Andy Miller III
Cover Image for Putin, Just War, and Ukraine with Marc LeVecche

Putin, Just War, and Ukraine with Marc LeVecche

February 25, 2022

Yesterday I recorded an interview that I had been set up for a while. It was a conversation with just war scholar, Dr. Marc LeVecche. I couldn't have predicted the timing when I reached out to Marc a few months ago. Consequently, our conversation on just war theory was applied to this global situation. I am posting this conversation ahead of schedule and in place of next week's podcast.

While this interview is more academic than pastoral, our prayers are with the people of Ukraine these days. As Marc said in this interview, we understand know who will win at the end of the day. You can find the links here.

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Well we're here at the more to the story podcast and i'm delighted to have mark lucky on the podcast with me, he is the McDonald distinguished scholar for Ethics war and public life at the Providence journal.

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Andy Miller III: Which is connected to the Institute on religion and democracy mark, welcome to the podcast.

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Marc LiVecche: Great to be here, thank you for having me.

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Andy Miller III: Well i've appreciated the work i've seen from you, for a couple of years now there's not many people who kind of crossover into the theological space and biblical space and are talking about public life.

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Andy Miller III: And from a just war perspective so imagine this has generated a lot of friends for you.

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Marc LiVecche: Complete everybody's in complete agreement with me they're so happy that i'm doing what i'm doing.

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Andy Miller III: it's right.

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Andy Miller III: Nobody disagrees it's such a.

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Andy Miller III: Peaceful field.

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Andy Miller III: To enter into so many conflicts oriented something easy.

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Andy Miller III: There you go well and there's not many like to even describe yourself as a just war scholar somebody who's thinking about public public policy from a scaly perspective and you're you're not necessarily a politician so.

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Andy Miller III: Tell me about this field like, how can, how do you become a just war scholar.

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Marc LiVecche: Oh, how do you become one.

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Marc LiVecche: I became one through a case study of the Holocaust.

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Marc LiVecche: Okay, if you want to go way back.

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Marc LiVecche: You know me, you know, I was raised in a in a you know cause I Catholic household.

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Marc LiVecche: Okay right, you know but mostly Easter Christmas going to church attendance that sort of thing none of it really took.

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Marc LiVecche: But I had a strong sense of justice, I go all the way back to a memory, when I was about four years old and.

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Marc LiVecche: walked out down the stairs in my house in Michigan and my dad was watching TV and on screen, there was a man who.

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Marc LiVecche: You know very matted hair big tangled beard and doing some sort of back breaking Labor and I now realize, he was doing galley work he was in a slave ship, you know rolling.

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Marc LiVecche: And the man was scary so I asked my dad you know wise man and chains and my dad says well he's a thief he stole something and they caught him and they put him in.

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Marc LiVecche: Prison and at four years old this made complete sense to me, I thought, what you do something wrong you get caught you get punished, you know, the world is is it ought to be, and so I said he's a bad man, and I remember my father kind of sizing me up and he said well.

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Marc LiVecche: He stole bread, because his family was hungry and he couldn't find work, although we tried and in order to end they're hungry broke broke a bakery store window stole the bread and he was caught and put in prison for it and ended up spending 20 years of his life there.

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Marc LiVecche: And so I had what I now consider the first great intellectual responsive my life I burst into tears I ran upstairs or crawled under my bed, and I I cried which I, which I still defend is a completely appropriate thing for a four year old to do when their innocence, has now been shattered.

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Andy Miller III: Right right.

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Marc LiVecche: And you know, of course, if you know if you're a ton of listeners probably know that that's the story of les miserables and john builds on and all of that so ahead, I stuck around.

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Marc LiVecche: Probably most of my childhood would have been a little bit happier, but I didn't stick around for that at the end of the story, it just saw that bit.

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Marc LiVecche: And it jostled me.

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Marc LiVecche: And I didn't think this then, but since then i've been given a paradigm, maybe to to analyze what I had experienced and it's been called the naive impression of evil, and some people have read my stuff they probably read about.

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Marc LiVecche: writing about this, but then I even pressure isn't a pejorative like we use Termini even our days and it's an original sort of understanding naive simply meant something that was untutored or on taught something you didn't need to learn, you simply nine.

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Marc LiVecche: Right, and so there is a naive impression to evil it's sort of like the the sudden shutter one feels a cold.

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Marc LiVecche: Right and what did I even impression dictates, is that you are suddenly aware that what ought not to be is and we can call this evil you're aware of what ought not to be is you're aware that you prefer what ought to be.

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Marc LiVecche: And you want somebody to remedy it.

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Marc LiVecche: And I experienced all those three things sitting in the basement in in you know my childhood home I didn't couldn't ever ticket.

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Marc LiVecche: That was there you fast forward i'm a college student I think i'm an atheist, maybe an agnostic I don't know but I foolishly for an atheist, who wants to hold on to his atheism I started to study the Holocaust.

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Marc LiVecche: interest and.

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Andy Miller III: As I hate trying to like prove the you know that God doesn't exist.

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Marc LiVecche: that's insightful it became that a little bit.

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Marc LiVecche: I started to.

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Marc LiVecche: hear i'm going to start because I don't know.

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Marc LiVecche: Probably later right.

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Marc LiVecche: um but I will say, all the way through high school into college, I was always interested in in as a heavy reader.

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Marc LiVecche: And I typically was drawn toward stories about life at the margins, so you know, combat memoirs would probably you know began to predate some of my my military interests.

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Marc LiVecche: You know life in prison and concentration camps these sorts of things so when an opportunity to study the Holocaust full time for an interim that was going to be several hours a day for a month when that opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it.

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Marc LiVecche: It became a way of torturing my Christian friends, because I would say to them that the existence of Auschwitz poses seemingly insurmountable problems for your theism.

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Marc LiVecche: But, over the course of studying Auschwitz, I had a wise and belligerent Christian friend who challenged me that i'd have the categories to adjudicate between good and evil I didn't have the categories to adjudicate between right and wrong and it's just my opinion versus Nazi opinion.

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Marc LiVecche: And you know I I had no cause to shake my fist at Auschwitz and say God damn this, although that's what I said and, and I say that not to horrify your listeners.

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Marc LiVecche: As a confession.

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Marc LiVecche: That was the unwitting prayer of an atheist, I wanted something to condemn this thing and I wanted my fist shaking it Auschwitz, to say something about I wish wits and not about me or just to help me right, I wanted it to be objective.

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Marc LiVecche: And my Christian friend who was a biology professor at St OLAF college john G, and he.

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Marc LiVecche: He convinced me that I had no categories to hate Auschwitz, so I sometimes say I became a Christian, because I wanted to hate well.

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Marc LiVecche: wow.

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Marc LiVecche: And what I discovered was that, unlike the bar that I threw it my Christian friends, if the existence of Auschwitz poses seemingly insurmountable problems for your theism what I discovered was that my hatred, but the existence of Auschwitz poses truly insurmountable problems for my atheism.

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Andy Miller III: wow.

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Marc LiVecche: You know I became a Christian eventually that's still took some time.

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Marc LiVecche: But in the course you're going to.

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Andy Miller III: realize the existence of the moral law.

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Marc LiVecche: No absolutely.

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Andy Miller III: In that, in itself, like the foundation for having any morality in the universe that wasn't just subjective.

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Marc LiVecche: It all suddenly made sense, the fact that you walk up a man for stealing bread to feed his family and all the injustices that were wrapped around that.

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Marc LiVecche: The treatment of you know, everyday basic and considerations toward other people, the whole bit of it.

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Marc LiVecche: All of it began to make sense when you looked at it originally through something like a natural all filter and then eventually through the Gospels.

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Marc LiVecche: And the fact that you know, there was a remedy, and then I wouldn't be the remedy, no matter how strong are powerful and winsome or whatever I could become I wouldn't be the remedy to that.

