Video shows House Speaker blaming mass shootings on divorce and abortion

A mass shooting in Maine this week that killed 18 people and wounded another 13 is drawing attention to new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s controversial past comments on gun violence.

In a clip resurfaced by liberal political groups, Mr Johnson tells a Louisiana congregation in 2016 that mass shootings are the result of no-fault divorce, feminism, abortion, and other expansions of social rights that took place in the 20th century.

“We know that we’re living in a completely amoral society,” Mr Johnson told the Christian Center of Shreveport in a sermon titled Preserving Liberty. “People say how can a young person go into their schoolhouse and open fire on their classmates? Because we’ve taught a whole generation, a couple of generations of Americans, that there is no right and wrong, that it’s survival of the fittest, and you evolved from the primordial slime. Why is that life of any sacred value because there’s nobody sacred to whom it’s owed?”

The Louisiana representative, elected to Congress the same year he gave the sermon, traced the roots of this “chaos” to the cultural revolutions of the 1960s and ‘70s.

“The countercultural revolution,” he told the centre. “Woodstock and drugs and free love and all that. More about the undermining of the foundations of faith and morality. In the late ‘60s we invented things like no-fault divorce laws, the sexual revolution. We invented radical feminism. We invented legalized abortion in 1973.”

In response to the shooting in Maine, Speaker Johnson continued to emphasise the link he sees between faith and responding to gun violence.

“This is a dark time in America. We have a lot of problems, and we are hopeful and prayerful,” he recently told reporters after the shooting. “Prayer is appropriate at a time like this, that this senseless violence can stop.”

The Louisiana lawmaker has long opposed new gun control measures, including a measure passed last year that expanded background checks, provided grants for crisis-intervention laws, and funded mental health services.

“America’s problem is not guns. America’s problem is a heart problem,” he said during floor debate about the law.

His views on gun violence aren’t the only controversial part about his record.

Mr Johnson’s advocacy to overturn the 2020 election results startled members of even his own party.

At a a 5 January 2021 meeting regarding Republican efforts to challenge the election tally, the Louisiana lawmaker argued the party should object to the counting of electoral votes in key battleground states.

Multiple colleageus, including Reps Chip Roy and Don Bacon, reportedly argued such plans would cause a constitutinoal crisis.

“Let us not turn the last firewall for liberty we have remaining on its head in a bit of populist rage for political expediency,” Mr Roy said at the time, according to Politico.

Both men later voted for Mr Johnson to become speaker.