Day: December 24, 2023

Background Briefing: December 24, 2023


As Christians Celebrate Christmas, a Christian Nationalist With a Smug and Sanctimonious Smile Wants to Undo the First Amendment

We begin on this Christmas Eve as Christians celebrate the birth of the prophet Jesus with an appraisal of the relationship between church and state made more precarious with the new House Speaker who is an ardent believer of historical fiction when it comes to the founder’s intent with the First Amendment, which, if Mike Johnson gets his way, could put us on a path towards intolerance and theocracy. Joining us is Anne Nelson, an author and lecturer in the fields of international affairs, media and human rights. As a journalist she covered the conflicts in El Salvador and Guatemala, and won the Livingston Award for best international reporting from the Philippines. She served as the director of the Committee to Protect Journalists and was the director of the international program at the Columbia School of Journalism where she created the first curriculum in human rights reporting. Her books include Red Orchestra: The Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler and Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris. Her latest book is Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, now out in an updated paperback version. And she will be speaking at the Palms Springs International Film Festival on January 10 about the new film, “BAD FAITH: Christian Nationalism’s War on Democracy,” which is based on her book Shadow Network.


What Could Bring Us Together Over the Holidays


Then we play an interview from our broadcast archives in October with Astra Taylor, a documentary filmmaker, writer, and political organizer. She is the director of What Is Democracy? and the author of Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions, Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone and the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is co-founder of the Debt Collective and her latest book is The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart. We discuss the threats to our democracy and what will bring us together as we celebrate the holidays.