I received this notice of an upcoming show of interest on PBS, to air next Tuesday, December 18: First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty. I'll post the info. below for those interested.
NEW PBS DOCUMENTARY “FIRST FREEDOM”EXPLORES FAITH OF U.S. FOUNDING FATHERS& THE PATH TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN AMERICA
Film Airs December 18 —
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “FIRST FREEDOM: The Fight for Religious Liberty” is a 90-minute documentary that examines how the most basic of human freedoms — freedom of conscience — was codified for the first time in human history by America’s Founding Fathers as an inalienable human right protected by law, instigating a landmark and lasting shift in human history.
“FIRST FREEDOM: The Fight for Religious Liberty” airs on PBS stations nationwide on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET (check local listings). This film uses stunning re-enactments, the Founding Fathers’ own words, and the incisive commentary of key experts to profile the lives and times of the colonial Americans who raised the ideal of religious freedom to the level of a fundamental human right. The broadcast is accompanied by a companion book and website, as well as comprehensive educational resources.
“FIRST FREEDOM” examines these provocative and historically significant issues by exploring the religious history leading up to the era of the American Revolution, key debates on the intersection of religion and governance, and the Founding Fathers’ personal beliefs about religion. The film details the progression of religious liberty from Pilgrims and Puritans to the creation of the Bill of Rights and how it shaped a new nation, guaranteeing religious freedom for its citizens and establishing a free marketplace for religion in the United States. A government without the interlocking authority of religion was utterly unprecedented in Western history and within a generation of its creation, it produced a vibrant religious culture still unmatched anywhere in the world. “FIRST FREEDOM” also explores with scholars, historians and writers the contemporary tests of religious freedom, current interpretations, and the lasting legacy of the Constitutional guarantees.
The film draws on the expertise of today’s most respected authorities on the subject of faith and American history, including on-camera interviews with the following individuals:
- Douglas Brinkley, project scriptwriter, professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair
- Forrest Church (1948–2009), writer, historian and pastor of All Souls Church, Manhattan. Author of So Help Me God; The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State
- John Hope Franklin (1915–2009), author of the seminal From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, Professor Emeritus, Duke University, and 1996 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Jon Meacham, former Editor-In-Chief, Newsweek Magazine, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
- Cokie Roberts, senior news analyst for NPR News, where she was the congressional correspondent for more than 10 years, and political commentator for ABC News
- Virginia: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate, Historic Christ Church and Colonial Williamsburg
- Pennsylvania: Valley Forge, Independence Hall and Carpenters’ Hall
- Massachusetts: The restored Puritan village of Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth
- England: Sempringham and London
Additionally, “FIRST FREEDOM” includes a companion book with the same title, authored by Randall Balmer, Lee Groberg and photographer Mark Mabry. FIRST FREEDOM: The Fight for Religious Liberty explores the history represented in the film with primary texts and rich photographic illustrations. The companion book will be available for purchase at www.ShopPBS.org.
For more information about “FIRST FREEDOM: The Fight for Religious Liberty,” visit www.pbs.org/firstfreedom. An electronic press kit, including downloadable photos for promotional use, a complete list of interviewed experts, and a quote sheet of the Founding Fathers’ words from the film, is available atpressroom.pbs.org.