Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Today on The Michelangelo Signorile Show on SiriusXM PROGRESS ch.127

Like most Americans growing up in the 1980s, Brian Brown the president of the National Organization for Marriage was taught to think of the communist Soviet Union as a dark and evil place, but over the course of the past few years his stance on Russia, like many other American Conservatives has shifted drastically.  Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage and a leading opponent of same-sex marriage has visited Moscow four times in four years, including a 2013 trip during which he testified before the Duma as Russia adopted a series of anti-gay laws.  Joining me today to talk all about the burgeoning alliance between Russians and U.S. conservatives is Rosalind Helderman who is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.

Yesterday, Politico reported that Donald Trump has invited conservative leaders to the White House on Thursday for what they expect will be the ceremonial signing of a long-awaited—and highly controversial—executive order on ‘religious liberty’. The original draft order, which was leaked to The Nation on Feb. 1 would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under virtually any circumstance, and we are now hearing that this new version is not much different.  Joining me today to talk all about Trump’s ‘religious liberty’ Executive Order and the dander it poses for civil rights in the United States is Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) of Wisconsin who has also recently re-introduced historic, comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans known as The Equality Act of 2017 on the Senate Floor. 

Back in the 1950s, as the nation was in the grips of the cold war and the struggle for civil rights, a young minister in Indianapolis named Jim Jones began preaching a blend of the Christian gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was lauded as an example of the future of race relations in America.  Eventually, Jones would move his church, the Peoples Temple, to northern California where he would become involved in politics and been seen as a prominent leader in the Bay Area.  However by 1978, the world would have a very different impression of Jones and church.  In his new book The Road To Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple award-winning investigative journalist and bestselling author Jeff Guinn tells the full story of Jones’ life and the events that led to that fatal day back in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people—including almost three hundred infants and children— died after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.  Jeff joins me on the show today to talk all about the book and the tragic story of the Jonestown Massacre.

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