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Mike Johnson blasts James Carville for saying 'Christian nationalists' worse than al Qaeda: 'Twisted and shameful'

Democratic political strategist James Carville claimed that the worldview of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is 'a bigger threat than al Qaeda to this country.'
Democratic political strategist James Carville claimed that the worldview of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is "a bigger threat than al Qaeda to this country." | Screengrab/YouTube/Real Time with Bill Maher

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., pushed back Sunday against Democratic political strategist James Carville's recent assertion that he is a "Christian nationalist," and that his worldview poses a greater threat to the U.S. than al Qaeda.

"It's twisted and shameful that a leading Democrat strategist says millions of Christians in America are a greater threat than foreign terrorists who murdered more than 3,000 Americans," Johnson tweeted from his official government account. "The Democratic Party should condemn this. But they won’t."

Johnson's tweet was in response to comments Carville made Friday on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," during which Carville and Maher accused the speaker of exhibiting what they described as Christian nationalism.

"Mike Johnson and what he believes is one of the greatest threats we have today to the United States," Carville said. "I promise you, I know these people."

"You're talking about Christian nationalism," Maher cut in.

"Absolutely," Carville said. "This is a bigger threat than al Qaeda to this country."

Carville went on to worry that at least two Supreme Court seats could open up during Johnson's tenure and that "people in the press have no idea who this guy is."

"This is a fundamental threat to the United States," Carville said of Johnson's worldview. "It is a fundamental thing. [They] don't believe in the Constitution. They'll tell you that. Mike Johnson himself says, 'What is democracy but two wolves and a lamb having lunch?' That's what they really, really, really believe."

"And to say, 'Oh, come on, man. It's just some crazy s---.' No, no. They believe that, and they're coming and they've been doing it forever. They're funded. They're funded. They're relentless, and, you know, they probably won't win for a while, but they might. And if they do, the whole country blows a gasket," he added.

Carville's comments echo those of former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who said during an episode of Maher's show last month that there is no difference between Johnson's worldview and that of the Taliban.

"There is no difference between Christian nationalism — which is what [Johnson's] representing — than the Taliban," Kinzinger said during the panel discussion. "Now, maybe the end is different, maybe the means are different, but there's no difference in saying this is a government run on religion."

Johnson, who is a member of Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, Louisiana, has repeatedly hit back at the escalating rhetoric against him since House Republicans unanimously elected him to the gavel in October.

Johnson has unabashedly affirmed that his beliefs emerge from a Christian worldview, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity in October that he is "a Bible-believing Christian," and that if anyone wants to know what he thinks on any issue, they should "go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it."

Johnson told Fox News co-host Kayleigh McEnany shortly after his election that the attacks against him — such as Maher comparing him to the Maine shooter, MSNBC host Jen Psaki calling him a "fundamentalist," or a Daily Beast op-ed likening him to the Taliban — are "disgusting" and "absurd."

Tony Perkins, president of the national Evangelical grassroots organization Family Research Council, told The Christian Post in October that the attacks against Johnson are "almost humorous" and indicative of a growing cultural opposition toward Christianity generally.

Perkins tweeted Monday that Carville's accusations were "absurd and irresponsible!"

A week before Carville's comments, former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden tweeted side-by-side images of an unidentified woman holding an American flag, a Bible, and a pistol next to a photo of Reem Riyashi, a Palestinian woman who killed herself and four other people in a 2004 suicide bombing.

"No different," wrote Hayden, who served as director of the National Security Agency until former President George W. Bush appointed him to run the CIA, a position he held until 2009.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to jon.brown@christianpost.com

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