Johnson represents Georgia’s 4th District, covering parts of DeKalb and Newton counties and all of Rockdale County since 2007, and has continually worked to protect secularism and progressivism in Congress. Johnson is a key player as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, where he’s introduced, co-sponsored and passed legislation to level the playing field.
Johnson, who practices Nichiren Buddhism, joined the Congressional Freethought Caucus in July 2022, pledging to promote public policies based on reason, evidence and science and to protect secularism within the government. Johnson explained his decision to become a member of the caucus: “One of the things that makes our country so special is that we practice, in this country, freedom of religion. There is no state-sponsored religion. All religions are welcome theoretically in America — and that’s the way that it should be. If one would choose not to explore religion, that is a right also to be respected.”
Johnson’s policy positions have consistently had reason and progressivism on their side. In February, Johnson sponsored the reintroduction of the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, a much-needed reform measure. FFRF was notably marked as one of the official supporting organizations in the bill’s reintroduction. Johnson maintains that “adoption of a code of ethics will help restore the court’s reputation, which is at an all-time low, and reinforce that none of us — not even Supreme Court justices — are above the law.” And Johnson showed exemplary leadership by reintroducing the Judiciary Act in May, calling for expanding the Supreme Court by four seats. These endeavors mark Johnson’s commitment to working for the interests of the American public and keeping the overreaching Supreme Court in check.
Johnson has worked with the Freedom From Religion Foundation through the years, appearing on its “Freethought Matters” TV show in January of last year. Johnson stated on the show that “the evangelical movement at its core is a political movement that operates under the guise of religion, and the purveyors of that thinking use people who are honestly seeking spiritual goodness. … It’s misleading those people into a political framework, and it uses those people to go out and vote for right-wing free marketeers. It’s all about money and power.”
Johnson has proven himself to be a stalwart defender of the separation of church and state, and we are grateful that his years of service have ensured a lasting, commendable legacy in Congress.
Caitlin Berray is the Governmental Affairs Fellow for the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Caitlin graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Political Science in December 2021. Joining FFRF in October 2022, Caitlin first worked as FFRF’s Governmental Affairs Intern.