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84 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Episode 11: A White Evangelical Explains His Support for Donald Trump w/ Luke Moon
Luke Moon is the Deputy Director of The Philos Project– an organization that promotes positive Christian engagement in the Middle East. Prior to that, Luke served as business manager for the Institute on Religion & Democracy, and was a missionary with Youth with a Mission for 12 years. Luke has lived, worked, and taught in over 45 countries, and has advocated on a number of human rights issues along the way. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations and an MA in Global Politics from Regent University. Luke is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.In this installment of Theolitics, Luke explains why he voted for Donald Trump– the decision based on its own terms but also when compared to the alternative, Hillary Clinton. Luke admits he's sympathetic (and civil) to NeverTrumpers in their rejection of Donald Trump. However, he responsibly differentiates support for Trump versus support for the policies Trump implemented. We also discuss Donald Trump's ability to speak the language of a significant number of people who voted for him in 2016 and 2020. Often ridiculed, his language and style was that which his supporters could understand. Knowing this, Trump also spoke on their behalf. This group includes Latinos and working class men–a group largely ignored or forgotten. In the end, Luke offers his observation and analysis as to what Evangelicals can and must do in the post-Trump age.
87 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Episode 10: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Covenant (Race and Covenant) with Dr. James Patterson
Dr. James Patterson is associate professor of politics at Ave Maria University where he teaches courses in American politics, media, religion, and political philosophy. He is author of Religion in the Public Square: Sheen, King, Falwell. In this installment, Dr. Patterson and I discuss his chapter on Martin Luther King in Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation. We discuss why people refer to Martin Luther King as "Doctor" rather than "Reverend." We also discuss King's fidelity to the Social Gospel and how that influenced his understanding of economics. Dr. Patterson then explains why Rev. King doesn't fit so neatly into the ideological categories of the right or the Left. Dr. Patterson then distinguishes King's understanding of the Hebraic-Christian heritage, how it differs from Judeo-Christian values, and how it influenced his understanding of both the Beloved Community and the National Covenant. We then get into David Garrow's revelations of King's personal life and how King's frequent transgressions undermined his moral authority. In light of these revelations, Dr. Patterson suggests that we should appreciate what Rev. King accomplished in his public ministry of civil rights. However, we should just as easily reject the temptation to sanctify him as a whole.
39 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
Episode 9: Race and School Choice (Race and Covenant) with Robert Woodson
Robert L. Woodson, Sr. is the founder and president of the Woodson Center. He is a frequent advisor to local, state, and federal government officials as well as business and philanthropic organizations. He is the author or editor of several books including On the Road to Economic Freedom: An Agenda for Black Progress , The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers Are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhood , and Lessons from the Least of These: The Woodson Principles, which was released Tuesday, December 15th. Mr. Woodson is also the founding member of 1776 Unites– an initiative focused on “building a positive movement in response to the destructive narratives of oppression, grievance and ignorance to America’s history — and its promise for the future.”In this installment, Mr. Woodson and I discuss his chapter in Race and Covenant, titled “Race and School Choice.” Mr. Woodson explains the importance of school choice – particularly to blacks in inner cities. He also explains the chasm between middle class blacks and lower class blacks and how blacks in the middle class rarely help or seek the best interests of blacks in the lower class. Mr. Woodson then explains that his experience has shown that improving the black quality of life in inner cities is contingent upon using people who are indigenous to these communities and why.Lastly, Mr. Woodson briefly discusses the importance of his new book.
56 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Episode 8: Race and Economics: The Question of Human Agency (Race and Covenant) with Dr. William B. Allen
Dr. William B. Allen is emeritus Dean and Professor at Michigan State University. Prior to that, he served as Director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and as Dean and Professor at James Madison College of Michigan State University. Currently, he's scholar in residence at University of Colorado Boulder. He is the author of Rethinking Uncle Tom: The Political Thought of Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Washington: America's First Progressive, The Federalist Papers: A Commentary, The Essential Anti-Federalist, and Let the Advice Be Good: A Defense of Madison's Democratic Nationalism. In this episode, Dr. Allen and I discuss his chapter, "Race and Economics: The Question of Human Agency" in the book, Race and Covenant. Dr. Allen explains his critique of Rev. Martin Luther King’s observations and socio-economic recommendations in his book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Dr. Allen laments that as a result of black history, many people judge blacks differently than their multiethnic counterparts. Blacks are judged or held to a separate and lower standard than their peers, which has the effect of excusing inexcusable behaviors. He also discusses King's misunderstanding of economics regarding the new, post-civil rights opportunities for blacks. He compares King's economic agenda with Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass' plans for black advancement.Dr. Allen then explains how external intervention and dependency compromises black agency and the ability to determine their own fates.
