UVU Center For Constitutional Studies To Host PBS Film Premiere And Distinguished Discussion Panel
October 25, 2012
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Rick A. Griffin (801) 863-5472
The Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University will host the Utah premiere of the PBS special “First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty” and an accompanying discussion panel on Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center’s Ragan Theater.
The evening’s events will kick off with a 30-minute premiere of “First Freedom.” This exciting, new PBS special, which will air nationally on Dec. 18, details the development of religious liberty from the pilgrims to the U.S. Bill of Rights, and chronicles the story of how the most basic of human freedoms — freedom of conscience — was codified for the first time in world history as an inalienable human right protected by law.
Following the screening of “First Freedom,” Randall Balmer, a prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee; Matthew S. Holland, author of “Bonds of Affection” and president of Utah Valley University; and Lee Groberg, the film’s producer, will participate in a discussion panel moderated by Rick A. Griffin, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies. The distinguished panel will, in particular, examine the role of religious liberty in the founding of the United States and its relevance today. The DVD of the film (by Lee Groberg and Mark Goodman) and the companion book (by Randall Balmer, Lee Groberg and Mark Mabry) are both published by Covenant Communications.
Randall Balmer has published more than a dozen books, including “God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush” and “The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond.” His second book, “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America,” was made into an award-winning, three-part documentary for PBS that earned him an Emmy Award nomination.
Lee Groberg is an award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years experience in the production of historical television documentaries, including the recent PBS “Fires of Faith” docudrama on the making of the King James Bible.
“We are excited to be able to host the premiere of this important film,” Rick Griffin said. “A point of emphasis in students’ research at the Center for Constitutional Studies is the primacy of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, of which religious freedom is conspicuously listed first among our fundamental liberties. It is important to remember that this freedom is not just for people of faith. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution not only protects the free exercise of religion, but it also protects minority religions and those who do not believe in God from being subject to the majority’s particular religious creed. Our freedom of religion, therefore, remains one of the true bulwarks of liberty and one of our nation’s most important and precious fundamental liberties.”
The first of its kind in the Intermountain U.S., the UVU Center for Constitutional Studies is a non-partisan, academic institute that promotes the instruction, study and research of constitutionalism. Students benefit from rigorous course work and research examining European and Colonial foundations of American constitutionalism, the political thought and constitution making of the American founding, the framing and development of the U.S. Constitution and select comparative constitutional studies.
The PBS special premiere is free and open to the public, but is a ticketed event. Tickets can be obtained at the Center for Constitutional Studies on the third floor of the UVU Library and by “Will-Call” at 801-863-5470.
Randall Balmer will participate in a book signing immediately following the discussion panel.
For more information about the event, please visit www.uvu.edu/ccs.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.