“A playbook known as Project Blitz, developed by a collection of Christian groups, has provided state politicians with a set of off-the-shelf pro-Christian “model bills.” Some legislation uses verbatim language from the “model bills” created by a group called the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPCF), set up by a former Republican congressman, which has a stated aim to “protect religious freedom, preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and promote prayer.”
“At least 75 bills have been brought forward in more than 20 states during 2017 and 2018 which appear to be modeled on or have similar objectives to the playbook, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a campaign group which tracks legislation that undermines the principle of separation of church and state.”
Opponents suggest that conservatives are using the banner of “religious freedom” to impose Christian laws on American society, political and cultural life.
In Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee, so-called “In God We Trust” bills have become law since 2017, which will see the phrase emblazoned on public buildings, hung in schools and displayed on the side of public vehicles including police cars.
“But the Project Blitz playbook sees those largely symbolic bills as just the first stage on the way to more hardline laws. They are presented as measures to preserve religious liberty, but are intended to give businesses, pastors and childcare providers the right to discriminate against LGBT people in line with their ‘sincerely held religious beliefs.’”
Religious conservatives rightly do not want to be forced to support rights that have been fabricated outside of what the framers of the constitution intended. But will secular opposition push them to go further to create and then enforce religious worship laws that are part of the end-time events predicted in scripture?
An example of the desire of some Christians to get everyone in church on Sundays is suggested by a statue outside a megachurch in Tennessee that proclaims, ‘America Return to Christ.’
“Samantha Sokol, who studied the bills for the Americans United for Separation of Church and State campaign group, said: ‘In God We Trust bills are the most common. We had 26 of those. They really just exploded this year. I think that it is due to the promotion of Project Blitz. They have sent this playbook to state legislators and told them that these In God We Trust bills are the first step…’
“It’s very rare that you come across a major primary source document that changes the way you view everything, and this is one of those times,” said Frederick Clarkson, senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, a think-tank which studies the political right. ‘[Project Blitz] is a 116-page strategy manual hidden away on a website explaining at least what a section of the religious right are doing in the United States. To me that’s astounding.”
“One of the steering team behind Project Blitz is David Barton, the Texas-based founder of an organization called WallBuilders, which takes its inspiration from the Old Testament in describing its mission of ‘rebuilding our nation’s foundations.’
“In a recording of a call with state legislators, [Barton] describes in detail the strategy behind Project Blitz, which he said packages together about two dozen bills in separate categories based on the type of opposition they are likely to receive. There are three categories of bills in Project Blitz.
“The first category of ‘In God We Trust’ bills is likely to trigger opposition by saying the bills are a waste of time, or the sponsor of the bill ‘just wants to fight culture wars and divide people.’
“Part of the strategy is to pave the way for later political attacks, painting an election opponent as ‘anti-faith.’ Recent attacks on a Minnesota Democratic politician by Republican opponents followed exactly those lines.
This is setting the stage for a religious test for public office (which is forbidden in the constitution), though it isn’t likely to be enshrined in law. It will likely be operative, however, during election campaigns through advertising.
“Barton told legislators on the call: “They are gonna be things people yell at, but they help move the ball down the court, really if we can do this, get this going with all the states, it’s kind of like whack-a-mole for the other side, it’ll drive ‘em crazy that they’ll have to divide their resources out in opposing this.”
“Category two includes bills for a range of proclamations or resolutions – declaring a religious freedom day or Christian heritage week that can then be used to get religious teaching into schools. The playbook adds: ‘If any legislator opposes this, it will be helpful to get him or her on the record against this heritage and freedom.’
That way they can use his stated opposition against him in his next campaign.
“Category three bills will have the greatest impact but will be ‘the most hotly contested’ the playbook says – they include resolutions in favor of ‘biblical values concerning marriage and sexuality,’ such as ‘establishing public policy favoring adoption by intact heterosexual, marriage-based families’ and ‘establishing public policy favoring intimate sexual relations only between married, heterosexual couples.’
“The playbook warns that the most far-reaching model bills – designed to deny LGBT people access to adoption services or marriage services – are ‘more dangerous’ because they will face well-organized and financed opposition.”
Some of the bills are designed to provide protections for pastors and other Christians to live by their convictions in refusing to participate in weddings, or to allow adoption agencies to refuse to adopt children to same-sex couples. These would be welcome to most Christians, but will the legislation stop there? Under ferocious opposition, Evangelicals will likely over-react and enact laws designed to get liberal opponents religion by forcing them to attend church (on Sundays, of course).
“Lea Carawan, director of the CPCF, said on the call that the Trump administration was more receptive than any in over 30 years, adding: ‘We believe this is just the beginning. There is a powerful momentum that is happening.’
Andrew Whitehead, assistant professor of sociology at Clemson University, in his book titled Make America Christian Again “described the so-called quest for ‘dominion’ as the aim of Christian nationalists who consider that the Christian faith and their particular interpretation should be imposed.”
“Clarkson, whose research first highlighted Project Blitz, said: “It’s a Christian supremacist agenda, the idea that God intended and mandates Christians to lead and control the United States for the religious vision that they hold and the policy implications that flow from it. If you are a more liberal Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim, or a non-believer of any sort, or whatever you happen to be, you’re a second-class citizen at best,” he added.
Did you notice the mention of Jews? Religious Jews are Sabbath Keepers. The Bible predicts that Sabbath keepers, no matter what their religious affiliation, will one day be under the thumb of an aggressive Christian political government and will be discriminated against and eventually persecuted.
Speaking of the United States of America, Revelation 13:15 speaks of this forceful way of controlling seventh day Sabbath keepers when says, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
This is referring to those who refuse to violate their conscience by complying with Sunday worship laws. The Christian right will support religious liberty in relation to the things that majority of Christians believe, but will limit the liberty of the minority who do not follow their worship laws. The one thing that unites almost all Christians doctrinally is Sunday worship.
“When the nation for which God has worked in such a marvelous manner, and over which He has spread the shield of Omnipotence, abandons Protestant principles, and through its legislature gives countenance and support to Romanism in limiting religious liberty, then God will work in His own power for His people that are true. The tyranny of Rome will be exercised (through the United States), but Christ is our refuge.” Maranatha, page 194.