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State Lawmakers Brief Members of Congress on Religious Extremist “Project Blitz” Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA), state lawmakers, and American Atheists briefed members of Congress about Project Blitz, a secretive and widespread Christian nationalist campaign to undermine LGBTQ equality, limit access to reproductive healthcare, and threaten religious equality under the law.

Project Blitz’s strategy is two-fold: First, overwhelm state lawmakers and advocates with as many bills as possible—hence the name “Project Blitz”—and second, push seemingly innocuous “Christian heritage” bills in states in order to build momentum and pass anti-LGBTQ, anti-religious equality, and anti-reproductive health care legislation.

“Very few Americans have ever heard of Project Blitz, yet hundreds of elected officials are actively supporting the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPCF), which runs this extremist campaign,” explained American Atheists’ Vice President for Legal and Policy Alison Gill (left). “The CPCF pushes legislators to introduce a range of harmful bills through its network of state prayer caucuses.”

Yet state legislators across the country are building opposition to Project Blitz. In Minnesota, State Senator John Marty (center left) successfully defused conservative media attacks on him after he opposed an “In God We Trust” school display bill, citing his own faith and his commitment to religious equality.

In Arizona, State Senator Juan Mendez (center right) exposed how Arizona’s “In God We Trust” license plate law had quietly generated over $1 million for the anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedomfrom 2012 to 2018.

In Washington DC, Councilmember David Grosso introduced a resolution for Religious Freedom Day as a model for promoting the historically accurate value of religious freedom—in stark contrast to Project Blitz’s distorted vision.

“Project Blitz is working behind the scenes in state legislatures, and the reach of this effort is national,” said Huffman, co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. “Let’s be very clear. This is not about protecting religious freedom or religious liberty. It’s about imposing some people’s religious views on everyone else. It’s about changing this pluralistic secular democracy of ours into a theocracy, into the kind of country that’s depicted in shows like The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“Project Blitz is not going away, but since they have made their intent clear, we can work to oppose this harmful and deceptive campaign,” said Nick Fish (right), President of American Atheists. “Starting now, state and federal legislators, as well as advocates for equality, need to coordinate their efforts to stop Project Blitz and its attacks on women, LGBTQ Americans, atheists, and religious minorities.”

To watch the full Hill briefing, click here.