The Alliance of Baptists and Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty are among 43 national religious, civil rights and other organizations joining in a statement warning state lawmakers across the country about an organized effort by evangelical political groups to promote Christianity.
The coalition, which also includes Americans United for Separation of Church and State, National Council of Churches, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hindu American Foundation, opposes “Project Blitz,” a playbook developed by a collection of Christian groups to promote model bills like “Bible literacy” legislation praised on Twitter by President Donald Trump.
The statement describes Project Blitz as “a new and coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country.”
“Project Blitz promotes a three-tiered framework of state bills meant to incrementally redefine religious freedom and tear down the separation of church and state, with each tier laying the groundwork for the next,” the groups warned.
“This framework starts by pushing what its authors believe will be less controversial measures, such as requiring ‘In God We Trust’ to be posted in public schools,” they explained. “Using those bills as a foothold, it then seeks to pass more dangerous legislation, like bills that allow taxpayer-funded agencies to turn away couples seeking to foster or adopt children in need of stable and loving homes because they are same-sex or the ‘wrong’ religion.”
Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, told USA Today that busy lawmakers may sign on to innocuous looking bills unaware they are part of a broader agenda.
“Anything that might send a message to our children that you have to be a Christian to be a full American is extremely problematic,” Tyler said.