Day: December 24, 2022

Background Briefing: December 25, 2022


The Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign on How We Treat the Least Among Us on the Birthday of Jesus Christ

We begin on this Christmas Day and speak with someone who is following in the footsteps of the prophet Jesus whose birthday is celebrated today. Although many Americans who call themselves “Christians” are influenced by televangelists who preach the prosperity gospel, it is clear from the New Testament that Jesus ministered to the poor and was the equivalent of a community organizer if not a left-wing revolutionary working for social justice in the Roman empire, activism for which he was crucified. Joining us is The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Chair with Reverend William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and the Co-Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice. Having spent the past two decades organizing amongst the poor in the United States, she is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor and We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign, co-authored with Reverend William Barber. We discuss her article at Tom Dispatch, “Dreams of Democracy This Christmas.”


A Warning From the Son of the Founder of the Religious Right About the Dangerous Heresy of Christian Nationalism

Then looking further into Christianity on this Christian holiday on Christmas Day in a divided country in which Christianity itself is divided, we will speak with the son of the founders of the Religious Right who worked with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. However he felt increasingly alienated, and experienced a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure from the evangelical movement. Joining us is Frank Schaeffer, a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen fiction and nonfiction books. Frank is a survivor of an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood who became an acclaimed writer. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Women Business Collaborative, and his mémoire Crazy for God, which NPR’s Terry Gross called, “a very important book,” is used as a textbook in history of religion classes and courses in comparative religion and sociology in public and private universities. Frank’s three semi-autobiographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission, Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma, have been translated into nine languages. He podcasts at In Conversation… with Frank Schaeffer, a series which features interviews with Artists, Activists, Authors, and Political and Business Leaders.