Ringing in a Christian Nationalist 2019 With an Even Larger Legislative Playbook - 2018-12-18
State legislatures across the country became showcases for Christian nationalist legislation in 2018. Leading the charge was the ominously named Project Blitz—a coalition of Christian Right groups that are unambiguous about their intentions for the short and long term, to restore America to a Christian nation that never was. The campaign, which I first reported on for Religion Dispatches, has captured the attention of a wide range of organizations, from American Atheists, and the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project at Columbia University Law School, to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Human Rights Campaign. It also captured the attention of national media outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, Religion News Service, Church & State magazine, and Salon.
The Christian Right groups behind Project Blitz—The Chesapeake, Virginia-based Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation; the National Legal Foundation; and the Wallbuilders Pro-Family Legislators Conference—have published a new state legislative playbook for 2019. This year's playbook has grown from 116 to 148 pages, thanks to some new bills, a discussion of three areas of "Prime Focus," a new section on responding to critics, and a model resolution condemning religious persecution elsewhere in the world. But what's past is certainly prologue with Project Blitz.
According to an analysis by Samantha Sokol in the legislation department at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, about 74 Project Blitz model bills were considered in 2018. "More than 60 percent involved promoting Christianity in public schools; more than a third were 'In God We Trust' display bills," according to reporting from Church & State.