FROM Randall Balmer
The Academics of Textbooks Get Political School boards often toil outside the spotlight, but that has not been case recently for the Texas State Board of Education . Almost half of the elected group are conservative Christians, who, along with the rest of their colleagues take an active role in determining the contents of textbooks used in schools across the state and, by extension, many of the books that end up in schools across the country. How much control should elected officials have over what’s taught in class? Is this breaking down the barrier between Church and State? What part should scientists, historians, and other experts play in the debate over curriculum? Do public schools too often ignore the role of religion in American history?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?