WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Accountable.US released new research exposing the fringe evolution-denying, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-choice beliefs of several members of Speaker Mike Johnson’s nonprofit board.
As reported by the Washington Blade, Onward Christian Education Services has been used by the Johnsons to promote extreme views through seminars.
The more we learn about Mike Johnson, the clearer his history of far-right fanaticism comes into view. He may try to pass himself off as unassuming, but the board of his nonprofit is off the deep end on issues from abortion to evolution. It's no surprise he feels at home leading the MAGA majority."
Accountable.US executive director Tony Carrk.
Board President Gevan Spinney is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Haughton, Louisiana and previously served as the President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
- During Spinney’s term, the Convention brought forward a resolution “Against The Sexual Politics Of Transgenderism.” The resolution declares that the Convention rejects laws that contradict “natural law and biblical truth,” and supports lawmakers’ efforts to protect individuals who would discriminate against LGBTQ individuals in public and business settings. In 2016, Spinney commented on transgender issues saying that “God made you a man then use the men’s bathroom” and “if you’re born a woman, God has made you that way.”
- In an October 2018 Instagram post, Spinney posted a meme casting doubt on the validity of evolution, writing “Here’s something for you to think about. #Genesis1 #Goddidit.”
- Speaker Johnson and Gevan Spinney appear to have a close personal relationship that spans at least eight years, with Johnson referring to Spinney as “my good friend” In 2015. In a speech at Spinney’s Church in 2015, then-State Rep. Johnson espoused dangerous views, disparaged LGBTQ rights, decried the absence of the Bible in school curriculums, and appeared to cast doubt on the validity of evolution. Then, in a February 2019 sermon to Spinney’s congregation, then-Congressman Johnson said that Republican politics “are biblical positions,” and claimed there can’t be a republic without “moral and religious” people. In an April 2019 seminar at Spinney’s church, Congressman Mike Johnson and his wife spoke, with comments that the problem in America is that people are “okay with the civil government taking all of the authority and responsibility in the culture in our society” and that when God is taken out of government, “chaos follows.”
Board Treasurer Chris Victory is a district judge in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.
- In 2020, when Victory ran for district judge, he was endorsed by Rep. Mike Johnson and Victory touted their connection on his campaign’s Instagram account, with the two having known each other since at least 2016.
- In June 2022, Judge Victory acquitted four police officers in the death of a Black man in custody after “body cam footage showed McGlothen being both tased and beaten.”
- Then, later that year in August, prosecutors took an “unusual step” and requested Judge Victory recuse himself from a case due to bias towards law enforcement, which he refused and denied any favor for officers.
- In 2016, before his judgeship, Chris Victory Represented 15 Louisiana Republican legislators–including then-State Rep. Mike Johnson–in a “lawsuit against Gov. John Bel Edwards over protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender state government workers” that Victory claimed was just a “play” and overreach by the governor.
- One Louisiana State University (LSU) political science professor called Parks “one of the most polarizing figures on the jury.”
- Parks is a member of the anti-abortion group Louisiana Lawyers for Life, is on the Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee, and is also involved with the Republican Women Of Bossier.
Katie Walker is the Vice President of the board of Onward Christian Education Services and is a Christian influencer who has met Speaker Johnson previously.
- Walker calls herself “a talented actress, writer, and public speaker” that travels the country “speaking in schools, churches, and at conferences to encourage and inspire women.”
- She also has a YouTube channel and website with Philipa A. Booyens, where they share Christian videos, promote the films they’ve collaborated on, and sell Christian books they co-wrote marketed toward women.