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Monday, October 11, 2010

TV Alert - God in America on PBS

Starting tonight (October 11th) and continuing the next two nights (9-11 PM EST) there will be a 6 hour miniseries called God in America on PBS. This is a joint venture between American Experience and Frontline and from the promotional material that I have seen it looks to be very informative.

Now, the title, God in America, may make you think that this is going to be religious and preachy, but I don’t think so. First of all, I am not very religious at all and I really want to see this. Second, from what I understand this show is going to look at the role that religion play in the development of this country and how it shaped us. I mean, you can’t really deny that the Pilgrims came to the US to escape religious persecution. This show will cover from colonization right up until the contemporary period. There will be a mix of documentary footage (for more current events) as well as dramatic reenactments. Actor alert: Michael Emerson, who played Ben on ABC’s LOST, will play John Winthrop in one of the episodes of God in America.

Here is the blurb:

“For the first time on television, God in America, a presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States. The six-hour series, which interweaves documentary footage, historical dramatization and interviews with religious historians, will air over three consecutive nights on PBS beginning Oct. 11, 2010.

God in America examines the potent and complex interaction between religion and democracy, the origins of the American concept of religious liberty, and the controversial evolution of that ideal in the nation's courts and political arena. The series considers the role religious ideas and institutions have played in social reform movements from abolition to civil rights, examining the impact of religious faith on conflicts from the American Revolution to the Cold War, and how guarantees of religious freedom created a competitive American religious marketplace. It also explores the intersection of political struggle and spiritual experience in the lives of key American historical figures including Franciscan Friars and the Pueblo leader Po'pay, Puritan leader John Winthrop and dissident Anne Hutchinson, Catholic Bishop John Hughes, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, reform Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, Scopes trial combatants William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, evangelist Billy Graham, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Moral Majority's Jerry Falwell.”

And the video:

I think that this is a worthwhile show and I commend the producers for taking on this (hopefully not controversial) show. I will have a review up on Thursday after all of the episodes have aired. Please be sure to drop by then and let me know what you think.

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I am sorry I missed this. We have been coming and going so much lately I somehow missed the adds and dates for it. In all honesty, I have become very upset with the part religion is increasingly playing in our country. Our freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion have been compromised. Since when does our president have to defend and prove his religious choice and beliefs. It is not supposed to be anyone's business but his own. It is not a requirement to be a christian to be president, just as it is not require to be an American. You would not know that by the way people are being treated.
    I will try to catch up with this series. I'm interested to see what it has to say. Sorry I went on a rant. This has become a very sore point lately. We now live in the Bible Belt. The attitudes and beliefs sometimes boggle the mind. Facts need not apply, they won't be considered.

  2. Librarypat - The episodes are available online now - if you go to http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/view/. I agree with you that religion has certainly become a hot point in this country today and become something taboo to speak about.


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