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Marc LiVecche: But I become a Christian and I had fled overseas after college graduation partially try to get away from the Gospel I hadn't read you know anything about jonah I didn't know you couldn't.

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Marc LiVecche: see me them escape God.

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Marc LiVecche: But I tried, so I go to Slovakia and in the course of being in Slovakia, I began, I became a Christian I started.

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Marc LiVecche: working at this foundation that was run by a bunch of old Bible smugglers and one of the things we would do is to take people up through Auschwitz Birkenau which was just a four and a half hour drive away.

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Marc LiVecche: And in the course of taking some Christian groups through Auschwitz, they would wonder allowed with Christians all to do about political evil, because after all we're pacifists.

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Marc LiVecche: And there's nothing that seems practical in response to truly political evil, and I remember i'm a young Christian and I had already gotten over the trauma of thinking, I couldn't have a beer with my dad.

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Marc LiVecche: But now i'm confronted with the possibility that all of a sudden, I might have to be a pacifist i'm like ah, so I studied this and I discovered, much to my sort of truculent.

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Marc LiVecche: You know relief that's not the that's not the only Christian option and arguably, not even the predominant Christian options I ran into this thing called the just for tradition.

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Marc LiVecche: We target that yes, in fact, you, you can and, in fact, you ought to respond to political evil, but you can't do it just any old way.

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Marc LiVecche: there's a there's a carefully prescribed way that one all to do that that's consistent with loving your enemies and here's what it is and so that's that's a very long answer to a very short question but that's how he became a just were scholar.

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Andy Miller III: Yes, so interesting so like I look think about this idea, even this naive understanding of evil.

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Andy Miller III: being connected like and the odds of the universe like.

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Andy Miller III: That the universe ought to be a certain way, that this is.

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Andy Miller III: A part of the moral.

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Andy Miller III: fabric of ordering It reminds me to have even alien planet guys discussion of a basic belief in God, like in a similar way that we have a basic belief in morality.

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Andy Miller III: That there's also.

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Andy Miller III: there's a basic understanding that's intuitive to folks and so he's built a whole whole system around that and I think it's like a very similar idea.

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Andy Miller III: here's The interesting thing where did where did that then turn to actual I want to get into what just war theory is.

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Andy Miller III: But where did that turn into actual academic study for you.

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Marc LiVecche: yeah good question, so I had a BA in literature i'm over in Slovakia.

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Marc LiVecche: I went there for a year, I stayed for 12.

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Marc LiVecche: And in the course of that you know I began to realize, you know, probably someday I want to be married probably someday I should be able to feed my children, so you start to think a little bit more practically I think I was living on at most over those 12 years.

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Marc LiVecche: I was a little $700 a month right it's just a it was a great place to be poor.

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Marc LiVecche: And so, and I also realized in the course of teaching at this Institute, where we did a lot of theological instruction in this fashion a little bit like a library.

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Marc LiVecche: In that could come to us ask questions do their own research but we had a kind of a prescribed curriculum and there's just a lot of gaps in my theological knowledge.

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Marc LiVecche: And so I did a distance learning course did an ma and systematic and historical theology at wheaton and over the course of doing that ran into a book by Richard Hayes the moral vision of the new test.

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Andy Miller III: Right.

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Marc LiVecche: And ran into the chapter on.

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Marc LiVecche: Chapter I guess on war or no chapter on violence but, but essentially war.

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Marc LiVecche: and

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Marc LiVecche: You had a very strong reaction against it, wrote a term paper against it, I began to realize that one you know i've got some pretty strong views of pacifism just war.

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Marc LiVecche: political ethics military ethics and then just receiving a lot of positive feedback from professors saying you know what this This seems to be your thing you should consider this and that led to.

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Marc LiVecche: Wanting to go back to Eastern Europe, but I was in Chicago finishing up the ma we had a son at the time, my wife and I young boy.

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Marc LiVecche: so open to what the future was so just in case academic work was in my future I said a couple applications wonder gene def gail stay and he was just were scholar public theologian at the University of Chicago.

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Marc LiVecche: And long the whole got into the University of Chicago and that was that they offered a good deal and it made sense to stay an opportunity to study with her was not to be missed.

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Andy Miller III: I recognize her name i'll admit.

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Andy Miller III: That I don't always know how to pronounce it.

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Marc LiVecche: I pronounce a gene beth DL shane i've heard it's been pronounced, a number of ways I think she said enough detail today but.

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Andy Miller III: i'll trust you on that.

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Andy Miller III: So this tradition, many people would say, and it seems like a popular thing kind of like red letter Christianity comes out and there's a.

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Andy Miller III: Nice emphasis in youth ministry, with people like Tony can polo and then followed up by somebody like shane claiborne and then it made its way into even my seminary curriculum, not at Wesley biblical seminary just say no, but that there's like this.

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Andy Miller III: kind of intellectual side of that tradition comes from somebody like Stanley how Ross will will amend this is kind of like the.

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Andy Miller III: But, but more Stanley our was like the kind of proponent in my tradition in the kind of broad Western tradition.

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Andy Miller III: Of a pacifist position and I think that that's incredibly popular I think there's a lot of like more popular voices that.

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Andy Miller III: seem to say, well, this is what Jesus did Jesus wouldn't want to hurt our enemies like what's the deal, and so I just curious what is, I mean, how is it people will say, probably to this, I have.

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Andy Miller III: People have already responded me when I say anything just war there's no such thing so talk to me about just war theory.

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Marc LiVecche: yeah so okay so there's a lot there i'll go through the theory and then, if there's follow up questions on stand and other folks we can we can jump into those some.

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Marc LiVecche: So you know look every every great civilization and probably most lesser civilizations, from time immemorial have recognized that when they send their sons and sometimes daughters off to war to kill and risk being killed there ought to be some sort of justification for that.

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Marc LiVecche: I had a bare minimum, maybe it's you know, maybe its cultural pride, maybe it's you know getting into valhalla and the enhancement of warrior prowess maybe it's the defensive neighbors whatever it is there's usually some sort of justification, we go through.

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Marc LiVecche: So the just where tradition in one sense is simply the means by which the West has and predominantly the West, by which the West is predominantly thought about the justifications for when it is right to fight and how it is right to fight the war that's right to fight.

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Andy Miller III: Right okay.

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Marc LiVecche: um it was arguably codified I place it in you know the early Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, was the first who who gave us any sort of an articulation of what is now recognizably adjust where framework it didn't start with Thomas he looked back to a gustin.

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Marc LiVecche: right but gustin himself looked back to classical.

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Marc LiVecche: writings you see it in Cicero but there's just the sense that there have to be at least two categories when it comes to thinking about conflict and the first is when is it right to fight.

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Marc LiVecche: And this will be cast as the use add belem which is just a Latin phrase, for you know justice toward war, what is it right to fight.

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Marc LiVecche: And then the second category and then i'll break these down individually, the second category is the use in Belo you know justice within war, how do you fight that that war that's right to fight and one caveat at the beginning, is arguably because when you talk about just war.

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Marc LiVecche: that's a lofty claim, and it can be defended in numerous cases, a slightly less lofty claim is justified, war and in one sense that's really what the just war is trying to articulate.

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Marc LiVecche: It makes a claim that sounds all encompassing that this is a just war.

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Marc LiVecche: But if you ask a good just or scholar to elaborate, they will hopefully say something like luck to the best of our ability to know as we are given to know the facts on the ground, this particular war seems more justified to pursue.

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Marc LiVecche: The not to pursue it curious the basic claim that you know look if war can sometimes be justified that, in those cases, peace and here to find very thinly is simply the the absence of conflict peace can sometimes not be justified.

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Marc LiVecche: So it's it's it's it all at its best to be a very modest claim it's not trying to claim on missions it's just saying what we have to act in history other actor, not at you know both reactions and here's how we.

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Marc LiVecche: Do the gate it so with that caveat out of the way you can add Bella what is the right to fight.

