politics

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Hope After the Pope?

On-air date: 
Mon, 10/05/2015
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The crowds have dispersed. The television images of an inspirational Pope connecting with Americans of all backgrounds in huge rallies and more intimate settings have been replaced by coverage of politics, Trump style.

University of St. Thomas theologian Paul Wojda looks back on Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and forward to the work that lies ahead. What will be the lasting impact of the Pope’s visit on the Catholic Church and the American body politic? Will his social-justice teaching create a space for a deeper dialogue on climate change, immigration, and the needs of the poor? Can the hope that Pope Francis inspired be sustained?

For ongoing coverage of the Pope from a progressive Catholic perspective go to www.ncronline.org

Rural Studies, Session I: The Political Map of Rural Minnesota

On-air date: 
Sun, 07/05/2015
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Over the next several months, TruthtoTell will be taking a look at developments in rural Minnesota. For many urbanites, rural Minnesota is a riddle. Who lives there? How do they make a living? Can you get Starbucks coffee there? Do rural people eat more pie than city folk? Are they more religious? How come rural people seem so conservative?  Do black people live in rural Minnesota? Gay people? Do rural people hate unions? Do farmers have to own 1,000 acres these days to make a profit?  And, most basically of all: What do rural people want, anyway?

On Monday’s edition of TTT, we begin our series by focusing on the political map. During the last election cycle, DFL incumbents lost 11 legislative seats to Republicans, who won control of the state House of Representatives. As a result, many of the issues that we have been covering on TTT died or were watered down: Driving privileges for undocumented immigrants, the Felon Voting Restoration Act, needed expansion of transportation infrastructure, funding for pre-K, and environmental protections are just a few of the issues that might have been different, had the DFL managed to win those elections.

So where did the DFL lose seats?  And more importantly, why? Did Republicans have better candidates, more money, a superior campaign strategy? Was—and is—the philosophy of today’s Republican Party more in tune with a majority of rural voters? Or can the DFL reclaim those seats in the 2016 presidential year.

Joining TTT to help us answer these and other questions is Jim Niland, a longtime labor and political activist who served most recently as political and legislative director of AFSCME Council 5, one of the largest public employee unions in the state.

A Tale of Two Cities: Perspectives From Minneapolis and St. Paul

On-air date: 
Mon, 06/08/2015
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We may be the Twin Cities, but Minneapolis and St. Paul are defined by our differences as well as similarities. Minneapolis is the poster child of urban cool — hell-bent to best Portland and Seattle as the hippest and most progressive city west of Madison.  St. Paul has Garrison Keilor,  and the St. Paul Saints.  And with its Winter Carnival it has all the cool it needs.

Both cities are near the top in rankings of most livable cities and are nationally recognized for strong cultures of civic participation. Yet — and here is the bad news — both Minneapolis and St. Paul also have among the nation’s highest rates of racial disparities.  What is city government doing to ensure that the good life in our Twin Towns can be shared by all? 

Joining TruthToTell to discuss these and other issues are first -erm city council members Alondra Cano, who represents the 9th Ward  in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s 1st Ward alderman, Dai Thao.

Can Candidates of Color Win Elections in Twin Cities Suburbs? You Betcha!

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/02/2015
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It is not big news to citizens who have been paying attention to developments in the Twin Cities Metro area that our suburbs are becoming more and more racially diverse. To date, however, these demographic shifts have not been reflected in the make-up of suburban city halls. This may be changing, however. In Brooklyn Center, where whites now make up a minority of city residents, April Graves was recently elected as that city’s first African-American city council member. And in Brooklyn Park, veteran community activist Joy Marsh Stephens ran a spirited campaign for mayor against a well-established incumbent—and in the process laid down a strong foundation for future efforts to build a more inclusive city hall.

Join Truth to Tell co-hosts Tom O'Connell and Siobhan Kierans at 9 a.m. on Monday as they ask April Graves and Joy Marsh Stephens to share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of building more inclusive communities and political representation in suburban Minnesota.

Is the United States Becoming an Oligarchy? Threats to Democracy and What We Can Do About It

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/08/2014
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Another mid-term election and more dismal news about the state of our democracy.  Voting participation, always low during mid-term elections, was lower than ever.  Even here in civic-minded Minnesota, participation, while higher than the national average, fell below turnout in 2010.  Meanwhile, campaign spending reached record proportions.  So called “dark money”—campaign contributions that are made anonymously—played a key role in both local and statewide races around the nation.  Here in Minnesota, outside money flowed into rural legislative races—and according to many experts, were a critical factor in the DFL loss of control of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

And what did all that money buy?  In too many cases, misdirection and triviality: the political equivalent of empty calories.  Meanwhile turnout declines as voters tuned out—and who can blame them?  There is a direct relationship between the decline of political participation and the increase in economic inequality.  And while members of today’s oligarchy don’t wear black hats and smoke long cigars, the result is the same. More power for the few—less for the rest of us.

