Earlier this year, we spoke with Mary Kent Whittaker, a teacher at Watauga High School in Boone, North Carolina, and several of her students, about an attempt to remove a book from her Honors English curriculum. The book at issue was "The House of the Spirits," by Isabel Allende.
Since our original episode, Ms. Whittaker received several additional awards, both local and state-wide. And Ms. Allende was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Beelzebub and his buds have been anything but idle lately. They have been challenging governmental religious displays and practices for much of the past year, as we discussed in our two previous episodes, "The Devil went Down to Oklahoma," Parts I and II.
Join us for an enlightening discussion of the Religion Clauses of the Constitution, Satanism, and just why Lucien Greaves, the Overlord of the Satanic Temple, is such a determined trouble-maker.
Do you believe in democracy? True democracy?
This week, Stewart has a wide-ranging, thoughtful, provocative conversation with Chris Phillips, the proprietor of the Democracy Café. Chris will make you think. About a lot of things. Perhaps most fundamentally, he'll make you think about just how much democracy you can really take.
Diana Muir Appelbaum wrote a book back in the 1980's that just recently came to Stewart's attention. But it's worth talking about, because it tells us just how American a holiday Thanksgiving really is. And we're not just talking turkey.
The Second World War was, at least in Western Europe, a struggle between authoritarianism and constitutional democracy. Two of the greatest battles there took place over the skies of Britain in 1940 and on the shores of Normandy in 1944. We went there. Now we’ll tell you all about it.
Here's a hairy subject: the constitutional significance of beards. With the aid of our friend, Professor Joseph Fitsanakis of King University, and his fellow-members of the Tri-Cities Beard Club, Ollie and Maggie, we explore the many and surprising constitutional aspects of facial hair. And, no, we're not kidding.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Yup, it's the very first line of the American Declaration of Independence. And, yes, we know that the Declaration is not part of the Constitution. Sheesh. Give us a break - it's still pretty important. In fact, it's so important that we wonder: just what are these "Laws of Nature" and who is this “Nature’s God?” Jesus? Vishnu? Zeus? Or perhaps someone else? Author Matthew Stewart digs deep into history and philosophy and shares his findings with us in his new book, "Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic."
Mitt Romney thinks so, and the Supreme Court agrees with him, at least in some circumstances.
But others disagree. And they want to definitively reject "corporate personhood" by amending our Constitution. We'll speak with one of them, Jeff Clements, the author of a book entitled, appropriately enough, "Corporations are Not People."
States have constitutions, too. And sometimes those constitutions are amended.
For example, Tennessee voters will go to the polls on November 4, 2014, to determine the fate of four proposed amendments to the Tennessee Constitution. We don't have time to discuss all four, so we've picked one that might otherwise be overlooked: Amendment 2, which will, if approved, change the way that Tennessee appellate judges are selected.
For the proponents: Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.
For the opponents: Political columnist Frank Daniels of The Tennessean.
Let the constitutional debate begin!
Citizens United is perhaps the most-criticized Supreme Court decision in recent memory. But what's all the fuss about?
We'll speak with two leading critics of Citizens United, John Bonifaz and Ron Fein of Free Speech for People, who began their efforts to overturn the decision on the very day it was announced.
Please note: this episode was originally broadcast as part of the WETS fall fundraiser in 2014, so you'll hear a reference or two to donations. The episode is also a bit shorter than most, since several fundraising announcements have been removed from the podcast version. But never fear: you can always donate at www.wets.org.