by Tessa Landrum, Student Public Relations Writer
The relationship between faith and politics can be fraught with tension. Benjamin Mays and Jonny Gartner face the challenge head-on in their podcast “Cedar60.”
Mays and Gartner, sophomore political science majors at Cedarville University, wanted to provide more opportunities on campus for students to openly discuss political topics. A weekly panel discussion with several peers in the department of history and government quickly evolved into the “Cedar60” podcast.
“We have an opportunity to enter the public square and talk about politics, but also explore how political issues should be addressed by Christians,” said Gartner from Sunbury, Ohio.
Mays added that “Cedar60” does not merely discuss politics for the sake of politics.
“As Christians, we realize that there’s more than just politics. It’s about culture,” said Mays from Middletown, Ohio. “And we recognize that the culture will only change through the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ — the gospel.”
“Cedar60” keeps the gospel at the forefront of every discussion they facilitate by looking at current issues through a biblical lens. “The gospel should frame how we view politics,” said Gartner.
To accomplish this goal, Gartner, Mays, and their team are utilizing the invaluable resource of Cedarville professors.
“We have so many wonderful and highly qualified people on campus with great insight,” said Mays.
The podcast has featured several Cedarville professors, including Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Studies, and Sandi Wagner, instructor of social work. They have addressed issues like domestic violence, social media, the judicial system, and the 2020 presidential election.
In the next few semesters, Gartner and Mays hope to expand and address other topics that interest the Cedarville student body.
“We recognize that a lot of students on campus aren’t history and government majors and are interested in different things,” said Gartner. “So maybe we address cybersecurity, health care reform, or international missions.”
Recognizing that political topics can be divisive, even in Christian circles, both Mays and Gartner are committed to discussing current issues on the common ground found in Jesus Christ.
“The gospel is the common denominator that unifies Christians and makes us the light of the world,” said Mays. “Without it, we’re nothing more than a bell ringing in the night.”
“Cedar60” is available for download on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.