House Speaker Mike Johnson (R) explained Tuesday why the doctrine of "separation of church and state" — which doesn't exist in the Constitution — is routinely misunderstood.
In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box," host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Johnson about the "public perception" of his decision to pray on the House floor after being sworn in as speaker, suggesting that he had violated some great principle that bans faith from the public square.
Johnson responded with a history lesson.
"Faith — our deep religious heritage and tradition — is a big part of what it means to be an American. When the founders set this system up, they wanted a vibrant expression of faith in the public square because they believed that a general moral consensus and virtue was necessary to maintain this grand experiment in self-governance that we created: a government of, by, and for the people. We don't have a king in charge," Johnson said. "So, we've got to keep morality amongst us so that we have accountability."