William Martin is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at Rice University and Chavanne Senior Fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute, where he directs two programs, Religion and Public Policy and Drug Policy. After graduating from Abilene Christian University and Harvard Divinity School, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1969. During his 45 years at Rice, he has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is the author of seven books, including A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story; regarded as the authoritative biography of the famed evangelist; With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America, the companion volume to a PBS mini-series of the same name; and My Prostate and Me: Dealing with Prostate Cancer. In addition to nearly 90 articles in Texas Monthly, beginning in 1974, his writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Harper’s, and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His reviews of religious services throughout the state (1979 to 1983 and 2006 to 2008) were the subject of a 60 Minutes segment in 1979. Bill and his wife, Patricia, divide their time between Houston and Wimberley.
A Republican judge from Harris County, with the support of the conservative TPPF and the left-leaning TCJC, is working with Democratic lawmakers to reduce the sentences for defendants arrested with trace amounts of illegal drugs. But it takes more than bipartisanship to change people's views on the state's drug laws.
The question isn’t how the followers of an obscure Turkish imam came to operate the largest charter school system in Texas. It’s whether the incredible success they’ve had can help our ailing public schools.
A growing chorus of unlikely voices, from the El Paso City Council to the Arizona attorney general, has called for a serious look at legalizing marijuana. Why Texas should lead the way.