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Extremely American

An inside look at Christian nationalism, a movement that aims to end American democracy as we know it and install theocracy, taking rights away from the vast majority of Americans in the process. Host Heath Druzin and James Dawson report on the movement through the story of an influential far-right church, its attempt to take over a small town and a dark underbelly of abuse.

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  • Helen Shores Peters is finished with headship. But she finds out that headship isn’t quite finished with her.
  • Helen Shores Peters was a true believer in patriarchal Christianity. She learned to be submissive to men in a fundamentalist school, got married at 20 and lived the life of an obedient wife for years. But eventually things started going terribly wrong.
  • Doug Wilson has gone from small town preacher to a leader in America’s Christian nationalist movement. Along the way he’s been equally good at attracting congregants and controversy. He’s never been shy about weighing in on divisive issues, but his take on slavery nearly got him chased out of town.
  • Christ Church is taking a novel approach to increasing their influence in Moscow. So far, they don't have the numbers to win elections, but they do have one resource: money. So the church and its members are buying up large swaths of the town. That's putting a lot of locals on edge.
  • In the season 2 premiere, of Extremely American: Pastor Doug Wilson leads Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho and he has a vision for the small college town: he wants to claim it for Jesus. And that's just the start. He and his allies want to make the whole country an explicitly Christian nation.
  • The Christian nationalist movement wants to make America a theocracy — a government under Biblical rule. Christ Church, embedded in a small, rural Idaho college town, is quickly gaining influence and political interest — but how did we get here?
  • Extremely American host Heath Druzin and reporter James Dawson break down the results of the Idaho and Ohio primaries where several characters from the podcast faced voters, and the larger meaning for far-right movements in America.
  • This week’s bonus episode is a conversation with Extremely American creator and host Heath Druzin about militias and other far-right movements. It was originally a Twitter Spaces hosted by NPR and Boise State Public Radio. Don’t worry, it’s not a recap of the podcast but rather a look forward with Heath, investigative journalist Dina Temple-Raston and extremism researcher Cristina López G.
  • The Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial captured militias’ attention like no other criminal case in recent memory.For them, Rittenhouse embodied the way they see themselves: protectors, keeping their communities from anarchy at the end of a rifle. His acquittal was seen as vindication for them and a green light to continue self-styled armed security.That worries a lot of people. But what’s more worrisome is the celebration of the killings at the heart of the case. The country is starting to get more comfortable with political violence and the Rittenhouse case might be just the beginning.
  • Former federal prosecutor Mary McCord is trying to put militias out of business and she’s got their attention. She’s working on a national strategy to get prosecutors and law enforcement to enforce anti-militia laws she says are on the books in every state. And it’s already starting to work. She won a lawsuit against militias who came to the deadly White supremacist Unite The Right rally in 2017. And now she’s suing a New Mexico Civil Guard militia for their role in an Albuquerque protest that turned violent and ended with a protester shot.
  • Jennifer Ellis has lost friends and received threats in her fight to get the Idaho GOP out of the grips of an increasingly far-right ideology. But she’s no liberal – she’s a conservative rancher who knows her way around firearms and has been a behind the scene player in GOP politics for years. Now she’s trying to pull her party back from its increasing coziness with militias, anti-vaxxers and other far-right groups.
  • Way up in the Northern Rockies there’s a sort of mythical 51st state. It’s called the American Redoubt and it encompasses Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Oregon and Washington. Adherents to its philosophy believe in a kind of theocratic limited government utopia, one with lots of guns. Alex Barron is the movement’s self-appointed “bard” and his rhetoric has all the violence of a Shakespearean tragedy.