Skip to main content Accessibility

Mike Johnson Appears at Hate Group Summit With Pastor Who Suggests Demons Responsible for LGBTQ+ Pride

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson appeared Wednesday with pastor Jonathan Cahn – whose sermon highlighted three ancient deities which Cahn equated to demonic spirits that have now “come to America” – at the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Family Research Council’s National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance.

At the FRC event, Cahn suggested abortion and LGBTQ+ health care, are particularly representative of these demonic activities, describing contemporary progressive and secular activism in the U.S. as a form of demonic “repossession.” Cahn claimed three ancient deities named Ba’al, Ishtar and Moloch compose “a dark trinity” of spirits currently operating in the U.S. to drive God from public life, seduce the culture through “sexual revolution” and drive parents to “sacrifice their children.”

Cahn claimed the activities of Ishtar in particular are represented by abortion, gender-affirming care and LGBTQ+ pride month. “She was connected with” the rainbow, Cahn said, and she was “the goddess of parades, parades that celebrated the alteration of gender.” He also said she would “possess the culture” in “one month of all months: the month of June.”

FRC provided copies of Cahn’s latest book to attendees.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaking at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News

Members of the anti-LGBTQ+ movement, including media figures, activists and politicians, often demonize members of the LGBTQ+ community. Cahn speaks literally about demonic spirits operating in the United States. He claimed that Ishtar, an ancient Sumerian goddess whom some ultra-conservative Christians view as a demon, has returned to earth to seek vengeance on Christians, the CBC reported.

Cahn believes Ishtar and other pagan deities were able to return to the earth because the 1969 Stonewall riots – which birthed the modern LGBTQ+ movement – opened a portal to another realm, the CBC said.

Speaker Johnson followed Cahn on the FRC stage. Johnson’s remarks emphasized “cultural upheaval” in the United States. Before voters elected Johnson to Congress, he was a litigator and spokesperson for the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom.

At least 16 members of Congress joined Johnson at the event. Some of the 16 Congress members prayed either against feminism and homosexuality, abortion rights or “alternate lifestyles,” a derogatory phrase typically used to refer to LGBTQ+ people.  

After the FRC event, Johnson appeared at the International Religious Freedom Summit (IRF Summit).

IRF Summit co-Chair Sam Brownback, who also attended the FRC event, introduced Johnson and highlighted the speaker’s previous work with ADF.

In his remarks at the IRF Summit, Johnson suggested that the absence of religious freedom is a sign of totalitarianism and emphasized that the freedoms of religion and belief “come from God,” not the state.

Creede Newton contributed to this report.

Comments or suggestions? Send them to Have tips about the far right? Please email: Have documents you want to share? Please visit: Follow us on Twitter @Hatewatch.