The New Standard for Political Satire: How Humor Informs the Political Debate

On-air date: 
Mon, 09/22/2014
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In support of KFAI’s pledge drive, we present a very special humor edition of TruthToTell. Log on to www.kfai.org to make a pledge in support of TruthToTell and KFAI. 

Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are some of the most well-known political humorists/satirists of our time. But they're hardly the first writers or performers who made fun of political leaders. Political satire dates back to late 16th-century England, when William Shakespeare wrote a political satire called Richard III.  He fashioned his character after the original Richard III, a tyrant who died on the battlefield, 100 years earlier.

Flash forward another hundred years after Shakespeare and another British lad, William Hogarth, came along with a slightly different brand of political comedy — caricatures and cartoons.  His first cartoon, “The Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme,” was completed after the stock market crash in England in 1721. It was brazened satire at its finest, mimicking the financial and political corruption of the day that caused the crash.

Modern-day America enjoys political humor in lots of forms, from the long-running Saturday Night Live to The Onion, the newspaper filled with outlandish stories based on current events. After the 2004 presidential election, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 21 percent of 18-29 year olds cited The Daily Show and SNL as their primary source of political campaign news.

Political satire seems to have no rules, and why should it? The antics of some of the political characters these days are so beyond the realm of reality that they open themselves up to judgment and public mockery, with subjects and shenanigans too outlandish for a TV drama during sweeps!

Join co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Professor Tom O'Connell on TruthToTell Monday at 9 a.m. when they talk to Tane Danger and Brandon Boat from the Theater of Public Policy about the new standard of political humor and satire.

TruthToTell, Monday Oct 1-9AM: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy; PODCAST: Monday Sept 24: EMPOWERING U: Civic Engagement for the Disengaged - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 1, 2012

KFAI is respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

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One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

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Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesota has allowed itself to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but of the source of those funds. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

INVITED: Rep. Carlos Mariani Rosa/Jennifer Godinez – Minnesota Minority Education Partnership

AND YOU! Call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

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*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Become a Friend of TruthToTell. and let us put you on RADIO! We want to THANK YOU for coming to and/or donating to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash last Thursday, Sept. 20th. Your help will keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! If you were unable to join us or donate thus far, you can do so now: Always time to become a part of our family HERE! Welcome aboard!

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Collaborative efforts between and among advocacy and service groups seeking social justice and eliminating disparities – race, class and otherwise – are nothing new, but Heartland Democracy, Twin Cities RISE! and 180 Degrees have figured out how to take the time necessary to touch many age groups finding it tough to succeed in today’s world.

From Heartland’s website:

Empowering U is Heartland’s deep civic empowerment program. Through a series of guided discussions, participants discover the tangible benefits of involvement in community, politics, and self-governance. They develop the motivation and tools to become active, informed members of their communities. Heartland Democracy works with partner groups serving our neighbors with little or no experience of participation in community, government, or politics. Hence, Twin Cities Rise!, which provides employment training to adults who have faced challenges in gaining and holding jobs, is a natural host. TCR! understands that when their participants learn the methods for networking to achieve a community or political goal, that same network pays off in job networking, the identification of resources, financial stability, and wealth. In other words, when you can till the roots of democracy, you can cultivate the roots of the economy as well. Similarly, HD is working with juvenile ex-offenders under the auspices of 180 Degrees. Both cohorts are in St. Paul.

Policy analysis and progressive advocacy group Heartland Democracy is able to bring Empowering U to our St. Paul area neighbors at Twin Cities Rise!, 180 Degrees, and, later this year, Unity Center for Youth Leadership's high school internship program with the generous support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation. In this way, Heartland and cohorts are helping Minnesotans realize their own self-interest in the full range of citizenship.

Citizenship is really what TruthToTell has been about, lo, these past five years-plus. Civic engagement is the source of survival for our entire democracy.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL urges you to listen to Empowering U stories of the young men and women this program is meant to assist in gaining a grasp of public life and citizenship coming out of more troubled pasts.

GUESTS:

TOM VELLENGA – President, Heartland Democracy

KEITH SIMONS – Director of Personal Empowerment, Twin Cities Rise!