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Marc LiVecche: it's typically broken into three major what sometimes called day ontological categories, these three things have to be in place for it to be a justified war and the first is that there has to be a sovereign with the WHO is a legitimate authority to be able to claim the right to fight.

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Marc LiVecche: And the sovereign is simply he or she over whom there is no one greater charge with the care of the political community.

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Marc LiVecche: And this is an effort to prevent you know just anybody from being able to declare war against anybody else has to be legitimate authority, the second is a just cause and it just causes typically broken into three categories.

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Marc LiVecche: You know, there you, you can fight when you have to protect the innocent, you can fight to take back what's been wrongly taken to order or to write an injustice.

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Marc LiVecche: And you can fight to punish evil and all of those things are qualified, you know you you you fight to protect the sufficiently threatened innocent.

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Marc LiVecche: You fight to correct you know, a particularly egregious wrong you punish sufficiently grave evil right so there's a sense of proportionality, they didn't do it.

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Marc LiVecche: One thing to know is that the definition of a justified war is not simply as a very often as an international wall self Defense the just war tradition, will argue.

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Marc LiVecche: that there may be cases in which it's not appropriate to defend yourself, so today is a fairly grim day right, Russia has just unjustly invaded the Ukraine.

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Marc LiVecche: Ukraine is fighting back the Russians cannot know claim self Defense I go, you know we're just defending ourselves no they launched an attack, they have no right to defend themselves.

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Marc LiVecche: So self Defense has never been a sufficiently justifying claim there have to be other other things involved, and then the third day ontological categories that you have to have the right intent when you fly you.

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Andy Miller III: Know ontological ID ontological.

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Marc LiVecche: The ontological.

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Andy Miller III: Key define that.

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Marc LiVecche: yeah these these are.

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Marc LiVecche: Non negotiable.

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Marc LiVecche: These things have to be in place.

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Marc LiVecche: In order for the war to to be appropriate.

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Marc LiVecche: Daniel Marcos should also suggest that if these things are in place, not only is the war permitted.

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Marc LiVecche: But it's probably obligatory and and, and so there is a kind of moral constraints both if these aren't in place you can't launch a war.

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Marc LiVecche: And even that i'm going to qualify I shouldn't have said launch award because, if these things are in place you're not launching your war you're responding to a war that's been.

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Marc LiVecche: But it's also constraining you and another way that if these things are in place these conditions, you need to do something about it.

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Marc LiVecche: right and it might not mean war and we'll get to that in just a moment, but this will point to.

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Marc LiVecche: A need to intervene so the third day ontological category, the thing that has to be there is, you have to have a right intent, and this is always simply your intention is is peace you aim toward piece.

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Marc LiVecche: You don't go to war for territorial a grunt you know acquisitions you don't go for self aggrandizement you don't go for purely vengeance you go ideally to win peace with your enemy and that's your intent it doesn't suggest that that has to happen.

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Marc LiVecche: Because it's not always up to you, your enemy has a say, but that should that should be present.

00:21:20.310 --> 00:21:36.390
Marc LiVecche: And then there are some mitigating factors, they have to consider about when it's right to fight so even if these things are in place, the world being what it is might counsel but it's it's improvement to pursue and these things will be things like is it a last resort.

00:21:37.590 --> 00:21:44.310
Marc LiVecche: And last resort, is often misconstrued it sounds like it suggests that you should literally try everything you can to avoid war.

00:21:45.270 --> 00:21:48.780
Marc LiVecche: This can also be an imaginative project simply saying you know what.

00:21:49.290 --> 00:21:56.970
Marc LiVecche: Can we legitimately consider other options and evaluate whether or not they're likely to succeed, there are certain circumstances where either you don't have the time.

00:21:57.240 --> 00:22:04.320
Marc LiVecche: To try things, or you know with a practical certainty this isn't going to work, but is it the last resort right you don't want to launch.

00:22:05.010 --> 00:22:12.840
Marc LiVecche: The destructiveness of war, unless there's really no other option to to overturn the reasons for which you're going.

00:22:13.470 --> 00:22:32.010
Marc LiVecche: Another one is is a sense of proportionality of ends will going to war, result in sufficiently greater goods than harms that also has to be weighed against the prospect will not going to war, result in sufficiently greater goods that harms because sometimes that's reversed.

00:22:34.620 --> 00:22:45.420
Marc LiVecche: And with proportionality events what I like to add into that is that you need to consider the amount of force that will be required in order to achieve a decisive victory.

00:22:45.900 --> 00:23:01.590
Marc LiVecche: and for this I kind of fall back to the right intent category that says look if your end is peace, history teaches us that most often warring parties can have peace with one another, when one or both of them have sufficiently.

00:23:03.120 --> 00:23:09.120
Marc LiVecche: been sufficiently beaten, to the point that they recognize that continuing the conflict is simply not an option.

00:23:09.900 --> 00:23:17.940
Marc LiVecche: I mean we can get into into how that plays out for me, one of the most dramatic instances of that was the bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

00:23:18.570 --> 00:23:25.890
Marc LiVecche: Which convinced the Japanese that it was time to stand down and, if you look at the piece that we have with them, you know 77 eight years later.

00:23:26.790 --> 00:23:36.330
Marc LiVecche: I think it's I think it's a good example of how decisiveness is an implication of just war, and then the last category in the in the what is it right to fight.

00:23:37.290 --> 00:23:48.810
Marc LiVecche: Is the you know the probability of success, so can you aim at a decisive victory, have any real hope of succeeding, and if it turns out that I have a right cause.

00:23:49.200 --> 00:24:01.920
Marc LiVecche: i've got the right intent i've got the proper authority i've tried everything else it'll be proportionate if we win, but we have no chance of winning this thing then in certain circumstances.

00:24:03.000 --> 00:24:18.570
Marc LiVecche: You bemoan you know the the conditions of the world, and you stand down because maybe it's unjust, or at least improvement to you know, to go through a war, knowing that you have no chance of succeeding, and there may be times, where you do that.

00:24:20.100 --> 00:24:26.490
Marc LiVecche: But it might you know might be improved to do that so that's a use add them, I can stop there.

00:24:27.480 --> 00:24:31.620
Andy Miller III: Questions really guy no I asked huge question you've spent your life dedicated to so.

00:24:32.910 --> 00:24:43.110
Andy Miller III: This is for those who are listening, maybe, maybe that's an overwhelming answer, I just wanted you to hold back and go back and listen to it again, but this is something that is outlined generic here is the biblical seminary.

00:24:43.380 --> 00:24:54.420
Andy Miller III: In our philosophical theology courses generally we're going to cover this or maybe you just take an ethics course and what mark just outline for us really well really concisely is kind of basic tenets.

00:24:54.840 --> 00:25:03.150
Andy Miller III: of just war theory and I haven't heard it done so quickly so concisely So hopefully, so thank you, what I want to.

00:25:04.080 --> 00:25:12.360
Andy Miller III: Before I get to the other side of that or you could choose to do this later if you want to explain something else, but we right now, this is February 24 2022.

00:25:12.690 --> 00:25:32.070
Andy Miller III: The last night I went to bed notification came to my phone that there was an attack and you already alluded to that maybe that's a good, I mean time for us to pray obviously but a good case study for what what should be done at the national level at the governmental type of level.

00:25:35.010 --> 00:25:44.070
Marc LiVecche: Right, so I don't know where to begin with, that um so obviously we're referencing Ukraine i'm are you asking you what do we do now.

00:25:44.580 --> 00:25:46.620
Andy Miller III: yeah is Is this a moment.

00:25:47.430 --> 00:25:51.330
Andy Miller III: Is this opportunity to work through a theory like this.

00:25:51.480 --> 00:25:53.670
Andy Miller III: Right and have a response now.

00:25:53.700 --> 00:25:55.320
Andy Miller III: Obviously we're terrorists statecraft.

