Brian Godawa's new documentary Wall of Separation is set to air on PBS during the month of June. Click here to read the PBS press release and check local listings. Here is a description from Godawa's website:
The “wall of separation” is a metaphor deeply embedded in the American consciousness, and an idea that continues to cause deep controversy within the country. In this historical documentary, Godawa takes a look at what the Founding Fathers intended when they framed the Constitution and wrote the First Amendment religion clauses. Were they trying to create a Christian nation, a secular paradise, or something in between?
An examination of the humble origins of the “wall of separation” in Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists reveals a meaning quite different from the modern understanding, yet one that foreshadowed the ongoing debate of today.
The documentary takes a look at how our understanding of church and state relations has changed through history by means of Supreme Court decisions and cultural pressures. From Everson vs. Board of Education to the most recent decisions over Ten Commandments displays, such interpretations are explored in comparison with the Founder’s original intent. This raises questions: Should "original intent" guide modern interpretation? Should government be secular, or should religion have influence on the State? There are no easy answers to this ongoing debate that polarizes the nation. (see also PBS pressroom).