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God in Government, a one-hour documentary, explores the complex relationship between religion & politics in the contemporary world. With the United States as the focal point, and Iran, Israel and India as object lessons, the film asks fundamental questions: “What are the consequences when religion and politics become intertwined?” “What are the fault lines along which tensions and conflicts occur?” “What is the appropriate relationship between ‘church’ and state in a modern society?”
The film begins and ends in the United States, the only nation founded specifically on the principle of a clear separation between religion and state. Here, the debate over the implications of the First Amendment has continued for more than two hundred years. Today, with a self-proclaimed, “committed Christian” President advocating faith-based initiatives in the welfare system, a vocal Christian right seeking to influence domestic and foreign policy, and an increasingly diverse religious landscape, the debate about the appropriate role of religion in America’s public square has become more urgent than ever.
God In Government was produced by the Independent Production Fund in 2004.
God In Government is the kind of program that public television should be about. It makes you think, it might make you angry, and it may make you want to do something. — Steve Graziano, Manager of Television Program Services, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications
God in Government is a powerful film that The Riverside Church plans to use as a catalyst for discussion at our 11/18 Mobilization 2004 forum, ‘Where Do We Go From Here.’ As a progressive church vested in the principles of prophetic justice, The Riverside Church believes it is important that all faith based groups and organizations understand the global nature of the ‘volatile mix of religion and politics’ portrayed in this important documentary film. — Tinoa Rodgers, Director of Media, Riverside Church, New York City
We want to draw your attention to a fascinating and powerful new documentary, God in Government. The one-hour piece explores the complex relationship between ‘religion and ‘politics’ in the contemporary world, focusing on the situations in Iran, Israel, India, and the United States. One idea might be to host a showing of the film — at your home, or place of worship - on the Day of Action.
— Newsletter excerpt, Faithful America, National Council of Churches
We aired [God in Government] last night at 10pm and it did great — higher than average ratings for that time period. It averaged a .98, and gained audience after the first 15 minutes and held a steady 1.05 for the last 45 minutes. — Nancy Southgate, Vice President, WPBA Atlanta
God in Government received very high viewership numbers on our station. It was seen in 23,000 homes in an 11:00PM Tuesday timeslot, which for us is very good. — Zvi Schoubin, Programming Manager, Maryland Public Television
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for this great program. God in Government was an extremely well-produced documentary and very even-handed, though it focused on a very controversial and volatile subject--the mix of God and religion in politics in the U.S. and around the world. This documentary is "must viewing" for absolutely every segment of our country, regardless of one's religious or political affiliation.
— Linda Stefanovic, Director of Programming, KENW-TV (Eastern New Mexico, West Texas)
The show was very well done. I’ve never seen a show go outside of the U.S. to examine church/state issues, and this brought a rich new perspective to the debate. — Ken Wolfe, Viewer, Fort Collins, CO
I just saw God in Government and I am writing to say it was one of the most impressive documentaries I have seen in a long, long time. Among other things, the transition from the U.S. to India to Israel was really ingenious, very thoughtful. What a wonderful program.
— Dr. Lawrence Rich, Viewer, Washington DC
I loved the program, and found it to be very informative and insightful. The format helps people to focus on and sort through important information that they might not normally consider. (The writer ordered extra copies of God in Government to give as gifts).
— Jacquelyn Bralove , Viewer, Arlington, VA