In today’s age, there is a podcast on almost anything. Do you want a serial drama about supernatural events occurring in a town? Try “King Falls AM” or “Welcome to Night Vale.” Do you want the latest Star Wars gossip and fan-theories? Try “Fangirls Going Rogue” or “Unmistakably Star Wars.” If you’re interested in politics, try NPR.
Podcasts provide a space to gain information and be entertained. Enter communications professor, here at Greenville, Matt Bernico. Bernico is the co-host of the Magnificast, a podcast about Christianity and leftist politics. So, are you interested in a podcast about the combination of religion and politics? Are you unsure if you would like this type of podcast? Here’s an interview with the host!
Q: How did you first get into podcasting in general?
A: I like to listen to them, so I made one. It’s also kind of part of my job at Greenville. A lot of my classes make podcasts, so it seemed like a natural extension of what I’m doing here.
Q: In a few short words, sell your podcast. What is it about and why should people listen?
A: It is a podcast about Christianity and leftist politics. People should listen because it’s the only one that exists. There’s no other podcast [that I know of] about the same thing. Sometimes other podcasts drift toward it but not very often.
Q: Who is your co-host and how did you guys meet?
A: My co-host’s name is Dean Dettloff. Dean is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. We met on a website called Reddit. The first time we ever encountered each other was on the Christianity subreddit. After that, someone else started a subreddit called Radical Christianity and that’s where we got to be better friends.
Q: Dean is a Catholic and you’re a protestant. How does this influence your conversation?
A: It influences the conversations in that we have a way wider scope of things to talk about. I really appreciate Dean’s Catholicism because he’s really well read in Catholic theology, for the most part. Not only can we talk about the general currents in Christianity, but we can also about lots historical stuff like popes and saints.
Q: How do you split up your responsibilities (i.e. coming up with content, editing, etc.)?
A: It’s completely ad hoc. I think it works so well because Dean and I are [really good] friends. If there is a topic we want to do, one of us will just say, “we should do a topic on this.” If we’re both excited about it, then we do it. When it comes to editing, whoever has free time.
Q: Your Twitter bills your podcast as one about Christianity and leftist politics. Why did you decide this as your focal point? (Basically, why not “another” pop culture podcast? Why does this subject deserve a listen?)
A: We knew from the beginning this is what we were going to do. So, the impetus for this podcast came after Trump was elected president. Right after the election, we were seeing our [Christian, liberal, or left-leaning] friends not feeling great about the world. And we wanted to find ways to energize them to be more engaged with leftist ideologies to counter the Trumpist hegemony. We wanted to mobilize people and sort of radicalize people even more in such a politically contentious time.
Q: What is your favorite episode or favorite guest that you’ve had on the show?
A: We just put out the 32nd episode. The episode we put out today was about Christianity and Catholicism in post-revolution Cuba. It’s called Fidel and Religion. The episode we put out right before that one is about Venezuela. It was an interview we got to do with this really brilliant scholar named George Ciccariello-Maher. He’s a guy who teaches at Drexel in Philadelphia, but at the moment he’s been suspended from his teaching post because right-wing neo-Nazis have been targeting him. So, we got to talk to him about Venezuela and the socialist government there.
If a Christian-centered leftist podcast is something you are interested in, then the Magnificast is for you! To listen to episodes, you can find the show on iTunes and Soundcloud. You can also follow the Magnificast on Twitter for more updates and information.