No sooner had Rep. Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, been elected Speaker of the House when his Christian religion became an issue for some in the media. In England, The Guardian, the most left-wing newspaper in the U.K., couldn’t resist warning their readers that he is in a “covenant” marriage. At least they mentioned this toward the end of their news story.
“Speaker Mike Johnson in ‘Covenant Marriage, Harder to Get Divorced.’” That was the headline of the story written by Business Insider reporter Bryan Metzger. It went over so well with Yahoo that it featured the story on the front page of its website.
Metzger is obviously taken aback that serious Christians like Johnson are in positions of power. He went to great lengths to tell readers that the “evangelical Christian” is in a marriage that makes it difficult to get a divorce.
Why was such a personal story flagged this way? Two adults voluntarily agree to submit themselves to a super-serious marriage, one that is grounded in their religious convictions, and all of a sudden it is the subject of public scrutiny. We all know why this was red flagged to readers.
We saw this anti-Christian game played out before when Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic, was being considered for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals (and to a less extent when she was nominated to be on the Supreme Court). Her detractors focused heavily on her membership in People of Praise, a small, tightly knit Christian group.
It was no one’s business then what Barrett and her family agreed to, and it is no one’s business now whether Johnson and his wife have agreed to a covenant marriage.
To show how duplicitous matters are, consider that when the vote for Johnson was taken, Rep. Angie Craig, a lesbian Democrat from Minnesota, screamed out, “Happy Anniversary to my wife.”
No one took issue with that, and you can bet your last dime that if Johnson were a promiscuous lout—straight or gay—the same people who want the world to know that Johnson is a committed Christian would say it is no one’s business what he does in his spare time.
No wonder surveys show the media’s reputation is in the toilet.
Contact Metzger: email@example.com