It is only in a world as broken as ours that such a noble testimony of trust between a father and son could be so twisted and belittled
Humility. That’s what current Speaker of the House Mike Johnson emphasized when he and his wife Kelly interviewed us about our marriage mentoring program, Witness to Love.
“I love that [in your mentorship model] there is a certain dose of humility,” he said. “We have to acknowledge that we have certain issues to work on. You realize in our journey in life how only God is perfect and we are not.” The interview, which you can listen to here, was about how we can better support “marriage, the center of our culture.”
So it’s especially sobering and unsettling to read headlines like this today, attacking the Johnson family’s use of Covenant Eyes accountability software: “Mike Johnson Admits He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Intake in Resurfaced Video” and “Mike Johnson Said He and His Son Monitor Each Other’s Porn Usage, and Yeah, It’s Exactly as Weird as It Sounds.”
The mocking of Mike’s love for his son continues from Jimmy Kimmel Live: “So if his son looks at porn, his dad gets an alert. And if Mike looks at porn, his son gets an alert,” Kimmel continued. The late-night host then noted to laughter from his audience: “It is possible to be too close with your children.”
No doubt, there is a clear and ongoing assault on all that is true, good and beautiful. To the pure, all things are pure, and to those who have no anchor, no North Star, no God — well, they do not know what to do with truth, goodness, vulnerability, humility, manliness, fatherhood and accountability. These are fundamental for a flourishing society and allow us to live in community.
Every morning we set the coffee pot to go off at around 4:30 a.m. and this is the time we have to pray and think. This particular morning one of our children woke up before 6 and she was ready to celebrate her 7th birthday and watch the sun rise through the window. We read the Gospel and then prayed the Angelus. Our birthday girl added prayers for her friends, for pancakes for breakfast, and for her guardian angel to protect her today. Her parents, of course, prayed for her too!
As parents, we cherish such moments with our children. Our dark culture doesn’t appreciate the radiant beauty in relationships like Mike Johnson’s with his son. We need more families to rise up in virtue to lead our communities, nation and culture. That’s only going to come from, one by one, recognizing that the vocation of marriage is the primary means of nurturing and protecting all that is good, true and beautiful. There is no more urgent time in the history of the world to focus on the roots of the marital vocations of the next generation.
It is only in a world as broken and lost as ours that such a noble testimony and witness of accountability and trust between a father and son could be so twisted and mocked. Our good friend and newly elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, and his wife Kelly interviewed us and encouraged us in the work that we do, acknowledging the beauty, uniqueness and urgency of the work that we are doing through our service to marriage, Christ, the Church and society through Witness to Love. We take up a “two for one” process of evangelization and catechesis by allowing and encouraging every engaged couple to choose a married couple whom they admire to walk with them. This model is nothing new but one deeply rooted in the way of “trust” and “loving relationships” modeled most authentically by the family when lived out according to God’s plan.
Our podcast interview with Mike and Kelly closes with Mike saying:
Our prayer is that this model, and your work, and your ministry continue to spread because it is great. … The hour is late and the crisis is great in the culture. We often quote Thoreau. He said: ‘There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to the one striking at the root.’ We have to go to the root problems [of society] and you guys have to have tapped into it. I mean you are right over the target …
For every person who steps out to serve his or her family, country, school or community, and do so simply out of sincere love for all that is good, true and beautiful … be prepared. Make sure to have a solid core of true friends who are praying for you behind your back because you will need them.
These words from Romans 12, the first reading of the Mass Nov. 7, are appropriate for Mike Johnson and his beautiful family today: “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them.”