00:25:55.620 --> 00:26:06.450
Marc LiVecche: Right right okay good so so big caveat, I hate it when people give caveats, and so I almost hesitate to do this, but i'm not a policy guy right an awful lot of this but that's not going to stop me.

00:26:06.660 --> 00:26:08.850
Marc LiVecche: Because i'm academic, why should it stopped me.

00:26:10.170 --> 00:26:25.650
Marc LiVecche: The caveat is this is that if we get into this discussion of Christian realism, this will come back to it right, the first job of an emphasis of any stripe especially a Christian emphasis has to be having as accurate and understanding of the facts on the ground, as you can have.

00:26:26.220 --> 00:26:27.810
Marc LiVecche: Before you just start pontificating.

00:26:28.140 --> 00:26:30.210
Marc LiVecche: and fats are notoriously difficult to come by.

00:26:30.750 --> 00:26:44.640
Marc LiVecche: And, especially in international relations, when I don't have access to that level of classified information to be able to adjudicate these things, etc, etc right i'm coupled with the fact that the historic complexities in that part of the world are profound.

00:26:45.990 --> 00:27:02.760
Marc LiVecche: there's a lot that I simply don't know however much time i've spent there, you know how did cetera but let's walk through it obviously the United States and the world community is a large has has a legitimate authority here, I think this will take a little bit of qualification.

00:27:04.080 --> 00:27:13.650
Marc LiVecche: there's a big question within international wallet say I alluded to earlier, that one of the primary reasons you you fight in international law is self Defense.

00:27:13.770 --> 00:27:21.120
Marc LiVecche: Right well right now we at least with a thin understanding of what it means we are not under threat, we, being the.

00:27:22.080 --> 00:27:32.700
Marc LiVecche: American public right be Ukraine babe an attack that's too bad, but that's not really us, so how can we claim self Defense will just work traditions as that's insufficient like.

00:27:33.570 --> 00:27:41.490
Marc LiVecche: boundaries it's very Westphalian thing a gustin wasn't talking, you know about international boundaries and the way that we would talk about them.

00:27:43.590 --> 00:27:50.310
Marc LiVecche: So, because just word tradition predates that just were tradition, I think is best understood is saying you know what there are times.

00:27:50.580 --> 00:27:57.960
Marc LiVecche: Where you simply intervene to protect the innocent just as a viewer I were walking down the street and we saw somebody being innocently assaulted.

00:27:58.830 --> 00:28:11.610
Marc LiVecche: We ought to intervene and how we also have been intervened will depend on the strength we have and the other options that are available all sorts of things, but we have the authority to be able to tell you know.

00:28:12.120 --> 00:28:15.960
Marc LiVecche: And I think we have the authority i'm not gonna say anything about capacity in the moment.

00:28:16.110 --> 00:28:17.940
Marc LiVecche: We have the authority to stop.

00:28:19.140 --> 00:28:21.450
Marc LiVecche: doing what he's doing if we believe.

00:28:21.720 --> 00:28:26.940
Marc LiVecche: With good reason, that what he's doing is sufficiently wrong that it warrants being stumped.

00:28:28.020 --> 00:28:29.010
Marc LiVecche: So we have the right authority.

00:28:29.310 --> 00:28:33.510
Marc LiVecche: We have a just cause, you know and here's where it gets tricky because.

00:28:33.810 --> 00:28:45.990
Marc LiVecche: You know i've got Russian friends who will probably email me if they happen to watch this and they will give me the justifying reasons for why they they were right to launch their invasion their unjust aggressive invasion.

00:28:46.410 --> 00:28:53.850
Marc LiVecche: Right um but you know I think most of the western commit international community looks at that and says.

00:28:55.350 --> 00:29:03.330
Marc LiVecche: The sovereign space of Ukraine was unjustly invaded innocent people are being aggressive against and here.

00:29:03.900 --> 00:29:13.920
Marc LiVecche: We can say innocent people, not simply civilians, but because the the Ukrainian military as an innocent party to this suffering and unjust attack.

00:29:14.670 --> 00:29:27.930
Marc LiVecche: Russian soldiers, do not have the moral right or the legal right to kill Ukrainian soldiers, so at this point, all those people in the Ukraine, even the ones who are fighting the Russians are innocent under.

00:29:28.590 --> 00:29:42.270
Marc LiVecche: This understanding of what it means to fight a just war, so we have to just cause the innocent are being assaulted they deserve to be defended and injustice has been wrecked it deserves to be rectified and there is an evil going on that deserves to be overturned.

00:29:43.320 --> 00:29:52.200
Marc LiVecche: Would we have the right intention, you know this, this is a little bit, this is a weird thing because it asks you to kind of get into the interiority of.

00:29:52.230 --> 00:29:52.500
Andy Miller III: yeah.

00:29:52.770 --> 00:29:53.670
Marc LiVecche: You know the nation.

00:29:54.990 --> 00:30:05.670
Marc LiVecche: So it's to some degree, a self check um you know if i'm President Biden Why am I going to war, do I just want to stick it to Putin do want to rise or a bump in the polls.

00:30:05.730 --> 00:30:07.470
Marc LiVecche: In my approval rating things like that.

00:30:07.620 --> 00:30:09.450
Marc LiVecche: Those would be unjustified reasons.

00:30:09.660 --> 00:30:14.040
Andy Miller III: Economic like benefit whatever I mean if there could be economic benefit to war.

00:30:14.040 --> 00:30:18.240
Marc LiVecche: Whenever correct right, so you know it's a little bit of a self check.

00:30:19.530 --> 00:30:30.660
Marc LiVecche: But the reality of your intention begins to play out on the battlefield, how do you how do you direct the fight etc so obviously I think the right intent could be had here, we simply want to restore peace to the region.

00:30:31.620 --> 00:30:40.860
Marc LiVecche: it'd be lovely, but it seems increasingly doubtful that we can bring into a sphere of friendship again, or at least you know non belligerence.

00:30:41.280 --> 00:30:49.290
Marc LiVecche: But I think all those things are in place, I think the dance illogical categories would be in place for us to fight Russia in order to protect Ukraine.

00:30:49.620 --> 00:31:00.120
Marc LiVecche: Now you get into all sorts of prudential categories right and one of those facts on the ground that we talked about is the fact that the Russian army is quite big.

00:31:00.810 --> 00:31:10.980
Marc LiVecche: It will not beat us in a conventional fight wars always contingent, but, in all likelihood, they could not beat us in a in a in a conventional fight, they cannot defeat NATO.

00:31:11.040 --> 00:31:12.480
Andy Miller III: In a conventional fight right.

00:31:12.780 --> 00:31:19.920
Marc LiVecche: I think there's some chance of the Ukrainians are going to bloody them so much that they withdraw that's probably hopelessly naive.

00:31:21.360 --> 00:31:23.820
Marc LiVecche: But the fact remains, is that they have nuclear weapons.

00:31:24.870 --> 00:31:27.000
Marc LiVecche: And that has to dictate response.

00:31:28.740 --> 00:31:38.010
Marc LiVecche: And I don't know that anybody is sufficiently certain that we would not utilize them and so that begins to unfortunately limit.

00:31:38.490 --> 00:31:50.280
Marc LiVecche: The good thing you can do in the world that simply becomes a sad fact of reality that if the bully is powerful enough, then resisting the bully in certain ways might be so destructive.

00:31:51.540 --> 00:31:55.140
Marc LiVecche: That it's improved to do so there's that.

00:31:57.450 --> 00:32:14.280
Marc LiVecche: You know, and then there's then there's questions of if you respond and get tied down over Ukraine what is trying to come to do I think most of the world is holding its breath expecting at any moment now to get the notification that you know, Taiwan is now under assault right.

00:32:14.310 --> 00:32:16.980
Marc LiVecche: Now, if I was a Chinese dish spot.

00:32:18.150 --> 00:32:20.040
Marc LiVecche: i'd be waiting to pull the trigger on it right.

