WASHINGTON — A Christian activist mother with over 600,000 followers on Facebook and known for her viral videos railing against evil at work in culture, is urging every Christian to engage in the fight for the preservation of children's innocence. Voting is not enough, she maintains.
Known as The Activist Mommy, Elizabeth Johnston, a petite blonde mom of ten is now based in North Carolina. The longtime pro-life advocate considers it a privilege to inspire others to resist the increasingly coarsened American culture, particularly the sexualization of children and youth taking place in popular media and in government-backed sex-ed curriculums in public schools.
Her viral video in July of 2017 blasting Teen Vogue for its article promoting anal sex to young people brought awareness to many parents who had no idea the teen fashion magazine was marketing that agenda to minors. The magazine shut down the print publication for good months after that last summer.
Johnston has a new book coming out called Not on My Watch, which explains how she became an activist. It also aims to encourage and equip others to use their voices to push back against evil of all kinds. It will be released early next year.
"Voting is not enough. Voting Republican is not enough. Waiting for Republicans to fix our problems is not enough. As everyday citizens, as moms and dads, we can powerfully affect change," she told The Christian Post Friday in a sit-down interview.
"You don't have to have some fancy title in front of your name to make a difference. Every single person is a powerful force to be reckoned with."
CP caught up with Johnston Friday afternoon at the Values Voter Summit, the largest annual national gathering of social conservatives in the United States, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel to talk about her rise and ongoing advocacy.
Below is CP's lightly edited transcript of an interview with The Activist Mommy.
CP: Many first came to notice you after made a video that went viral in the days after the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump, where you blasted the Women's March. Your online platform has only grown from there. Now that you have over half a million followers, how has your life changed? Ever since you started speaking up what has been the greatest challenge and the greatest blessing, particularly given that the issues you routinely address are touchy?
Johnston: The greatest blessing is to inspire people. Every day I receive messages from people telling me my boldness has inspired them to take action on an issue that they had feared before. So that is a tremendous blessing, to stiffen the spines of others and be the impetus to get them engaged in the battle.
The greatest challenge is probably the risk to my children from death threats and whatnot that I receive. And the slander, the hit pieces written about me, and the people trying to get my husband to lose his job. Those are challenges but I'm not going to be silenced. It is a tactic that is commonly used by progressives on the Left. They bully Christians into silence and all too often are successful. And I decided that they are not going to be successful with me. I'm going to preach God's Word and speak His truths until the day I die, no matter what risk that brings my way.
CP: Many Christians seem tired of the culture wars, or are overwhelmed by them, too busy, or are afraid to use their voice. What do you want to say to Christians who feel as you do but, for whatever reason, hesitate to speak?
Johnston: I think there is a spectrum in the Christian community. You might be on the side of the spectrum where you truly are a devout believer in Jesus Christ and you would do anything he told you to do but you are listening to pastors and spiritual leaders who are telling you that you have to be "nicer" than Jesus.
Let me tell you, Jesus turned over tables for a lot less than baby murder and the sexualization of children. What we have taking place in society is so beyond Jesus turning over tables and yet we're not willing to rise and be counted and fight for our hard-earned religious liberties, our freedoms, our children's innocence?
Then I think there is a part of the Christian community that truly has not been born again and converted. They might be in the church but because they have not been born again they do not understand the concept of "The righteous are as bold as a lion" (Prov. 28:1). Because in order to be bold as a lion what do you need? Righteousness. And so I think there are some in the church that just really have not consecrated everything to Christ, haven't picked up their cross and followed Him yet.
Because when Jesus becomes Lord of their life, you have a righteous indignation over kids being sexualized, kids being confused about their gender, over unborn babies being slaughtered in the womb.
CP: You frequently speak to what you like to call "gender insanity." You're speaking about it on a panel here at the Values Voter Summit this weekend. Why is this cultural push toward confusing kids about their biological sex and, more generally, gender ideology so damaging to young people?
Johnston: I do not believe that the agenda to confuse children about their gender is accidental. I believe it is intentional. I encourage everyone to read the book The Naked Communist by W. Cleon Skousen. In that book he lays out 40-something communist goals that were actually read into the Congressional record in the 1960s. The book also explains how there is an intentional Marxist assault on our values in the United States.
Some of those goals were about deconstructing the natural family, to pull children away from the natural love of their parents, to confuse them, and inculcate the schools, media, and churches.
We knew this as early as the 1960s, and we clearly see this all unfold with their agenda. Notice how patient they've been. Notice how they have had a multi-generational vision.
But as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, no one should have a better multi-generational perspective than us, to pass our biblical values, religious liberty onto the next generation and the next generation.
CP: What do you want Christian leaders here at the summit to know about life as an activist? For those who would like to be more outspoken, what would you emphasize they do? How should they start?
Johnston: I am beyond honored to be speaking here at VVS, very thankful for Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council. I am very honored to be on a panel with Dr. Michelle Cretella and Dr. Paul McHugh [about the threat of gender ideology] who are two amazing doctors who have not drunk the progressive Kool-Aid and have risked their professional lives. I can't even believe that I'm speaking on a panel with them. They have taken a stand and they are heroes of mine.
But I'm here to tell people that voting is not enough. Voting Republican is not enough. Waiting for Republicans to fix our problems is not enough. As everyday citizens, as moms and dads, we can powerfully affect change. We can push these drag queen story hours out of our public libraries. We can push pornographic, gender-bending sex ed out of our schools. We can get Teen Vogue shut down. I've done it. I've seen other moms do it with my own eyes.
We are a powerful force as mama bears to be reckoned with. And I'm here to tell parents to stand up and be counted. Show some courage. Show your kids that you actually believe in what you say you believe in. Show your kids that they actually mean enough to you that you will risk something, your job, your reputation, whatever it is, you'll risk something to protect your children's innocence. Because they are worth it.
CP: Where did you get your inspiration to fight so doggedly?
Johnston: From all the amazing examples in God's Word. The Bible is replete, absolutely filled with examples of people modeling courage. We have Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. We have the Hebrew midwives who refused to kill those children and risked everything to rescue them.
And Jesus, who laid everything on the line for us. He did not shrink back from death itself. We have the examples of the apostles who were told they could not speak or preach in the New Testament. They said "we will be obey God, even though it means disobeying man." They put their lives on the line. We have a Bible full of examples of courage and civil disobedience. And as Christians they are our examples and we need to pattern our witnesses after them.
CP: What is your upcoming book Not On My Watch all about?
Johnston: It's coming out in February. I'm really excited about inspiring everyday Americans through this book. Their voices are so important. You don't have to be a politician to make a difference. You don't have to have some fancy title in front of your name to make a difference. Every single person is a powerful force to be reckoned with. We are the 11th hour in our nation. And we are a very confused and a sin-sick nation.
We need all hands on deck. We need all American citizens, all moms and dads on deck protecting children, protecting babies, from this Marxist darkness that is seeking to snuff out our liberties. And so this book is kind of half memoir back story of mine, about what inspired me, and the other half a cultural primer to encourage people to get out of their church pews and into the fight.
CP: What's next for you on the activism front?
Johnston: I'd love to give Netflix a black eye like we did Teen Vogue. They are pushing very dangerous, pornographic, border line child pedophilia with the content they promote on their platform.
But I would really love to see parents push these drag queen story hours happening in libraries out of their communities. Drag queens used to be only in adult nightclubs. And how we have somehow allowed this to take place in the light of day to influence kids who are 5 years old and let them speak confusion about gender. And I want to inspire parents to say 'no' to the evil American Library Association and their connection to these Drag Queen story hours.