PBS God in America 3: Religious relationships shape politics

Evangelist Billy Graham greeting friends Nancy and Ronald Reagan

The Kings in a moment of public celebration.Politics. If America’s political divisions weren’t hot enough already, PBS moves politics to the front burner of its historic 6-hour series on “God in America.” (Click here to read about Part 1 of the series; and here’s coverage of Part 2.)

The first hour of tonight’s 2-hour final episode is called “Soul of a Nation” and ranges from the early days of the Rev. Billy Graham to the triumph and tragedy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The final hour, tonight, is called “Of God and Caesar” and covers the force of faith in political and military conflict both in the United States and around the world.

Get Ready for Small-Group Discussions:

Huge issues are jammed into this 6-hour series and tonight’s 2-hour finale covers chapters of history that are near and dear to viewers’ hearts. You’re likely to be impressed—but you also may vigorously disagree with some conclusions drawn in the PBS series. That’s what makes it a great discussion starter for small groups.

You can pre-order PBS’ “God in America” on DVD from Amazon now.

We know from experience that this series sparks great discussions! In Michigan, where the worldwide Home Office of ReadTheSpirit is based, Editor David Crumm and OurValues.Org columnist Dr. Wayne Baker participated in a one-hour Public Forum about the issues raised in “God in America.” A video of that hour-long forum will air later this month on Michigan public television. (We’re told this roundtable video also may be streamed online; again, stay tuned and we’ll alert you when the forum’s broadcast time and online location are set.)

Thanks to Readers for Commenting on God in America

We encourage you to tell us what you think (lots of ways to reach us are listed below). AND, we thank readers for sending us comments in a wide range of formats.

Note from ‘Lou on LOST’ in San Francisco: “I’m sure you’re right about that first hour. The ‘LOST’ homage had to be deliberate. To see Benjamin Linus ganging up on poor Ann Hutchinson made my blood boil in a way it hasn’t since LOST ended.”

From Gregory in Georgia via Facebook on Part 1: “Great show. Interesting that the evangelicals were the ones promoting the separation of church and state! I can’t wait to see the rest of the story.” And on Part 2: “As we are asked in Jim Wallis’ book, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street: Where does it say in the Bible that Americans are God’s chosen people?”

From UofM’s Dr. Daniel Ramirez on tonight’s Part 3, voiced in a comment during our public forum: “I was surprised to see in the Martin Luther King section some details often left out of the narrative.” (What were those details? Well, Dr. Ramirez had seen a preview of tonight’s Part 3 and we won’t spoil the series by telling you. Tune in yourself tonight!)

Need Help with a Study Guide?
Here’s More Fuel for Your American Reflections

VISIT THE PBS WEBSITE: PBS has an elaborate website for the series, which includes a preview clip and other background materials.

CHAT ONLINE “LIVE” with “God in America” Producers: Our friends at www.Patheos.com are hosting live online chatting opportunties with producers of the PBS series. That’s a great chance to log in, over at Patheos’ God in America page, and raise a question with the folks responsible for this series. CHAT TIMES at Patheos are listed in Eastern Time: Today, Wednesday October 13 from Noon to 1 p.m. and Thursday October 14 from Noon to 1 p.m.

LOTS OF HELPFUL ReadTheSpirit Stories: In Part 1 and also in Part 2 of our ReadTheSpirit coverage of “God in America” we list a half dozen valuable links to “read more.” If you’re interested in these issues, you’ll find a gold mine of resources right there. We ALSO have a helpful index to our own recent American Journey series, which took Editor David Crumm and his son Benjamin Crumm through 40 days and nearly 10,000 miles around America.

And, please tell us what YOU think …

We want our “national conversation” to continue

Conversation is far better than the dangerous shouting matches we’ve been witnessing in our global culture recently. So, please, email us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of our stories—and, please tell a friend to start reading along with you!

We welcome your Emails! . We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, AmazonHuffington PostYouTube and other social-networking sites. You also can Subscribe to our articles via Email or RSS feed. Plus, there’s a free Monday-morning “Planner” newsletter you may enjoy.

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