00:32:20.640 --> 00:32:28.890
Marc LiVecche: And so there's there's all these potential concerns and considerations that have to come in, where you evaluate you're trying to evaluate what is really up to.

00:32:29.310 --> 00:32:38.160
Marc LiVecche: And here's where you know those who know far more about the region that I do have to be relied upon to give good honest sound sober.

00:32:39.030 --> 00:32:45.990
Marc LiVecche: advice is Putin going to be content with just this little section of Ukraine, and he suggested.

00:32:46.440 --> 00:32:57.210
Marc LiVecche: Are the breakaway regions that he's fighting in support of the full scale invasion seems to overdo the claim that that's all these after But some people think that's all these after if that's all these after.

00:32:59.250 --> 00:33:07.620
Marc LiVecche: You know, maybe be given the realities of the world, we unfortunately take that hit or we you know we can compel the Ukrainians to unfortunately take that hit.

00:33:08.520 --> 00:33:20.910
Marc LiVecche: Does he want all of Ukraine is it Ukraine or is it all the former republic's less than a week ago he demanded that NATO withdraw from the 12 or 13 republic's that came into NATO after.

00:33:21.150 --> 00:33:31.470
Marc LiVecche: The Iron Curtain fell that's unacceptable that can happen so you know, and then you couple all of that speculation with how we respond to Ukraine.

00:33:31.920 --> 00:33:42.690
Marc LiVecche: will give you a sense of how far he can push things right, so we you know if what we decided is safer sanctions, then they have to be sanctions that make them bleed.

00:33:43.440 --> 00:33:45.240
Marc LiVecche: Right, they have to be sufficiently grave.

00:33:45.570 --> 00:33:49.560
Marc LiVecche: And here i'd have to dig through the news reports because I don't have.

00:33:50.670 --> 00:33:53.880
Marc LiVecche: Standing from you know internal margot's right.

00:33:53.910 --> 00:33:57.180
Marc LiVecche: yeah yeah all those type of things are, how they hold people back so seeing.

00:33:57.360 --> 00:34:07.320
Andy Miller III: like this and what we're we're kind of working through i'm so thankful like they have your insight in this to you a Providence journal that you, you edit is this or.

00:34:08.910 --> 00:34:11.160
Andy Miller III: PR brings this perspective of Christian.

00:34:11.190 --> 00:34:21.990
Andy Miller III: Realism like I think we're what we're doing right now what you're doing as you're analyzing this is dealing with reality, as it is and try to find the best response.

00:34:22.380 --> 00:34:24.750
Andy Miller III: That Christians can make and Christians can make as a as a.

00:34:24.810 --> 00:34:34.980
Andy Miller III: As a as a government response as a appropriate powers, you say, like the sovereign sort of entity can do so I don't mean to jump too quickly to that, but i'm.

00:34:34.980 --> 00:34:37.830
Andy Miller III: interested, so what what is Christian realism.

00:34:38.730 --> 00:34:46.740
Marc LiVecche: yeah it's a good question I so break it down into it's too obvious categories it's Christian, in the sense that it tries to.

00:34:47.250 --> 00:34:56.220
Marc LiVecche: harness classical Christian doctrine classical Christian beliefs, as it thinks about a number of things in my perspective, mostly foreign policy.

00:34:56.910 --> 00:35:08.220
Marc LiVecche: But law in public life, you know writ large, so it's Krishna that sense and then it's realistic or exercises realism in the sense that it rejects utopianism.

00:35:08.850 --> 00:35:19.890
Marc LiVecche: Were naive idealism, as it goes about evaluating the actions that went off to take in the world, so in that sense as a things about law and ethics and political public life.

00:35:20.310 --> 00:35:33.630
Marc LiVecche: it's both Christian and realist and it's disposition so it's a it's not a solid school of thought per se it's more political persuasion and so it's a way of you know, trying to view the world.

00:35:35.430 --> 00:35:53.100
Marc LiVecche: So it's a it's a kind of qualified realism realism traditionally suggests that morality has no real place in political life Christian realism wants to say yeah not not so fast actually morality has a role, but that doesn't mean to suggest you know we're pie in the sky utopians.

00:35:54.000 --> 00:35:56.670
Andy Miller III: So the response to kind of like anti realism.

00:35:58.200 --> 00:36:16.950
Andy Miller III: is one that comes from like there's a variety kind of popular voices, I think, describing that in the theological biblical world kind of like the evangelical subculture what is there, what what is if given be as charitable as possible what's their response to Christian realism.

00:36:17.430 --> 00:36:17.760
Marc LiVecche: yeah.

00:36:17.820 --> 00:36:19.440
Andy Miller III: So we'll talk about that, like.

00:36:19.800 --> 00:36:21.030
Marc LiVecche: yeah so.

00:36:24.360 --> 00:36:25.980
Marc LiVecche: i'm putting on my charity hat here so.

00:36:26.010 --> 00:36:28.080
Marc LiVecche: yeah if you want a response.

00:36:28.200 --> 00:36:33.630
Marc LiVecche: Is you know the most persuasive response is going to be something like I think.

00:36:36.750 --> 00:36:42.060
Marc LiVecche: You know what the world tries power all the time and.

00:36:44.280 --> 00:36:54.300
Marc LiVecche: You might have noticed that it hasn't really worked out all that well, and so what what Christ console and What, therefore, the Christ followers of the church should Council.

00:36:55.350 --> 00:36:58.530
Marc LiVecche: Is an alternative community.

00:36:59.070 --> 00:37:00.810
Marc LiVecche: That is dedicated not to the sword.

00:37:02.190 --> 00:37:03.330
Marc LiVecche: But to love.

00:37:03.810 --> 00:37:04.290
Andy Miller III: Right right.

00:37:05.250 --> 00:37:05.790

00:37:07.740 --> 00:37:08.340
Andy Miller III: you're doing great.

00:37:11.190 --> 00:37:17.760
Marc LiVecche: i'm overwhelmed by everything in my head, because I, you know, but my problem is this, I have a lot of deer pacifist friends.

00:37:17.820 --> 00:37:28.380
Marc LiVecche: Right CS Lewis says he respects amount as pacifist he simply thinks he's entirely wrong my problem, especially on days like today.

00:37:29.160 --> 00:37:34.410
Marc LiVecche: Especially when I think of my study of the Holocaust and i'm sorry i'm going to indulge in another segue.

00:37:35.190 --> 00:37:48.060
Marc LiVecche: The first time I was in Auschwitz actually the second time I was Auschwitz, it was to observe the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the camp and, at the end of the formal ceremonies they began to read the names of all the dead.

00:37:49.080 --> 00:37:56.250
Marc LiVecche: And they had dedicated themselves to read the names of all the dead until all 1.2 million names.

00:37:56.310 --> 00:38:07.020
Marc LiVecche: wow we're read now it's a little bit of a that couldn't have happened that way because we don't have all the names of the dead at Auschwitz, but we estimated was 1.2 million.

00:38:07.380 --> 00:38:21.630
Marc LiVecche: My buddy and I tried to figure out how long it would have taken them to read the names of 1.2 million victims and we estimated that, if you take a second name, then, to read 1.2 million names would have taken you 13.8 days.

00:38:22.890 --> 00:38:33.870
Marc LiVecche: So it's 13.8 days of lost souls, all of whom had names, all of them who had families every one of which was loved by God and made in his image yeah.

00:38:35.070 --> 00:38:41.970
Marc LiVecche: So actually if i'm honest I don't respect an honest pacifist.

00:38:43.200 --> 00:39:04.560
Marc LiVecche: At the point of their pacifism, I simply don't I don't respect it as a credible means of moving Christian Lee and charitably through the world I respect the intent I respect the idealism i'm drawn by it at times when I get so exhausted at the belligerence but, at the end of the day.

00:39:06.150 --> 00:39:21.180
Marc LiVecche: It is so unrealistic, and it is so world denying and some might argue that that's its strength that I don't think it's a credible Christian response to the world and therefore I don't respect it.

