U.Va.'s Miller Center Offers Debate: Should Religion and Politics Mix?

March 4, 2008 — On Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m., the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in partnership with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, will hold the third event of its National Discussion and Debate Series. Four participants will argue the resolution “Religion should have no place in politics or government.” The debate will be moderated by Evan Thomas, editor-at-large of Newsweek.

Supporting the resolution will be the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Jacques Berlinerblau, associate professor and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, Georgetown University.

Opposing it are Chuck Colson, founder and chairman of Prison Fellowship Ministries, and Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., senior pastor of Hope Christian Church

More information, including biographies of the debaters, research, lesson plans, news, audio and video, is available online at www.millercenter.org/debates. 
The debate, the third in a series of five taking place during the 2007–08 academic year, will take place at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va. It will be webcast live and archived on the Miller Center's Web site, and will be broadcast on PBS analog and digital channels nationwide (check local listings for details). The conversation has already started online, via interactive group pages on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Google and Yahoo. 
The National Discussion and Debate Series, the Miller Center’s newest initiative, is addressing major issues facing the United States, including the war in Iraq, citizens' privacy in a post-9/11 America, health care and immigration. It aims to examine these issues in depth, and to contribute to the national conversation with a genuine, thoughtful give-and-take that will both enlighten people and provoke dialogue. 
The first debate, on keeping American troops in Iraq, took place on Sept. 18 in the historic Dome Room of the University of Virginia's Rotunda in Charlottesville, Va. The second, on privacy and national security, occurred on Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C. Video and transcripts are archived online at www.millercenter.org/debates.

The Richmond debate will be broadcast on PBS stations throughout Virginia:            
• Charlottesville WHTJ/41  Wed. 3/19/08    10 p.m.    
• Richmond WCVE/23 Wed. 3/19/08 10 p.m.    
  WCVW/57 Wed. 3/19/08 10 p.m.    
• Norfolk  WHRO/15 Sun. 3/1708 4 p.m.    
• Roanoke WBRA/15 Thurs. 3/20/08 7 p.m.    
• Marion  WMSY/52 Thurs. 3/20/08 7 p.m.    
• Norton WSBN/47 Thurs. 3/20/08 7 p.m.