Mike Johnson stands by himself at a press conference.

Mike Johnson’s Porn Monitoring Habits Raise Serious Questions

Why do the conservatives always have to make things weird?

Republicans have made it painfully obvious they don’t want any separation between their church and our state. House Speaker Mike Johnson has made it clear he wants to enshrine his own religious beliefs as U.S. policy, and resurfaced comments he made in 2022 raise some serious questions about what that might entail.

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After a messy recall of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and weeks of voting and re-voting by the GOP, they elected Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House. Since his election, his past election denial and questionable voting history have come into the public eye. There’s been a lot of chatter over his claims of having a Black son and his wife’s terrible Christian-themed counseling services. Over the weekend Rolling Stone reported on a resurfaced clip of Mike Johnson at a “War on Technology” conference hosted by the Cypress Baptist Church.

The video, originally shared by X/Twitter user Receipt Maven, shows Johnson discussing his use of the software Covenant Eyes. He says he first found out about the software during a Promise Keepers event. Covenant Eyes is an “accountability” software that scans and tracks activity on your device (i.e. phone, computer) and sends a report to your “accountability partner.” It will also send any questionable images to the accountability partner so they will know what you have been looking at. Johnson’s partner was (and possibly still is) his son Jack, who was 17 at the time the video was made.

This two-minute clip has raised several thoughts and questions about a lot of things Mike Johnson is doing.

1. Anything connected to the Promise Keepers is a giant red flag.

The Promise Keepers are a group of Evangelical Christian men who want to bring back strong, religious male leadership. Founded in 1990, they call themselves “Men of Integrity.” Even in the late 1990s, the National Organization for Women said the Promise Keepers were anti-feminist. The Promise Keepers promote chastity, and subservience in women while being against same-sex marriage. If they are promoting anything, you should run the other way.

2. What kind of Puritanical garbage is Covenant Eyes?

The fact that these men, as it is mainly marketed to men, need “accountability software” to keep them away from pornography on the internet is astounding. If you don’t want to look, that is fine, but why does there need to be an entire line of software dedicated to babysitting adult men? It speaks volumes about how repressed these people are. The software will block search terms such as “porn” and “gay.” Having their activity reported to another person, to keep them in line and honest about their browser history is potentially really unhealthy. Sending blurred images that may be questionable to your accountability partner also seems questionable. No, I wasn’t looking at the sexy images, he was but I had to look to keep him honest.

3. Why is Johnson’s underage son his accountability partner?

It is very strange that Johnson’s son is his accountability partner. At the age of 17, the younger Johnson shouldn’t be reviewing his dad’s internet history. One of them is an adult, the other is a child. Even in the video, Johnson said usually men put other men in their church group as their partners. Some boundaries need to be established between parent and child, even if they have a close relationship.

4. Isn’t Covenant Eyes a threat to national security?

Since Mike Johnson installed Covenant Eyes on all his personal devices, there is a very real possibility he has performed government work that Covenant Eyes has scanned. It would then catalog government documents or correspondence. A non-secure third-party company would have access to these items. So would Johnson’s accountability partner. It seems like this software opens up confidential government documents to a lot of people not cleared to look at them. What if Johnson looked at something on the internet he didn’t want others to know about? Would someone connected to Covenant Eyes or any partners be able to use that against him?

5. Why do Republicans always have to make it weird?

All conservatives seem to worry about is what everyone is doing in their bedrooms. They shout that drag queens and books will make kids gay. They worry about what women wear and do because of how it may or may not make them appealing to men. Then they create this bizarre nanny software to keep them from looking at people having sex. There are much bigger things causing actual harm in our country, like mass shootings. Conservatives need to keep all their pervy thoughts to themselves and focus on real problems.

(via Rolling Stone, featured image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.