MONICA SANDERS – Alumna of Twin Cities Rise! Program

TruthToTell, Monday Sept 24-9AM: EMPOWERING U: Civic Engagement for the Disengaged; TruthToTell, Sept 17: VOTER PHOTO ID: Who Shouldn't Vote?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, September 24, 2012

 

Become a Friend of TruthToTell! We want to THANK YOU for coming to and/or donating to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash last Thursday, Sept. 20th. Your help will keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! If you were unable to join us or donate thus far, you can do so now: Always time to become a part of our family HERE! Welcome aboard!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Collaborative efforts between and among advocacy and service groups seeking social justice and eliminating disparities – race, class and otherwise – are nothing new, but Heartland Democracy, Twin Cities RISE! and 180 Degrees have figured out how to take the time necessary to touch many age groups finding it tough to succeed in today’s world.

From Heartland’s website:

Empowering U is Heartland’s deep civic empowerment program. Through a series of guided discussions, participants discover the tangible benefits of involvement in community, politics, and self-governance. They develop the motivation and tools to become active, informed members of their communities. Heartland Democracy works with partner groups serving our neighbors with little or no experience of participation in community, government, or politics. Hence, Twin Cities Rise!, which provides employment training to adults who have faced challenges in gaining and holding jobs, is a natural host. TCR! understands that when their participants learn the methods for networking to achieve a community or political goal, that same network pays off in job networking, the identification of resources, financial stability, and wealth. In other words, when you can till the roots of democracy, you can cultivate the roots of the economy as well. Similarly, HD is working with juvenile ex-offenders under the auspices of 180 Degrees. Both cohorts are in St. Paul.

Policy analysis and progressive advocacy group Heartland Democracy is able to bring Empowering U to our St. Paul area neighbors at Twin Cities Rise!, 180 Degrees, and, later this year, Unity Center for Youth Leadership's high school internship program with the generous support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation. In this way, Heartland and cohorts are helping Minnesotans realize their own self-interest in the full range of citizenship.

Citizenship is really what TruthToTell has been about, lo, these past five years-plus. Civic engagement is the source of survival for our entire democracy.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI help you listen to Empowering U stories of the young men and women this program is meant to assist in gaining a grasp of public life and citizenship coming out of more troubled pasts.

GUESTS:

TOM VELLENGA – President, Heartland Democracy

KEITH SIMONS – Director of Personal Empowerment, Twin Cities Rise!

MONICA SANDERS – Alumna of Twin Cities Rise! Program

JOE LASH – Juvenile Programs Director, 180 Degrees (residential program focusing on the transitional needs of formerly incarcerated individuals re-entering the community) 180 Degrees

ANDRE ISABELL – Evening Learning Center Program Coordinator, 180 Degrees

AND YOU! Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page!

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

 

Become a Friend of TruthToTell and let us put you on RADIO! Come to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash this Thursday,Sept. 20th., and help keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! We'll record your voice and ideas on mic! DETAILS HERE! PLEASE JOIN US!

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We continue our election coverage with the second of the Constitutional amendments facing Minnesota voters in November – the so-called Voter ID amendment – which would memorialize in cement a requirement that all voters present a government issued picture identification card in order to cast a ballot.

Pro-amendment forces, primarily Republicans who pushed this onto this year’s November election ballot – and even many Democrats who see little harm in such a requirement – claim that such a mandate will prevent voter fraud in a state with no substantial record of it.

Anti-voter ID amendment forces are as adamant about defeating this measure as many have been about the marriage amendment, that it is a costly and disenfranchising move, not just for the usual suspects, but for the fully one-third of Minnesotans who must use Election-Day Registration when voting.

Ultimately, this is about who should get to decide who runs this country, this state, these cities and so on. This is about power – and how you secure it for the future - - like gerrymandering in redistricting – preventing the other party from gaining any kind of foothold or holding a majority or running the government. Voting is just another frontier, is it not, in the acquisition and retention of power and control. The more citizens you can keep from voting, especially those likely to vote for the other guy, you’ll do it, right? 

A recent poll (KSTP) indicates both constitutional amendments are likely to pass.  Another poll has it closer.

As information trickles into the mainstream media about the effects Voter ID would have on the entire election system in Minnesota – as well as every other state where its appeared – powerful political forces are stepping up and denouncing it as much as those who proposed it in the first.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to sort out the pros and cons of passing or rejecting this proposed amendment to the State Constitution.

