Project 2025 June 5th Update

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Project 2025 is a 920-page plan spearheaded by the powerful and extreme far-right Heritage Foundation. More than 100 organizations support this blueprint for autocracy. Their stated goal is to create an “ideal” America that would see women, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, people of color, and others deprived of their hard-won constitutional rights and the erosion of environmental and education protections. It also advocates for a frightening centralization of power in the executive branch. Rooted in hate and Christian Nationalism, the plan promises to “rescue the country.” Read GPAHE’s full analysis of Project 2025 and the groups behind it.

GPAHE tracks the activities of those behind Project 2025, and their plans for an authoritarian and Christian Nationalist America, no matter who is president, and the groups in this extremist movement are relentlessly implementing initiatives at local, state, and federal levels.

This week we look at Alliance Defending Freedom’s expanding case in Texas, Project 2025’s devastating disregard for climate change, and the Christian Nationalist curriculum now approved in seven states courtesy of Project 2025 supporter PragerU.

Professors Join Texas Alliance Defending Freedom Lawsuit Challenging Title IX Protections for LGBTQ+ Students and Abortion Rights

Project 2025 supporter Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) continues to litigate its Christian Nationalist agenda, this time by supporting two University of Texas at Austin professors who have joined a state lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education. The lawsuit, filed by Texas and other conservative states, aims to block new Title IX regulations from taking effect this summer, particularly those that expand protections against sex discrimination for LGBTQ+ students.

But what Professors Daniel Bonevac and John Hatfield are concerned with is their right to count the days their students miss school for out-of-state travel to get abortions, which are illegal in Texas, as unexcused absences.

Their stance aligns with the severe curtailment of abortion access in Texas following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade. The 66-page amended complaint filed on May 13, 2024 states that the professors “do not intend to accommodate student absences from class to obtain abortions—including illegal abortions and purely elective abortions that are not medically required,” Inside Higher Ed reported. “Nor will Plaintiffs Hatfield and Bonevac hire a teaching assistant who has violated the abortion laws of Texas or the federal-law prohibitions on the shipment or receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia.”

ADF’s involvement in this case is unsurprising given its track record of advocating for far-right causes and opposing LGBTQ+ rights per Project 2025’s agenda. The organization has a history of supporting discriminatory policies and laws, often under the guise of protecting “religious freedom.” 

Bonevac’s legal declaration further underscores the discriminatory nature of the lawsuit, as the professor of philosophy who has been vocal about his conservative political leanings, refuses to use “they” pronouns for individuals and will not allow his teaching assistants to engage in what he calls “cross-dressing” while teaching or interacting with students. 

“I will not honor any student’s demands to be addressed by the singular pronoun “they” — regardless of whether those demands come from a biological man or a biological woman, and regardless of whether the person making those demands identifies with a gender that matches or departs from his biologically assigned sex. “They” is a plural pronoun, and it is ungrammatical to use a plural pronoun to refer to a single person. I will not violate the rules of grammar or make a fool of myself to accommodate a student’s delusional beliefs. Nor will I honor demands to use other “made-up” pronouns that are not a standard part of the English language,” Bonevac wrote in a legal declaration filed with the court. 

“I have no intention of complying with the Biden Administration’s recently announced Title IX edict, which has nothing to do with “sex” discrimination and represents nothing more than an attempt to force every educator in the United States to conform to a highly contentious interpretation of gender ideology and abortion rights,” he continued.  

And the battle is not only being fought in Texas. ADF’s legal warfare is raging in several states across the country as it litigates Project 2025’s agenda in the name of “freedom,” the very principle its religious mission squelches in American courtrooms.

Project 2025’s Disastrous Blueprint for Dismantling Climate Action

In the face of increasingly devastating natural disasters, from wildfires to hurricanes, tornadoes and floods, the federal government has been taking on a more prominent role in emergency response and climate action. However, the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 will reverse this trend, advocating for a smaller federal role and a greater reliance on private insurance and state and local governments.

Project 2025 has set its sights on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal agency with 12,000 employees that predicts changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coastlines, providing data that informs life-saving forecasts. 

Project 2025’s plan, written by former Chrysler exec and Trump Commerce Department official Thomas Gilman, calls for the dismantling of NOAA, eliminating or privatizing key functions of the agency.

The chapter Gilman wrote in Project 2025’s 900+ page Mandate for Leadership demands that the National Weather Service “fully commercialize its forecasting operations” and that research from the National Hurricane Center and the National Environmental Satellite Service be reviewed to ensure it is “presented neutrally, without adjustments intended to support any one side in the climate debate.” The plan also suggests disbanding the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, which it labels as “the source of much of NOAA’s climate alarmism,” as Media Matters for America reported on May 31, 2024.

Experts warn that these cuts to NOAA could have devastating impacts on climate research and weather forecasting. Former NOAA official Andrew Rosenberg stated that the agency “basically reports the science as the scientific evidence accumulates and has been quite cautious about reporting climate effects,” adding, “It’s not pushing some agenda.”

Project 2025’s attack on NOAA is the culmination of years of attempts by conservatives and right-wing media to undermine the credibility of the agency and the data it produces, including unrelenting attacks from Project 2025 member the Heartland Institute. Climate deniers have long suggested that NOAA’s temperature data has been altered to push the climate change narrative, despite the lack of evidence to support these claims.

Project 2025 supporters have also attacked the science linking hurricanes to warming temperatures, suggesting that those reporting the connection are politicizing or weaponizing the weather. During his presidency, Donald Trump attempted to remake NOAA and took several steps to roll back climate action and undermine the science that underpins it, all while being cheered on by his Christian Nationalist acolytes who now have a clear mandate in Project 2025.

