Pope Francis's speech to Congress Thursday was "pretty inspiring," Sen. Ron Johnson told Newsmax TV
, and it led him to focus on "the areas of agreement."
"We need to respect our differences and our convictions of conscience," the first-term Wisconsin Republican told "Newsmax Prime" hosts J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan. "I really thought the pope was very soft-spoken and very gentle in his demeanor.
"I just want to concentrate on those shared goals and shared purposes, because that's how we can actually account for something moving forward in this nation," he said.
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Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, underscored the pope's comments about Islamic jihadism.
"It's a reality we have to face and we have to confront. It's evil," he said. "Obviously, Christianity is a religion of love and peace. I'm a Christian myself.
"We need to certainly emphasize that it is through those types of thoughts and those types of efforts that we're really going to unite this world — but we have to recognize reality, and that's what the pope is talking about.
"We need to avoid all forms of extremism."
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