51 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Episode 7: White Evangelical Support for Donald Trump: Historically Consistent
In this episode, the Austere Religious Scholar discusses white Evangelical support for Donald Trump. We define the term "evangelical" and then show why the percentage of white Evangelicals that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 was in line with historical support by white Evangelicals of Republican presidential candidates.– We then discuss why white Evangelicals were singled out, ridiculed, and disparaged as well as the sanctimony behind the condemnations;– We discuss why black Christians weren't held to the same moral and religious standards as their white Evangelical counterparts in their support for Barack Obama, despite him holding anti-biblical, anti-Christian beliefs;– We speculate if Catholics who voted for Biden, despite him holding anti-Catholic beliefs– and being denied Communion because of them– will be subjected to the condemnation experienced by white Evangelicals;– We discuss the different standards that exist between whites and blacks. This difference communicates that blacks are still not seen as equal to their multiethnic counterparts. This informal acknowledgement of racial inequality has negative implications on reconciliation and redemption.
70 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Episode 6: American Churches and the National Covenant (Race and Covenant Series) with Mark Tooley
Mark Tooley is the president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) and editor of IRD’s foreign policy and national security journal, Providence. He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church (2010), Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century (2012), and The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War (2015). In this episode, Mark and I discusses his chapter, "American Churches and the National Covenant" from the book, Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation.Mark explains the national covenant, and why Christians on the left and Christians on the right interpret the view of national covenant in different ways. He also explains the Social Gospel, its evolution toward social justice and how this development influences progressive Christians to critique national covenant language. This critique from the Christian left, doesn't mean it has totally disabused covenantal language; it simply has a different formulation of it. For example, the Christian left talks about racism being America’s “original sin” (as Jim Wallis likes to say). It claims that the country is systemically, structurally, or institutionally racist. It claims that there are multiple, intersectional ways that America continues to subjugate underrepresented “minorities.” Former President Barack Obama said “racism is in this country’s DNA…” Consequently, the religious left has devised a bewildering network of methods to try and overcome this racialized “sin”– a cleansing and absolution of racial transgressions, attempting to redeem the nation’s moral authority. However, in this quasi-religious formulation, equipped with moral terminology, God is absent from the entire strategy and so is Jesus. We discuss why. Lastly, Mark explains what both American churches and white evangelicals can do in pursuit of interracial reconciliation and redemption of relationships.
68 minutes | Dec 2, 2020
Episode 5: Race and Covenant with Dr. Gerald McDermott
Dr. McDermott is the editor of an important new book– published by the Acton Institute in October– called, Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation. In this episode, Dr. McDermott and I discuss the motivations behind his decision to explore America's racial challenges– deliberately from spiritual, religious, and theological perspectives. He describes the concept of national covenant– providing a number of examples from both the Bible and American history to show how pervasive the idea once was. Dr. McDermott also demonstrates how the national covenant is involved with America’s racial problems and they ways the covenant has been violated, with respect to the racial challenges America faces. Dr. McDermott then distinguishes Race and Covenant from other books on race. His book rejects the pessimism that the country continues to be systemically racist while at the same time rejecting the underlying presumptions that white racism is America’s only racial problem and that government mandated policies and monetary redistribution, or special dispensations for blacks, are the best pathway forward. Lastly, Dr. McDermott highlights some of the contributors and their chapters in Race and Covenant.
69 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Episode 4: Christianity, Racism, and Black Lives Matter w/ Marc LiVecche (Providencemag.com)
Derryck Green, “Black Lives Matter: The Ideological Heir to Black Power” and “America Isn’t Evil: God Defeats Racism“ Shelby Steele: The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race In America; A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom In America; White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era. John McWhorter: Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America; Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America; Thomas Sowell: Intellectuals and Race; Intellectuals and Society; Discrimination and Disparities Walter E. Williams: Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?; The State Against Blacks; Up From the Projects: An Autobiography; Glenn Loury: “The Glenn Show” (Blogging Heads TV) Ibram X. Kendi: How to Be an Antiracist. Derryck Green suggests this so people get an idea of what the new religion of anti-racism & Critical Race Theory is and how it works itself out in academia and culture. Coleman Hughes is an author at Quillette & City Journal. He has some fascinating pieces there.
73 minutes | May 22, 2020
EPISODE 3: Joe Biden's Black Agenda
Biden’s Plan for Black America: expanded government intervention into the lives of American blacks. The plan reinforces government dependency, stifles ingenuity, and further disempowers blacks. It also ensures blacks continue to receive substandard schooling and fewer economic opportunities that can be blamed on structural racism.
41 minutes | May 6, 2020
EPISODE 2: David French's Reaction to White Evangelicals
Discussing one of David French's articles on the Dispatch about how he thinks Evangelicals have abandoned character and competence.
55 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
EPISODE 1: Theolitics Rebrand; Black Churches (Christians) and Racial Reconciliation
Brief update about the rebranding and relaunching of the Theolitics podcast. I discuss my chapter, "Black Churches and the National Covenant" in a forthcoming book entitled, "Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation."This extended discussion was prompted by my appearance on the Via Media's podcast with host, Dr. Gerald McDermott, formerly of Beeson Divinity school at Samford University.
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