Church & State:  A Perspective
   Details
We've all heard the phrase "separation of church and state" but where does it come from? What Does it mean? And do we have it in the United States? Find out by watching the documentary "Church and State:  A Perspective."

The film also takes a look at various World religions and the complex relationship between government and religion in Western history.

With the blessings of his coworkers Charles Dewandeler worked on the documentary off-and-on between other CTTV projects for a full year before the documentary was completed.

The events following 9/11 played a large part in convincing Dewandeler that a documentary of this kind needed to be made. "I was thinking 'why hasn't anyone made a documentary like this yet?' and then I figured 'if no one else is going to do it then I'll do it first.'"

Dewandeler decided to keep the film relatively local by limiting his interviews to significant members of the community within the Metro Detroit area. Whenever possible he conducted interviews with individuals from within Clinton Township.
The documentary also contains interesting tidbits of information. For example did you know that Christianity (due to colonization and missionary work) has primarily spread from Europe to North America, South America and the southern half of Africa. While Islam has spread from the Middle East to eastern Europe, western Asia and the north half of Africa.
The majority Christianity's 33% World following is a direct result of Europe's colonization and missionary work dating back hundreds of years
With the help of media, Islam has become the fasted growing religion today but most of it's 20% World following is from the areas in and around the Middle East

   Interviewees
Father Doc Ortman, St. Clement of Rome in Romeo
Hamid Dana, member of the Islamic Center / affiliate of the N.C.C.J.
Imam Shuajb Gerguri, Albanian Islamic Center in Harper Woods
Jennifer Granholm, Michigan State Governor
Pastor Bill Revoir, Cross Current Church of Clinton Township
Pastor D.L. Bradley, Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Faith Church in Clinton Township
Pastor Phil Scharnitzke, Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica
Parang Geri Larkin, Still Point Buddhist Temple in Detroit
Professor Robert Sedler, Wayne State University
Rabbi Dan Syme, Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills
Reverend Michael Nardin, Central Baptist Church in Clinton Township
Reverend Steve DeKok, Bethany Baptist Church in Clinton Township
   Production Notes
After shooting more than twelve hours of interviews and other photography, Dewandeler turned toward the internet to find "public domain" and "fair use" photographs and paintings to fill holes in the editing process. As he edited, Dewandeler simultaneously wrote the script by compiling information from not only the interviews but three scholarly books as well. "It was important to myself and my boss that I not put anything in the documentary unless I was sure it was accurate." (Thus far nothing in the documentary has been disputed)

After countless hours of editing and re-editing the film, it finally hit the airwaves (or should we say "cable lines") on Friday, August 12, 2005. "So far I've only heard positive comments about it," Dewandeler said, "nobody's told me they haven't liked it yet. So I think that's a good thing."

   Letter from Clinton Township resident to CTTV
I just wanted to praise everyone at CTTV for the fantastic job they did with the film on "The Separation of Church and State." It was very informative, very well written, very balanced and very well produced. It is far and away the best thing ever to come out of a locally produced television program. It had the professional look one would expect from a national network and I was very impressed. I hope that we will be treated to more of these excellent productions in the future.

-Bill Prieb

    World's Religious Beliefs
United States Religious Beliefs
1.   Christianity
2.   Islam
3.   Hinduism
4.   Non-Religious
5.   Buddhism
6.   Atheism
7.   Sikhism
8.   Judaism
9.   Baha'ism
10. Confucianiasm

*Others not covered in program
33.0%
20.0%
13.0%
12.5%
  6.0%
  2.4%
  0.4%
  0.2%
  0.1%
  0.1%

12.3%
NOTE:
All numbers are estimates and may not be complete.
76.7%
14.2%
  5.4%
  1.4%
    .5%
    .5%
    .4%
    .3%
    .6%
Christian
No Religion
Did Not Reply to Survey
Jewish
Islamic
Buddhist
Hindu
Unitarian Universalist
Other

*According to 2001 U.S. Census
   Religious Categories
Atheism
Monotheism
Polytheism
Non-Theism
- a belief in no God
- a belief in one God (i.e.. Christianity, Islam, Judaism)
- a belief in multiple Gods (i.e.. Hinduism)
- Gods are not discussed or unknown (i.e.. Buddhism, Agnosticism)

   First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

NOTE:  Thomas Jefferson (one of the framers of Constitution and our 3rd President) referred to this Amendment as a "...wall of separation between church and state." And this has been the subject of the debate for the past 200 plus years.
   Important Events in U.S. History
1776 -
1787 -
1789 -
1791 -
1952 -
1953 -
1956 -
Declaration of Independence
Constitution written
Constitution takes effect
Bill of Rights added to Constitution (includes First Amendment)
Congress declares National Day of Prayer a national holiday
the words "under God" are added to the Pledge of Allegiance
"In God We Trust" becomes a new national motto and would soon appear on all U.S. currency
1962 -
U.S. Supreme Courts finds public school prayer unconstitutional because it endorses a specific religious practice and infringes on the rights of those who do not wish to pray or do not wish to pray in the same manor as the rest of the class. This is true even if the prayer is voluntary because even if a child is given the choice to exclude themselves from the group they will likely feel ostracized. This will likely cause the child to participate anyway and therefore is a form of coercion. A violation of the child's right to worship freely and a violation of the parents right to raise the child their way.
It is all right however to hold a "moment of silence."
1963 -
U.S. Supreme Court finds Bible Study in public schools unconstitutional because it endorses a specific religious belief (Christianity). For those who try and justify Bible Study as a tool for studying history, they must now use a history book.
1968 -
U.S. Supreme Court makes a complicated decision on the teaching of Evolution vs. Creationism. Certain Christian groups (then and now) consider evolution to be contradictory to the Bible because it negates the idea that the Earth and all creatures on it were literally created in 6 days. These groups said that teaching evolution was a violation of their right to worship freely.
The Supreme Court disagreed, declaring that since teaching evolution did NOT support a specific religious belief and therefore was not a violation. The Supreme Court then declared that censoring evolution was unconstitutional because it violated free speech.
However, they also decided that it was unconstitutional to prevent the teaching of creationism. But there was a catch. Government employees (i.e.. teachers) could not simply begin Bible Study again and call it "Creationism." If teachers chose to discuss Creationism they had to do so WITH scientific evidence.
2005 -
U.S. Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional to display the Ten Commandments on government property for religious purposes. However, it is all right if the Ten Commandments are displayed on government property for secular purposes. The funny thing is, the Supreme Court does not lay out strict guidelines on what is a "religious" display versus what is a "secular" display.
Those for the displays call for freedom of speech and the idea that the Ten Commandments displayed in or around court buildings is a reminder of our historic roots in written law. Those against the displays point out that only two of the Commandments are actually "laws" recognized by the State. Those are "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not steel." The other eight Commandments are religious doctrine and by placing them on government property it implies that the government is encouraging them or "respecting an establishment of religion."

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