“Funds provided under these programs do not provide measurable gains for preparedness or resiliency. Rather, more than any objective needs, political interests appear to direct the flow of nondisaster funds,” Project 2025’s Mandate for Leadership states. “The principles of federalism should be upheld; these indicate that states better understand their unique needs and should bear the costs of their particularized programs.”

However, this assertion ignores the critical importance of a strong federal response when catastrophes overwhelm state and local capacities. 

Project 2025 proposes adjustments to the per capita indicator for damages, the application of a deductible, and changes to the cost-share arrangement; these measures could ultimately leave communities more vulnerable in the face of escalating climate disasters, governing.com reports.

The 2024 tornado season has already shattered records, with “tornado alley” expanding eastward and impacting areas ill-prepared for such severe storms. Hurricane seasons are becoming more unpredictable, with rapidly intensifying storms making landfall predictions and evacuation decisions increasingly challenging. Wildfires and floods are ravaging regions across the country, from the West and central parts to the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and northern Great Plains.

As smaller governments buckle under the weight of these disasters, FEMA’s rapid-response capacity and federal resources have become more critical than ever. Federal aid often comes with necessary mandates, such as requiring flood insurance for high-risk properties, which can help mitigate the impact of future disasters. Yet, Project 2025 criticizes FEMA’s grant management, arguing that these grants have become pork for states, localities, and special-interest groups without providing measurable gains for preparedness or resiliency.

The plan’s call to terminate these grants and uphold the principles of federalism fails to recognize the vital role federal support plays in helping communities prepare for and recover from disasters. Furthermore, Project 2025’s proposal to reduce the number of Senate-confirmed positions within FEMA from four to one could hinder the agency’s ability to respond effectively during coordinated emergency responses while making it easier to be controlled by an authoritarian executive branch.

Project 2025 also seeks to impose preconditions on FEMA-issued grant recipients, including certification of compliance with federal immigration laws, registration and use of E-Verify, and a commitment to information-sharing with federal law enforcement and immigration enforcement. These requirements could create additional hurdles for communities in need of federal assistance and may ultimately undermine the effectiveness of disaster response efforts, and create economic and social disasters in their wake.

Project 2025’s PragerU Partners With Schools Across the Country

Conservative media platform and Project 2025 member PragerU, which contrary to its name is not an accredited educational institution nor does it offer degrees of any kind, announced a partnership with Louisiana’s public education system on May 28, 2024, becoming the seventh state to collaborate with the organization on school curricula. 

In July 2023, Florida became the first state to approve PragerU curriculum, followed by Oklahoma, Montana, Texas, New Hampshire, and Arizona.

Founded by far-right conservative activist Dennis Prager, PragerU has been criticized for promoting a far-right agenda and presenting a biased version of American history that minimizes the impact of slavery, the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples, and other bigoted beliefs.

In a 2018 article entitled “Inside the Right-Wing YouTube Empire That’s Quietly Turning Millennials Into Conservatives,” Mother Jones wrote: “at PragerU, police are not biased against black men, and man-made climate change is debatable. You’ll find takes on animal rights (against), the $15 minimum wage (against), the gender wage gap (doesn’t exist), and why the South turned Republican (nothing to do with race).”

PragerU’s conservative bias is no secret, and their influence has mushroomed in recent years, with 3.27 million subscribers to their YouTube channel, and claiming seven billion views on their website. In 2023, the year Florida approved Prager’s curriculum for its well over three million K-12 students,  the tax-exempt organization reported revenues exceeding $68 million.

Prager presenters who host the organization’s videos come from all corners of the Project 2025 stratosphere, including RJ Pestritto and Michael Anton of Hillsdale College, Claremont Institute contributor Peachy Keenan, Heritage Foundation donor and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Jack Posobiec of Turning Point USA, Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate and Environment director and Project 2025 co-author Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Jason Isaac of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA, and numerous others.

And now the fight against the “radical left” has been fully embraced by the Pelican State. “Louisiana was the first state to adopt new, rigorous social studies standards that teach students about American exceptionalism and our quest for a more perfect union,” State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said. “This partnership will provide teachers with additional resources to help bring our Freedom Framework to life.”

The partnership has raised concerns about the influence of far-right ideologies in public education. Critics argue that PragerU’s materials present a one-sided, often misleading view of American history and social issues. 

Among those critics is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which objects to PragerU videos such as Where Are the Moderate Muslims?” and “Born to Hate Jews,” which denigrate the Muslim faith. 

“PragerU, which has a history of spreading ahistorical propaganda and Islamophobia, is not a reputable source of information about anything and has no place in public school curriculums,” CAIR Research and Advocacy Director Corey Saylor responded to Lousisiana’s embrace of the far-right propaganda organization in a May 29, 2024 statement. “Including PragerU content would create a dangerous and disruptive environment, especially for Black and Muslim students. We urge the Louisiana Department of Education to reject this partnership.”

PragerU is also teaching children to disregard LGBTQ+ rights, and in June began fundraising off of a new film featuring “detransitioners” to protest Pride Month. “Amidst a sea of rainbow flags and radical agendas, PragerU is determined to provide a much-needed alternate point of view this Pride Month and all year long,” reads a June 4, 2024 fundraising appeal. “Help us amplify their voices and reach more people with this important message by making a generous, tax-deductible donation today. Your support will allow us to spread the truth about the dangers of transgender ideology and ‘gender-affirming care.’”

Accordingly, the Louisiana GOP, which currently controls state government, has been working to eliminate diversity programs and limit discussions of racism and inequality in schools. Additionally, GOP lawmakers have recently passed a bill requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in all schools.

The increasing number of states choosing to partner with PragerU has raised questions about the influence of far-right ideologies on public education and shown that Project 2025’s Christian Nationalist agenda is already taking hold.

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