Can progressives reclaim “religious freedom” from Trump and the evangelical right? |

Rachel Laser of Americans United noted that all these efforts reflect how the religious right feels “very emboldened in the time of the Trump-Pence administration,” and hopes “to change the Zeitgeist around religious freedom in this country and redefine it to mean the right to cause harm to someone based on your religious views.” Her organization is playing a leading role in developing a progressive response to the right-wing campaign for state-level legislation known as “Project Blitz,” whose playbook Clarkson first uncovered last year, as I reported here.

Progressive politicians have begun to take action as well. Last year, Minnesota State Sen. John Marty, who comes from a prominent family of Protestant ministers, spoke out against a Project Blitz-inspired bill to place “In God We Trust” in school classrooms, saying that “a government-sanctioned motto doesn’t strengthen our religion, but it demeans, devalues and cheapens our religion.” Marty was smeared for that on Fox News, but defended himself so ably that the bullies decided it was wiser to back off. Clarkson interviewed Marty for Religion Dispatches last September, and this month he introduced a Religious Freedom Day resolution in the Minnesota legislature.

— Read on

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