Providence is a journal of Christianity and American foreign policy equipping the American mind to engage the real world.
Episode #56 | From Kenosha to “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (Marc LiVecche & Keith Pavlischek)
In this episode of the ProvCast recorded on September 10, executive editor Marc LiVecche speaks with senior editor Keith Pavlischek about a variety of themes that emerge from an initial discussion of the Kyle Rittenhouse shootings in Kenosha. Topics include vigilantism versus just force, contextual factors—such as provocation—that complicate easy claims about self-defense, and the responsibilities of proper authorities to secure justice. Along the way, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," and American Western films in general, makes a germane segue—and preps the way for future episodes.
Episode #55 | Religious Freedom in the Middle East after Genocide (Nadine Maenza)
In this episode, Nadine Maenza talks about religious freedom issues in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria where the Yazidis suffered genocide starting six years ago. First, she explains the role of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), of which she is vice-chairman, and how its operations differ from the US State Department. Then she reviews what the Islamic State (ISIS) did to the Yazidis during the genocide and how this group and other religious minorities, including Iraqi Christians, suffer. Maenza explains how the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil treat these religious minorities differently and how those groups feel about the authorities. She also discusses problems other religious minorities there face and how the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) causes problems. USCIRF recommended the US place Iraq on a special watch list, Maenza reviews what the US government and her organization can do.
Then Nadine Maenza and Mark Melton talk about the situation in northeast Syria and some good news in that region for religious minorities. They close out their conversation by talking about other countries that have problems with religious liberty, but they also talk about success stories, specifically in Uzbekistan, whose government came to USCIRF and tried to improve their laws for religious groups. From this, Maenza and Melton conclude by talking about how some countries, like China, have nefarious motivations for why they persecute religious minorities, whereas other countries are either incompetent or don’t know how to use their laws to improve the situation for those groups.
To continue learning about the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, please visit their website here: https://www.uscirf.gov/
Or follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/USCIRF
Those who want to learn more about Iraq can read USCIRF’s annual report for the country here: https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Iraq.pdf
And can read about Syria here: https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Syria.pdf
Listeners can read Maenza’s op-ed about Yazidis in Iraq here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/agony-of-yazidis-extends-to-sixth-anniversary-of-their-genocide
And can follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nadinemaenza
Episode #54 | Don’t Confuse Liberalism And Progressivism (Paul D. Miller)
A couple months ago, Providence contributor Paul D. Miller complained on Twitter about people confused liberalism and progressivism. In this episode hosted by Mark Melton, he explains how the two concepts are different. He specifically makes the case that conservatives wrongly blame liberalism for the excesses of progressivism. He then explains what classical liberalism is, and how this idea can be the solution for the problems progressivism creates. Miller also reviews what he calls “Augustinian liberalism,” which uses the ideas of St. Augustine as a grounding for liberalism, instead of Enlightenment ideas. Miller and Melton then talk about how federalism and localism can help alleviate problems America faces—including the fear that, if “our” side loses a national or presidential election, the country’s over. In fact, he says allowing more federalism and letting subcultures flourish would increase national cohesion, whereas enforcing a common national identity, whether a left-wing or right-wing version, would increase national strife. Miller also reviews viewpoint neutrality, cancel culture, participation in local government, and more.
To read Miller’s articles about Augustinian liberalism, see https://providencemag.com/2019/09/augustinian-liberalism-symposium/ and https://providencemag.com/2019/09/augustine-of-hippo-christian-democrat/
His other works for Providence are available here: https://providencemag.com/authors/paul-d-miller/
Other articles and podcasts by Mark Melton are available here: https://providencemag.com/authors/mark-melton/
Episode #53 | Caught in the Crossfire: Japan's Geopolitical Role (Joshua Walker)
In this episode of the Foreign Policy ProvCast, Joshua Walker speaks with Mark Melton about Japan’s global role, especially as the rivalry between the United States and China intensifies.
The last time Walker spoke for Providence, he was in the process of leaving the Eurasia Group to become the president of the Japan Society, so he talks about his new organization’s projects and mission. Then he describes the role Japan has played in East Asia since the end of the Second World War and the role the country can play now as the world moves from a transatlantic century to a transpacific century.
News came out last week that lawmakers in Japan are pushing for the country to have the right to strike missile-launch sites in North Korea and China, but Walker explains why these headlines are misleading. He also discusses Japan’s Self Defense Forces and the prospects of the country changing its constitution so that it can have a more normalized military force and presence.
Then Melton and Walker talk about how America’s alliance with both South Korea and Japan has traditionally provided stability for the region and the current status of those relationships. The two also cover how Japan is caught in the crossfire of the US-China rivalry, along with how the people of Japan view both countries.
Walker finishes with analysis about what might happen with US-Japan relations if Joe Biden becomes president, how Shinzo Abe has been able to manage relations well with Donald Trump, and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the 2020 Olympics in Japan to happen in 2021 instead.
Episode #52: Racism and the Church (Trillia Newbell)
Providence has recently published a few articles about race and racism after the murder of George Floyd, and in this episode of the ProvCast Trillia Newbell speaks about a Christian perspective on racism, the imago Dei, practical ways Christians can respond to racism, and hope for the future.
Newbell is the director of community outreach for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention, an acquisitions editor for Moody Publishers, and the author of multiple books—including "Sacred Endurance: Finding Grace and Strength for a Lasting Faith," "United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity," and "If God Is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation."
CNN recently interviewed her for an article about racism and the church, which can be found here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/10/us/white-black-christians-racism-burke/index.html
Episode #51: Confrontations with China — on Huawei, COVID-19, and More (Michael Sobolik)
Michael Sobolik, a fellow in Indo-Pacific Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC, speaks with Mark Melton about recent developments in China. In particular, Sobolik explains new revelations that the Chinese Communist Party is forcing Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang to have sterilizations and abortions, which he wrote about in Newsweek. They also talk about the United Kingdom banning Huawei from building Britain’s 5G network. Sobolik lays out why the United States opposes Huawei on this and what other countries may ban the company from their networks. He wrote about this issue in a report for the American Foreign Policy Council. The two also discuss the importance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and how this affects geopolitics and US foreign policy. Sobolik also describes what China did to cover up the COVID-19 pandemic and the Chinese Communist Party’s misinformation campaign, which he also covered in The Diplomat and The Hill. Sobolik and Melton also talk about developments in Hong Kong, including the possibility the US and UK will accept refugees from there, and why the US declared this week that it does not recognize China’s claims to offshore resources in the South China Sea.
Sobolik’s articles on these topics can be found here:
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thoughtful interviews on Christianity and foreign policy
Good guests. Thoughtful questions. Would give it 4 stars but the sound quality is often poor.