"Project Blitz" Seeks to Do for Christian Nationalism What ALEC Does for Big Business - 2018-04-27
Religious freedom has been much in the news as the Trump administration has rolled out policies providing an earthly answer to the prayers of the Christian Right. It's a central issue in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission currently before the Supreme Court, and it's no secret that the Christian Right has been busy taking their religious freedom agenda to the states.
Many of the bills on their agenda are making news; some have passed key legislative committees or whole state legislative chambers, and some have already been signed into law. But what reporters, activists, and most legislators don't realize is that many of these bills draw from an unusual package of 20 model bills included in a report assembled by a coalition of Christian Right groups for an initiative they call "Project Blitz."
The bills are seemingly unrelated and range widely in content—from requiring public schools to display the national motto, "In God We Trust" (IGWT); to legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ people; to religious exemptions regarding women's reproductive health. The model bills, the legislative strategy and the talking points reflect the theocratic vision that's animated a meaningful portion of the Christian Right for some time. In the context of Project Blitz's 116-page playbook, however, they also reveal a sophisticated level of coordination and strategizing that echoes the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which infamously networks probusiness state legislators, drafts sample legislation, and shares legislative ideas and strategies.