.

Yes. These types have always been around—but not in such powerful positions. I can hardly believe the changes I’ve observed in my lifetime.

Tribalism finds evolution a convenient target.


I hate to bring more gloom to this thread but I can’t help but mention that Mike Johnson and pseudo-historian David Barton are effusive admirers of each other. If you don’t know of David Barton, he cherry-picks facts and pseudo-facts [AKA research blunders and outright fibs] about the Founding Fathers and in his denials of the fundamentals of church-and-state separation—so much so that Thomas Nelson Publishers even RECALLED a Barton book. Evangelical scholars around the country demanded its retraction.

On one of his podcasts, Barton said “the founders wanted to protect the church from an encroaching state, not the other way around.” Rubbish. They were concerned in BOTH directions. They were close enough to centuries of European history where state-churches were a very real threat to individual liberties. Even though I have considerable training in theology (with a reasonable among of Church History courses long ago), I certainly can’t claim any special expertise—but I can confidently say that when a church bureaucracy gets significant power over the state and vice-versa, it is neither good for the State nor good for the church. (The acts of state-churches have all too often shared little in common with the actual teachings of Jesus. Indeed, there have been plenty of cases where leaders with minimal concern for faithfulness to Jesus teachings simply used the church as a tool to manipulate and even plunder.)

To make matters even more interesting, he claims Donald Trump was one of the five greatest presidents in U.S. history. (David Barton Says Trump May Go Down as One of the Top Five Presidents In History | History News Network)

(I have no doubt that Donald Trump would rank among the top five presidents if the polling were restricted to late night talk show comedians. Imagine that you have to do a comedy monologue every evening and a part of you is hoping that Trump gets another term, even while you look at your young children and are thinking about their futures.)

My apologies if this is too political even for a Side Conservation. I can understand it if it doesn’t survive moderation—but I’m in a mood over Johnson’s election.


I find the Johnson-Barton association unsurprising, if depressing. I haven’t looked closely at Barton in over a decade (his was the article that first got me interested in editing Wikipedia – and almost immediately thereafter in gaining a near-encyclopedic knowledge of its rules in order to contend with his fanboys there). Even back then, praise for him was largely restricted to ‘conservative’ politicians – so it seems that this dynamic hasn’t changed since then (other than the names, and how much political power they have).

This does appear to be Barton’s niche – providing ‘historical’ cover for politicians’ Christian Nationalist tendencies. Lacking those politicians, it’s hard to see Barton having any relevance or prominence – which perhaps makes the mutual admiration society perhaps somewhat more explicable.


Youtube has a video up of the sermon/presentation referenced in the original article:

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