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All Things Considered Home Page30th Anniversary of ATC
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All Things Considered


  • The United States budget reaches the trillion-dollar mark for the first time. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev campaigns for glasnost (openness) and perestroika (reconstruction).
  • Noah Adams leaves ATC to host Minnesota Public Radio's Good Evening. Renee Montagne and Robert Siegel co-host ATC.
  • On the Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 shows, ATC broadcast excerpts of a lengthy conversation between Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg and Justice William Brennan. After establishing that Brennan was a mass-going Catholic -- "every Saturday, 5:15 mass," he declared -- Totenberg asked about Brennan's many opinions interpreting the Constitution's clauses on religion.

    Totenberg: When you're focusing on the religion clauses, what is it you're trying to figure out?

    Brennan: What I have said was that under our Constitution, government has to stay away from trying to regulate religion, and religion has to stay away from butting in on matters that are for government. The whole notion of separation of church and state, and the notion that this means the Constitution sponsors hostility to religion, is just so very, very wrong. We have learned through bloody experience... that religious conflicts can be the bloodiest, most cruel kinds of conflicts that seem to turn people into fanatics. And that's the kind of history that prompted the framers to write the prohibitions of the religious clauses in the Constitution."

    Hear the broadcast.