"You know, there seems to be an anti-faith movement in our country, to supress anything that is religious, in any way," Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville) told Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth.
Appearing on the national cable show in early May, Hall whined about opposition to an idea he'd brought to the Minnesota Senate, one which would allow Minnesota public schools to display "In God We Trust" on school grounds. Hall felt this one small move would "bring respect back to our country."
His supporters helped "bring respect back" by calling one Minnesota Democrat a "faggot," and telling another to "go back to Africa" -- a curious invective for a white man, but sometimes you get worked up and spill racism all over your Christianity.
Hall's contention about an "anti-faith movement" in America remains unproven. There is, however, a pro-faith movement afoot, and he is one of its goose-stepping Christian soldiers.
In his appearance on the Minnesota Senate floor, and on Fox News, Hall fought passionately for his amendment. (It passed the Senate, but ultimately went nowhere.) The senator left out one detail about the idea: It wasn't his in the first place. The proposal was essentially a carbon copy of "model legislation" produced as part of "Project Blitz," a nationwide effort to introduce religious legislation in state legislatures.
The "Christian nationalist" movement's Minnesota connection was explored in an op-ed in Sunday's New York Times, where author Katherine Stewart calls Project Blitz "the latest attempt by religious extremists to use the coercive powers of government to secure a privileged position in society for their version of Christianity."
Borrowing from research by Americans United for the Separation for Church and State, Stewart says "more than 70 bills" introduced in various state legislatures appear to be cribbed from the Project Blitz playbook. Hall's "In God We Trust" amendment was one of those.
The God-fearing and shadowy collective behind Project Blitz has been compared to ALEC, the secretive corporate advocacy group, which also produces "model" legislation to be handed down to know-nothing elected officials across the country.
The difference between the two outfits is that ALEC's corporate overlords really want their ideas (in sum: lower taxes, and fewer regulations) to pass. Quietly, if possible.
These Christians are spoiling for a fight. Hall's and other ideas have "provoked hostile debates in local and national media" -- this one Minnesota Senate floor amendment was the subject of not one, but two Fox & Friends segments -- "which is in many cases the point of the exercise." Meaning: Even if Hall knew this "In God We Trust" proposal was a non-starter with Gov. Mark Dayton, that wouldn't deter him from pushing a divisive agenda.
Division is the idea. On a since-leaked conference call with state legislators, a Project Blitz strategist said introducing ideas like "In God We Trust" is "kind of like whack-a-mole for the other side; it'll drive 'em crazy that they have to divide their resources out in opposing this."
And when they do, the bill-backers get to rally their base, by telling them conservative Christianity is "under attack" -- when, in fact, it's on the march.
Appearing on Fox, Hall expressed his (baseless) fear that America might soon replace "In God We Trust" with "something different, and I hate to say what that could be." One suggestion, Senator Hall? How about "In Politicizing God We Trust"?