More Than Politics

More Than Politics

A podcast for those of us who want something more than what we've come to expect from politics -- and from our political discourse. Each week, More Than Politics will feature a conversation that helps put today’s politics in context, that honestly and charitably explores the issues of the day, that encourages us to engage in politics in a moral, even loving way. Hosted by Julie Varner Walsh, a former lobbyist for the Catholic Church, current mother of five / writer at www.thesewallsblog.com.... Show More

Episodes

March 4, 2021 37 min

In this week’s episode (the second of a two-part conversation) Julie Walsh talks with David Hancharik, an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 36 years. David and Julie discuss the controversy regarding free speech and “Big Tech” – the technology companies that make our internet and social media usage possible. 

In the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, social media companie...

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In this week’s episode Julie Walsh talks with David Hancharik, an electrical engineer who has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 36 years. David and Julie discuss the controversy regarding free speech and “Big Tech” – the technology companies that make our internet and social media usage possible. 

In the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, social media companies suspended accounts (President Trump’s ...

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In this episode Julie Varner Walsh talks with historian Dede Miller for the second part in a series on Reconstruction. Reconstruction was the period immediately following the Civil War, in which the Confederate south was brought back into the fold and millions of formerly enslaved people began to make their way in a new America.

While Reconstruction is perhaps less well-known to most Americans than slavery, Jim Crow, or the Civil Ri...

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Julie Walsh and Dr. Michael Towle discuss this moment of transition from one presidential administration to the next: the end of the Trump administration, including the Capitol insurrection and the president’s second impeachment – and the beginning of the Biden administration, including where our parties, our politics, and our country might be heading next.

Dr. Michael Towle is a professor in the Department of Political Science at M...

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In this episode Julie Varner Walsh talks with historian Dede Miller for the first part in a series on Reconstruction. Reconstruction was the period immediately following the Civil War, in which the Confederate south was brought back into the fold and millions of formerly enslaved people began to make their way in a new America.

While Reconstruction is perhaps less well-known to most Americans than slavery, Jim Crow, or the Civil Rig...

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Julie Varner Walsh goes solo for this episode, reflecting on the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as the 2020 election and its aftermath.

 

***

A onetime federal government employee, onetime lobbyist, and longtime student of politics, Julie Varner Walsh’s life has always centered around politics and her Catholic faith. And that has made for some strange combinations. Raised Republican, she worked mostly with De...

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In this episode Julie Varner Walks talks with singer/songwriter Kevin Heider. Kevin, who lives with his wife and four children in Dayton, Ohio, writes hymns, drinking songs, and everything in between. He has recently released an EP called Make An Honest Stand. 

A collection of six beautiful songs, Make An Honest Stand is perfect for this moment of political discord and cultural upheaval.

With lyrics that wrestle with our nation’s his...

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In this episode Julie Varner Walks talks with Meg Hunter-Kilmer on a topic that is more explicitly Catholic than others she’s covered – but which will also have something to offer listeners of different faiths, or no faith at all: stories of saints who lived in politically troubled times.

Given the divisiveness of the 2020 presidential election and how existentially threatening both sides seem to consider it, it’s good to take a lon...

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In this brief, bonus episode (which should have been posted a bit before the election -- c'est la vie), Julie Varner Walsh revisits a blog post she wrote in 2014. 

Adapting it a bit for the moment, Julie posts it to encourage any remaining reluctant voters to get on out there, even if it feels like your vote can't make a difference.

This bonus episode pairs well with last week's regular episode. So if you liked that one, ...

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This episode is a little different from our usual format. Instead of inviting on a friend to ask them questions, this time Julie Varner Walsh is joined by a friend who’s asking her the questions. In the run-up to election day, Julie and her friend Rita Buettner thought it would be helpful to do a round-up of topics that might be of interest to listeners just before the election.

They cover modes of voting, write-in and third-party ...

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In this episode Julie Varner Walsh talks with Laura Kelly Fanucci about how to talk to children about politics and current events. 

In their conversation, Julie and Laura discuss the importance of forming children’s consciences regarding political matters as well as personal. They talk about how to make big issues feel small and approachable, how to incorporate prayer into family discussions on politics and current events, and why p...

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In this episode Julie Walsh is again joined by her friend, Dr. Jill Scheibler, for a conversation about the presidential and vice-presidential debates, the president’s Covid diagnosis, the plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor, absentee voting (and the tallying of absentee votes). They also talk about polling: How polling works, what it’s been showing lately about the presidential race, and why we shouldn’t write it off.

Jill is a comm...

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Julie Walsh talks with Julia Harrell in her most freewheeling podcast conversation yet. They discuss some of the biggest challenges of our time – and then they dream about what a better world would look like. 

From democracy to education to the news media, Julie and Julia spend some time following Vaclev Havel’s advice: “[W]e must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a real...

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Julie Walsh and Abigail Benjamin discuss the life and legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the importance of good-hearted political debate and being willing to dissent from your peers, and Abigail’s experience of running for public office for the first time.

Abigail Benjamin is a lay Carmelite, a Catholic wife of 20 years, and a homeschooling mom to seven kids ages 17 to 2. She is an environmental and real estate lawyer in her small homet...

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Julie Walsh and Dr. Michael Towle discuss the concept of executive power – the power assigned by our constitution to the executive branch of government – and given to it (or taken by it), over more than two hundred years of muddling through the checks and balances instituted by our founders. 

At a time when the presidency seems to be growing ever more powerful, it’s good to stop and consider the history, and wonder about the future,...

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Julie Walsh and Dr. Linda Wansi discuss a topic that any good citizen – and especially any good Christian – should be willing to wrestle with: being open to the idea that we could be wrong.

From abortion to race to spiritual hang-ups in their own lives, the two discuss the work it takes to be honest with yourself in considering the idea that you could be wrong, and that you need to change. 

Such work is important in building up one’s...

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September 11, 2020 11 min

In this special, bonus episode, Julie Walsh commemorates the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. She was very near the tragedy that day – working in her office just a half-mile from the Pentagon when the plane struck the building. Julie has written a little about her experience over the years, and now that she’s podcasting, has decided to share her story here too.

 

Visit www.thesewallsblog.com/morethanpolitic...

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In this episode Julie Walsh is again joined by her friend, Dr. Jill Scheibler, for the second part of their conversation on the 2020 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Jill is a community psychologist, a college professor and research coordinator, an art therapist, and the cofounder and Operations & Program Director of the nonprofit Make Studio, which empowers artists with disabilities to grow as professionals with ...

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In this episode Julie Walsh is joined by her friend, Dr. Jill Scheibler. The two put on their amateur pundit hats to discuss the 2020 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Jill is a community psychologist, a college professor and research coordinator, an art therapist, and the co-founder and Operations & Program Director of the nonprofit Make Studio, which empowers artists with disabilities to grow as professionals wit...

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In this episode Julie Walsh talks with writer Leslie Sholly about the experience of being politically uncomfortable. The two enjoy a kinship of sorts: their political views are similar to one another, but make them outliers in their respective communities. 

Leslie, who lives in a conservative, southern, Republican state, identifies as a pro-life Democrat. And Julie, who lives in a liberal, east coast, Democratic state, finds herself...

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