00:39:22.050 --> 00:39:22.350
Marc LiVecche: Because it.

00:39:22.590 --> 00:39:25.680
Andy Miller III: wouldn't be resolved with the right thing to do to love.

00:39:26.820 --> 00:39:28.650
Andy Miller III: More you know to.

00:39:28.920 --> 00:39:31.380
Andy Miller III: Go to hammer to turn the other cheek a few more times.

00:39:31.470 --> 00:39:32.280
Andy Miller III: Is that right it.

00:39:32.550 --> 00:39:35.880
Andy Miller III: Is that going to be right response to the people of Ukraine, you know sorry.

00:39:36.960 --> 00:39:41.160
Marc LiVecche: No, no, that that that that's driving the point home is.

00:39:42.720 --> 00:39:45.420
Marc LiVecche: We need to stop 13.8 days it seems like.

00:39:45.630 --> 00:39:50.850
Marc LiVecche: That Christians cannot, in fact, the loving if you have know.

00:39:52.350 --> 00:39:57.660
Marc LiVecche: If what you console has no real means of stopping 13.8 days out the response might be look if.

00:39:59.880 --> 00:40:11.580
Marc LiVecche: You know if the Nazis were following Christ, the Holocaust wouldn't have happened granted that's totally true but, until that sweet day comes, and then they weren't.

00:40:12.450 --> 00:40:23.130
Marc LiVecche: They didn't stop the Holocaust, and so we need something that will stop 14 days we need somebody who will stop day one, and just to just to kind of meld our intentions.

00:40:24.060 --> 00:40:36.060
Marc LiVecche: In one sense, I would say to you Andy Yes, our job is to love more absolutely but then you'd have to ask yourself what's love look like in this situation.

00:40:36.150 --> 00:40:43.200
Marc LiVecche: Right, and so the Christian realist the just for scholar Marco becky is absolutely an agreement with.

00:40:43.770 --> 00:40:50.700
Marc LiVecche: His passive his friends who say, our duty is to love our enemies, I absolutely believe that with every ounce of my being.

00:40:51.360 --> 00:41:04.320
Marc LiVecche: it's just that love looks differently in different circumstances and those circumstances are not always up to us as a father, when I discipline my children and I do so.

00:41:05.190 --> 00:41:15.330
Marc LiVecche: I better be doing so as an act of love, because I do not want them to grow into the kinds of people who do whatever it is that i'm disciplining them against.

00:41:16.110 --> 00:41:32.250
Marc LiVecche: Why don't I want them to be the kind of people who do wrong things well the best reason I have is because I love them and I want them to flourish and human beings cannot flourish in any old way we flourish only.

00:41:34.050 --> 00:41:45.780
Marc LiVecche: When we live in the ways that we were created to live, and that means that, ideally, we become recognizable as sons and daughters of God, and that does not happen in any old way, it does not happen by invading your neighbor.

00:41:46.140 --> 00:41:47.100
Marc LiVecche: Without cause.

00:41:47.820 --> 00:41:49.050
Marc LiVecche: And so to love poor.

00:41:50.580 --> 00:42:07.740
Marc LiVecche: In the last resort, which was one of the just work requirements might well mean stopping him from doing evil and have a harsh word won't stop them use more force all the way to the point where we may be called as Christians to love our enemies to death.

00:42:08.130 --> 00:42:14.190
Marc LiVecche: And I do not think that's a contradiction of love that is a manifestation of love, in the last resort.

00:42:14.460 --> 00:42:23.880
Marc LiVecche: And it should be heartbreaking it should fill you with grief and sorrow, but it should not stop you from doing those things that need to be done.

00:42:24.630 --> 00:42:38.400
Marc LiVecche: never forgetting, of course, that by loving putting we also have to be loving the Ukrainian people right mercy always cost somebody something across teaches us that and it's not right, it seems to me to show mercy toward a poor.

00:42:39.810 --> 00:42:43.110
Marc LiVecche: If that means that the Ukrainian people will pay the costs of that mercy.

00:42:43.530 --> 00:42:59.670
Marc LiVecche: So the love that I show my innocent victim neighbor and the love that I show my enemy neighbor will not be the same kind of love, but I must love them both you know my pacifist friends will often ask me how can you console killing someone made in the image of God.

00:43:00.690 --> 00:43:04.260
Marc LiVecche: And I say, the only reason I could cancel that is because.

00:43:06.360 --> 00:43:19.710
Marc LiVecche: Not killing someone made in the image of God, if it means allowing them to kill an innocent person made in the image of God that's that's just unacceptable, I know I have to love both my enemy neighbor and my innocent victim neighbor.

00:43:20.640 --> 00:43:23.160
Marc LiVecche: But I can't let them, both in the same way, at the same time.

00:43:23.550 --> 00:43:31.260
Andy Miller III: Right, this is a come say even in the theological questions we have surrounding the idea of evangelism in general, like we.

00:43:31.290 --> 00:43:34.260
Marc LiVecche: If we believe that such a thing exists is held.

00:43:34.530 --> 00:43:42.480
Andy Miller III: In and I do I affirm an existence of hell and existence of eternal life of heaven of a new heavens, and a new Earth.

00:43:43.380 --> 00:43:53.250
Andy Miller III: That it's hard to it's hard to say in in this they've been on my podcast before she talked about the sexual revolution that a loving way to respond to people.

00:43:53.640 --> 00:44:02.940
Andy Miller III: Who are on a path to not participate in a new heavens, and a new earth to hell if that's the case, the loving response is to tell the truth and.

00:44:03.000 --> 00:44:16.710
Andy Miller III: In this and it might be we just can't sit back and, like the existence of of this reality causes a different action in our life now, and some people will respond like no that's not your place it's not your place well.

00:44:17.430 --> 00:44:25.080
Andy Miller III: If i'm if i'm saying that this is real that this isn't as true what would be the the correct response for me, except for the tell them.

00:44:25.290 --> 00:44:40.110
Andy Miller III: What would help them in a long way, I think, do it's a little short sighted in light of eternity to assume that this is the end for all people like there is more as a my podcasts more stories more of the story of our life than just what happens in this life.

00:44:41.700 --> 00:44:42.570
Marc LiVecche: that's exactly right.

00:44:43.620 --> 00:44:56.280
Marc LiVecche: i'm sometimes charged i'm somewhat hesitant to say this because i'm sometimes charged with having a theological position, it gives me a certain kind of out that other people don't have in the theological position is this i've got it all convinced that.

00:44:58.020 --> 00:45:07.290
Marc LiVecche: You know before my life spark goes out, I have to make a decision for Jesus or not, I think Jesus is the only way to heaven, please everybody hear me say that yeah.

00:45:08.040 --> 00:45:22.080
Marc LiVecche: I don't know what it means to accept Jesus I know some of the ways I don't know what it means in the nth degree and i'm not convinced that I don't have an opportunity to accept him when I think I will see him face to face after my death.

00:45:22.500 --> 00:45:31.410
Marc LiVecche: Right I realize some people say no, if if my heart stops now and I dropped dead and I go cold and I haven't accepted Jesus i'm bound for how I get that.

00:45:31.770 --> 00:45:43.860
Marc LiVecche: And they might have arguably a harder time with adjust work ethic that says, you can love your enemy to death because, how does it eight is flourishing if I just knocked out any opportunity for for how to.

00:45:45.450 --> 00:45:59.430
Marc LiVecche: One that's truly not up to me, I can only do the good that I, I can do in a particular moment never forgetting that look the whole reason we're talking about a just war is he's killing other people, and what about those people on and on and on.

00:46:00.720 --> 00:46:06.450
Marc LiVecche: But I have the absolute confidence that every human being, will spend eternity exactly where they want to spend it.

00:46:08.040 --> 00:46:08.520
Marc LiVecche: and

00:46:10.680 --> 00:46:10.890
Marc LiVecche: You know.