GUESTS:

GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON – former Minnesota Governor - OPPONENT of VoterID Amendment

REV. PAUL SLACK – President, ISAIAH - Twin Cities/Minnesota Faith-Based Community Coalition OPPOSED to VoterID; Pastor, New Creation Church, Minneapolis.

DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, Minnesota Majority – PRO-VoterID campaign leaders

DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, TakeAction-Minnesota - ANTI-VoterID campaign leaders

TruthToTell, Monday Sept 24: EMPOWERING U: Civic Engagement for the Disengaged - AUDIO PODCAST Below

On-air date: 
Mon, 09/24/2012

Become a Friend of TruthToTell. and let us put you on RADIO! We want to THANK YOU for coming to and/or donating to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash last Thursday, Sept. 20th. Your help will keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! If you were unable to join us or donate thus far, you can do so now: Always time to become a part of our family HERE! Welcome aboard!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Collaborative efforts between and among advocacy and service groups seeking social justice and eliminating disparities – race, class and otherwise – are nothing new, but Heartland Democracy, Twin Cities RISE! and 180 Degrees have figured out how to take the time necessary to touch many age groups finding it tough to succeed in today’s world.

From Heartland’s website:

Empowering U is Heartland’s deep civic empowerment program. Through a series of guided discussions, participants discover the tangible benefits of involvement in community, politics, and self-governance. They develop the motivation and tools to become active, informed members of their communities. Heartland Democracy works with partner groups serving our neighbors with little or no experience of participation in community, government, or politics. Hence, Twin Cities Rise!, which provides employment training to adults who have faced challenges in gaining and holding jobs, is a natural host. TCR! understands that when their participants learn the methods for networking to achieve a community or political goal, that same network pays off in job networking, the identification of resources, financial stability, and wealth. In other words, when you can till the roots of democracy, you can cultivate the roots of the economy as well. Similarly, HD is working with juvenile ex-offenders under the auspices of 180 Degrees. Both cohorts are in St. Paul.

Policy analysis and progressive advocacy group Heartland Democracy is able to bring Empowering U to our St. Paul area neighbors at Twin Cities Rise!, 180 Degrees, and, later this year, Unity Center for Youth Leadership's high school internship program with the generous support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation. In this way, Heartland and cohorts are helping Minnesotans realize their own self-interest in the full range of citizenship.

Citizenship is really what TruthToTell has been about, lo, these past five years-plus. Civic engagement is the source of survival for our entire democracy.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL urges you to listen to Empowering U stories of the young men and women this program is meant to assist in gaining a grasp of public life and citizenship coming out of more troubled pasts.

GUESTS:

TOM VELLENGA – President, Heartland Democracy

KEITH SIMONS – Director of Personal Empowerment, Twin Cities Rise!

MONICA SANDERS – Alumna of Twin Cities Rise! Program


57:02 minutes (52.21 MB)

Andy’s Blog: The Conservative Knows - Almost Better Than We

 

Some believe MoveOn and progressives should not be quoting conservative Barry Goldwater, who famously is quoted saying: "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

 

But, Goldwater is a perfect resource for what could happen to an old conservative who not only moderated as he aged, but actually supported Clinton, I believe. Better that it come from another conservative than some secualr lefty like me. 

 The MoveOn quote is merely a portion of the few choice words Goldwater uttered in reaction to the preponderance of religious influence.

Here’s another: “On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.”

I say:

This is an old war in every country. Religious zealots have forever believed they should be in charge of the corporal world around them and elsewhere. Not that most of it was a spiritual belief system driving this, but a zealotry of religious overlay on the secular diversity around them. That’s where politics stepped in to create the schism between Christians and Jews, Catholics and Islam, the pope and Henry VIII, the Catholics and Martin Luther (and John Knox and John Calvin, evangelists in their own day), between the Coptics and Rome, between Rome and the Byzantine rites, between Roman orthodoxy and Greek and Russian orthodoxy. The Puritans and other Americans. It’s what the Inquisition was about. Note the dominant presence of Catholicism in that history. Note the domination of evangelism in rightwing politics in this country, yes, but the role of Catholicism in anti-human rights initiatives yet again. Witness the attempted hijacking of Far Eastern/Asian cultures by Spanish and Portuguese Jesuits in the 16th and 17th Century.

Today, it's Opus One and a plethora of evangelists and archdioceses gamnely attempting to stop human rights in their tracks - especially any human right and proven science associated with sex and marriage.

Human rights = equals freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion. Most religious conservatives hate human rights - because it means losing control of the masses to secular humanism - a death knell for religious dominance over irreligious politics.