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Teaching freedom of speech and religion in schools

February 17, 2010

Here’s some recommended reading for those interested in the issues covered by this blog:

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has an excellent article by historian and author Russell Shorto titled “How Christian Were the Founders?” The piece focuses an a school board battle in Texas, where a small but powerful contingent of right-wing Christians are pushing to incorporate religion into history teaching. Shorto examines issues of intent in the founding documents – such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – which were written by devoutly Christian men who were nevertheless skeptical of religion’s role in public life. The article touches upon free speech issues in Revolutionary times and today, where right-wing activists and “hard-line secularists” alike claim that they are not being heard.

Shorto’s most recent book, Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason, focuses on related topics.

Read the article here.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.