00:46:11.160 --> 00:46:17.220
Andy Miller III: That that me, and I know some people might be uneasy with that and i'm not necessarily like we could we have a whole podcast about that.

00:46:17.220 --> 00:46:17.460
Andy Miller III: And we.

00:46:17.700 --> 00:46:23.430
Andy Miller III: talked about those type of things and at Wesley biblical seminary we're glad to do those things and systematic theology i'm going to be teaching.

00:46:23.850 --> 00:46:32.520
Andy Miller III: Systematic theology to our second portion where we talk about eschatology and it certainly was within rather not This is like the position of an institution.

00:46:32.790 --> 00:46:40.890
Andy Miller III: The fate of the angel eyes is just like mark studies just war theory, there are people who think about the end of people that individually individuals.

00:46:41.160 --> 00:46:48.360
Andy Miller III: And there, there are evangelicals who affirm there who have formed a firm the authority of scripture.

00:46:48.990 --> 00:47:00.540
Andy Miller III: who still affirm that there is some sort of post mortem evangelism opportunity for suicide people so now again like that don't take that as like maybe come in a universalist like mark said I thought.

00:47:00.570 --> 00:47:11.940
Andy Miller III: was good, you say like that that people will choose to be where they will choose to be like CS Lewis says, you know the great divorce, that the the door to heaven, you know it's open from the inside, you know so like.

00:47:12.390 --> 00:47:14.820
Andy Miller III: you're too there's a willful choice.

00:47:15.360 --> 00:47:26.490
Andy Miller III: To to be in that place, I think I don't know if that's if that comes into the calculus of people as a work through these decisions, but like I just affirmed it's not the end, and all of the injustice.

00:47:26.670 --> 00:47:42.480
Andy Miller III: That our world experiences, right now, like it won't the scales won't be tipped back necessarily in this life there's a lot of things are unfair it unripe cancer, human trafficking, the light, but we do believe in a God, who will make all things right.

00:47:42.960 --> 00:47:57.120
Marc LiVecche: yeah that's right it's a bit of a I don't want that to ease the tension too much, but it uses the tension right, so our hands may well be tied in how we can respond to Putin, in a way that doesn't blow up the world.

00:47:58.800 --> 00:48:01.500
Marc LiVecche: And that that that should grieve us.

00:48:04.560 --> 00:48:09.000
Marc LiVecche: But we will not win right we one level, we know that.

00:48:10.350 --> 00:48:17.040
Andy Miller III: Because you know you're saying, because we're so that we can, because the United States and NATO is so strong.

00:48:17.790 --> 00:48:20.520
Marc LiVecche: No, I mean because God will with.

00:48:21.300 --> 00:48:22.290
Andy Miller III: Our yes amen.

00:48:23.010 --> 00:48:25.290
Andy Miller III: Well, you need to get this Hello.

00:48:25.620 --> 00:48:32.760
Marc LiVecche: Sorry Hello boot and could hand it to us in a basket right, it could be the end of the existence of the United States.

00:48:32.820 --> 00:48:35.100
Marc LiVecche: Right and he will not win right.

00:48:35.190 --> 00:48:35.580
Andy Miller III: And then.

00:48:35.730 --> 00:48:37.650
Marc LiVecche: um, we know that.

00:48:39.420 --> 00:48:43.650
Marc LiVecche: I don't rest in that because I think God gave us government.

00:48:45.030 --> 00:48:53.460
Marc LiVecche: I have that on the authority of scripture to protect the innocent to right wrongs to punish evil all of that, and we do the good that we can when we can do it.

00:48:55.590 --> 00:48:59.970
Marc LiVecche: And the good that we can't do that's where we can then say.

00:49:01.830 --> 00:49:18.090
Marc LiVecche: God will provide right God is in control of history, we are not, we know that our job is always only approximate we will never eradicate evil in time we can eradicate certain evils one, at a time and we could ratchet back other evils.

00:49:19.620 --> 00:49:23.940
Marc LiVecche: But we are always only a a a sort of a.

00:49:25.170 --> 00:49:27.270
Marc LiVecche: Delaying force right.

00:49:28.980 --> 00:49:44.850
Marc LiVecche: stewardship is, we can exercise it now is always only going to be an approximation of what it ought to be, and we know that and that's maybe not a lot of solace to the Ukrainians, although in another sense that it can be.

00:49:47.490 --> 00:49:47.850
Marc LiVecche: But every.

00:49:48.030 --> 00:49:51.930
Andy Miller III: endpoint device that not solace of what it ought to be.

00:49:52.350 --> 00:50:02.490
Andy Miller III: What it's not this this again points to something bigger it's one of these kind of like basic responses about the existence of God, if there is a moral universe that ought to be.

00:50:02.640 --> 00:50:12.360
Andy Miller III: Then, like if we can think that often called the ontological argument if that exists, then we have a basis for affirming that that such a world does exist.

00:50:12.570 --> 00:50:24.810
Marc LiVecche: Correct I go back to David when he was fasting over the potential death of his son right and he was fearful that God was going to take his son and he's doing everything he can to to.

00:50:25.680 --> 00:50:31.980
Marc LiVecche: You know, prevent that from happening, and when he's alerted that his son is died he goes and he washes and he eats.

00:50:32.340 --> 00:50:38.700
Marc LiVecche: And it gets rebuked for it they're saying like when your son who's still alive, you were fasting you were doing this and now he's dead, what are you doing.

00:50:39.420 --> 00:50:45.480
Marc LiVecche: And he said something to the effect of when he was alive there's something that I thought I could do to prevent his death, now that he's died.

00:50:46.650 --> 00:50:53.550
Marc LiVecche: I know I will see him again right and so there's this there's this tension of I will do everything I can now.

00:50:55.410 --> 00:50:57.720
Marc LiVecche: they're not everything I can qualified.

00:50:59.610 --> 00:51:05.550
Marc LiVecche: To bring about the good now, and even if I fail, I know that all will be well yes.

00:51:06.990 --> 00:51:07.350
Marc LiVecche: yeah.

00:51:07.710 --> 00:51:19.140
Andy Miller III: boy I mean that that that is a positive word in the midst of on a dark day for the world has were dealing with this aggression that's coming from Russia, I mean.

00:51:20.580 --> 00:51:32.280
Andy Miller III: we're running out of time, but I would look in general, this discussion it's interesting, this is going to come right on the heels or other discussion where he talked about violence in the Old Testament and.

00:51:32.910 --> 00:51:40.560
Andy Miller III: So it's interesting like I have these two kind of war podcast right in a row in in a in a time where we're dealing with this.

00:51:42.030 --> 00:51:54.900
Andy Miller III: What you kind of already responded to it, you mentioned, as I mentioned, how was it any any general response to his line of argumentation you kind of hit it already but anything else you'd like to add there.

00:51:54.990 --> 00:52:06.060
Marc LiVecche: I think i've hit it already but there's one that that comes from an outstanding book called in defense of war by an extra Professor Nigel bigger.

00:52:06.360 --> 00:52:06.900
Andy Miller III: Right right.

00:52:06.990 --> 00:52:19.290
Marc LiVecche: And he's got a chapter in there on on love I think that's where he talks about this, but he responds to this idea that the Christian church can be alternative community.

00:52:19.770 --> 00:52:31.590
Marc LiVecche: And that you know certain because seen in a certain way, the solace that a Christian can have is, we could say well look, there is the government grant that and we need the government, thank God, we have it.

00:52:33.330 --> 00:52:49.050
Marc LiVecche: But with the Christian community can do is, we can provide an alternative to the sword, and so the world can see both at play, and you know they could gesture to the two kingdoms doctrine, the two cities doctrine things like this, to try to to try to carve a space for this.

00:52:51.270 --> 00:52:57.750
Marc LiVecche: The response I have to that coming coming out of how bigger phrases it goes something like this is that.

