Ep 18: Moral Austerity with Matthew Sitman

Matthew Sitman, associate editor of Commonweal Magazine, hangs out with Matt and Dean this week to talk about his article “Against Moral Austerity: On the Need for a Christian Left” in Dissent Magazine. Do the Democrats have a moral problem? Find out!


  • Separating the wheat (left) from the chaff (liberalism).
  • How has the Democratic Party failed to make a morally robust argument?
  • Whose morals?
  • Coalitions are hard and frustrating but also important.
  • Religions don’t give you a prepackaged political opinion.
  • Religious people are complex!
  • Pretty sure this is the first actual if brief discussion of Bernie Sanders on the podcast.
  • Dean reads from the holy Book of Engels.
  • Private property. It’s bad.
  • What do religious movements offer the left?
  • The affective force of moral appeals.
  • Where’s the religious left today?

Also, we reveal our new phone number–(815) 408-0745–where you can leave us voicemails! And there’s a new TinyLetter out today!


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