Democrats Call Out Mike Johnson For Inviting Christian Nationalist Pastor As Guest Chaplain In U.S. House
Hibbs, who is pro-Trump and has campaigned against LGBTQ+ inclusion in public schools, was permitted to deliver a prayer before House proceedings on January 30, 2024.
House Democrats condemned Johnson in a letter of complaint for inviting the reviled Christian nationalist media figure as the Guest Chaplain, saying it never should have happened.
The complaint filed and signed by 26 House Democrats described Hibbs as a:
"Radical christian nationalist who helped fuel the January 6 insurrection and has a long record of spewing hateful vitriol towards non-christians, immigrants, and members of the LBGTQ community."
The letter of complaint explained how Hibbs "echoed" former Republican President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election that led to the Capitol Hill insurrection on January 6, and that Hibbs "inflamed his followers" by preaching that the tragic events from that day "would go down in history alongside the War of Independence and the War of 1812."
Hibbs was said to have instituted an "advanced religious structure" that led to the violence carried out by those who believed Trump was anointed by God.
The pastor attended a MAGA rally before the attack on Capitol Hill and later appeared on Tony Perkins' Washington Watch program to justify the violence that unfolded by reinforcing Trump's lie about the election.
He also told viewers:
"This is what happens when you eject God from the courts and from the schools."
House Dems also noted that another reason why Hibbs should have been disqualified from serving as a Guest Chaplain was for his anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ views.
Hibbs has called transgender people "a sexually perverted cult" who are in "violation of the word and will of God" and are "part of an anti-God, anti-Christ plan of none other than Satan himself."
He has also claimed same-sex marriage "crucified God's word," and that society's acceptance of the LGBTQ+ people and lifestyle was evidence of humanity living in the "last days."
You can view the entire letter shared by Daily Beast senior reporter Roger Sollenberger here.
House Democrats remained critical about how Johnson had chosen Guest Chaplains and his routine rejection of non-political pastors who were more qualified.
Social media users joined the Dems' frustration.
In his January 30 prayer, Hibbs called for a “repentance for our national sins” and suggested that the “day of judgment” for political leaders was near.
He continued praying:
“Please, come upon those here who are the stewards of the business of our nation with your wisdom, which comes from above, and with your holy fear, knowing your coming day of judgment draws near when all who have been and are now in authority will answer to you, the great judge of heaven and Earth.”
The tradition of starting legislative sessions with prayer traces back to the First Continental Congress.
The Office of the House Chaplain's website states that Guest Chaplains are "recommended by the Members of Congress" and that it is "a wonderful opportunity to affirm pastoral leaders from many different backgrounds."
The description added that the practice of hosting Guest Chaplains "manifests the freedom of worship enjoyed across this nation."