00:52:59.010 --> 00:53:12.030
Marc LiVecche: If this alternative community, to which our loss suggests Christians have been called is truly viable if it's truly something that can work within history than one would think that God would have called.

00:53:13.680 --> 00:53:14.880
Marc LiVecche: us to that.

00:53:15.990 --> 00:53:26.700
Marc LiVecche: by us, I mean everyone, rather than to give us the government with the sword, and the responsibilities of the government with the sword heads Why do I say that well because.

00:53:27.990 --> 00:53:33.630
Marc LiVecche: Apparently, the reason we want to be the alternative community is because this coercive community.

00:53:35.220 --> 00:53:45.240
Marc LiVecche: Does such seemingly diabolical work that Christians ought not to do, but if that coercive community is necessary.

00:53:47.340 --> 00:53:55.110
Marc LiVecche: And the only way that I can be an alternative Community at all is to rest under the security umbrella of this coercive community.

00:53:55.860 --> 00:54:10.860
Marc LiVecche: Then, it seems that I am rejecting something in in practice what I require or depend upon in in principle, where I met rejecting and principal something that I require in practice.

00:54:11.520 --> 00:54:19.680
Marc LiVecche: I can't have my alternative Community if these non Christians aren't doing these terribly dirty things with the sword.

00:54:21.120 --> 00:54:23.940
Marc LiVecche: And so, for Christians to rely upon something.

00:54:25.020 --> 00:54:34.020
Marc LiVecche: That they reject as being unworthy of a Christian seems at least a gross act of charity.

00:54:34.980 --> 00:54:45.420
Andy Miller III: I can see that more elementary fashion in correct me if I got it wrong so it's like like Christians exists is the alternative community but there's a sense that they're almost dependent upon.

00:54:45.690 --> 00:54:47.010
Andy Miller III: Absolutely state entity.

00:54:47.250 --> 00:54:50.760
Andy Miller III: To provide them peace, so they can exist in their alternate Community it's.

00:54:50.760 --> 00:54:53.970
Marc LiVecche: All good and people were pacifists, there would be no pacifist.

00:54:54.000 --> 00:54:54.390
Andy Miller III: Right.

00:54:54.420 --> 00:55:02.970
Marc LiVecche: Right right, and so I rely on my non Christian neighbor to protect me, so I can be an alternative Community requiring him to dirty his hands.

00:55:04.290 --> 00:55:10.680
Marc LiVecche: To do those things that I am forbidden to do in order to keep me safe and the crisis with this is that.

00:55:12.240 --> 00:55:21.810
Marc LiVecche: habits are habit forming right, and so, if i'm the non Christian government worker or non Christian soldier.

00:55:22.890 --> 00:55:39.420
Marc LiVecche: The things that I do I become habituated toward and if what with what I do is bad for my soul, then I habituate myself to doing things that are bad for my soul and maybe that will lead to the guilt and shame that leads me to the cross.

00:55:41.220 --> 00:55:52.080
Marc LiVecche: But it may well lead me to be insulated and an articulated against those things because I will have to callous my heart my soul and all sorts of things I might put my soul in peril.

00:55:53.910 --> 00:56:12.330
Marc LiVecche: i'm not a fiction writer Andy but if I was a fiction writer I would write about a dystopian future in which the only people who had the moral philosophy sufficiently robust enough to fight would be Christians are theists I think at the end of the day, it's it's only us who have.

00:56:12.540 --> 00:56:14.430
Marc LiVecche: wow brownies evil.

00:56:14.670 --> 00:56:16.050
Marc LiVecche: Bringing it back full circle.

00:56:16.350 --> 00:56:26.040
Marc LiVecche: And you know we have a cause to hate Auschwitz, and I think we have the grounds to know that protecting the innocent is can be a divine vocation.

00:56:27.180 --> 00:56:27.810
Andy Miller III: interesting.

00:56:29.070 --> 00:56:38.880
Andy Miller III: idea like if you had an alternate universe, where there was such a reality, where there was everybody was a pacifist, but yet there came to this situation, where people were responding.

00:56:39.240 --> 00:56:46.590
Andy Miller III: and aggressive ways, who is it can respond, who has the moral tools to do so, and it would be Christians interesting.

00:56:47.340 --> 00:56:59.550
Andy Miller III: yeah oh mark this is so good, and so helpful to me to to think through this in such a systematic way I wish we had more time and maybe maybe as things keep moving here with the Ukraine.

00:57:00.630 --> 00:57:05.640
Andy Miller III: Maybe we can have you back on now, I always ask a question which is completely unrelated to just worth here, I think, but.

00:57:06.420 --> 00:57:18.390
Andy Miller III: The title I podcast is more to this story, the idea is like we go deeper on particular issues we get more of the story, but also it's theologically connected to our institution that we believe there's more than just being saved from your sins.

00:57:18.480 --> 00:57:20.280
Andy Miller III: The deck not what calls us to experience.

00:57:20.280 --> 00:57:28.260
Andy Miller III: signifying grace into there's more to the story of salvation but is there, more to the story of mark let becky Is there something else that you don't get to talk about very often.

00:57:28.290 --> 00:57:29.070
People don't know about you.

00:57:30.330 --> 00:57:40.590
Marc LiVecche: Is there more to me um you know, the primary reason I think if I knew, if I could accurately read my heart the, the only reason I bother with this stuff.

00:57:41.520 --> 00:57:59.670
Marc LiVecche: I have two kids I love those kids I want them to grow up in a world that is as conducive to their flourishing as possible, I mean I won't do everything to bring that world about right there are some things that you know that would so violate other norms that I won't do.

00:58:01.320 --> 00:58:11.160
Marc LiVecche: But I love the way I want them to live in a world that is conducive to their fortune and so at you know i'd much prefer instead of reading books on war to be able to woods with them.

00:58:13.050 --> 00:58:13.440
Marc LiVecche: You know.

00:58:13.710 --> 00:58:15.060
Andy Miller III: What are their names how old, are they.

00:58:15.600 --> 00:58:17.400
Marc LiVecche: i'm not actually going to say that i'm.

00:58:18.000 --> 00:58:21.510
Marc LiVecche: Oh i'm sorry but I have a boy i'd rather very sweet.

00:58:25.590 --> 00:58:36.780
Marc LiVecche: So they're you know they're at a very good age for all those things I was raised in Alaska, and so I love the woods I love the outdoors and i'm trying to instill the same love for the outdoors in them.

00:58:37.950 --> 00:58:51.180
Andy Miller III: So, forgive me for asking for their names I didn't even think about that I have 15 and 13 year old boys as well, one 114 2015 soon and they love the outdoors Oh, my goodness, they are out there all the time, so we have to get them together some time.

00:58:51.360 --> 00:58:51.960

00:58:53.220 --> 00:58:57.270
Andy Miller III: Well, thanks so much for your time mark where can people find stuff about you Where are you online.

00:58:57.900 --> 00:59:00.180
Marc LiVecche: Providence mag calm.

00:59:00.390 --> 00:59:13.320
Marc LiVecche: Okay um and I think if you Google my name I think only good things will pop up, but you could probably just Google, the name and find some writings that i've done elsewhere, etc, but I guess my home it for now is Providence mag COM.

00:59:14.430 --> 00:59:15.300
Marc LiVecche: that's reconfirm.

00:59:15.360 --> 00:59:21.450
Andy Miller III: yeah and you can find it in the show notes there's a amy both names mark and lucky or not spelled in ways that you might need to take a look.

00:59:21.720 --> 00:59:31.740
Andy Miller III: To see how they're spelled but mark thanks so much for your time, it means a lot to us, and we appreciate the work you're doing at Providence and look forward to being enriched by it in the future.

00:59:32.010 --> 00:59:36.240
Marc LiVecche: Well, great, thank you for this, thank you for the great questions and great conversation, all the best.

Copyright ©2024 Andrew S. Miller III