BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — It’s not easy letting other people have their say, especially when it comes to matters of faith.
According to filmmaker Lee Groberg, the people who founded the country faced their own challenges with that goal. In his new documentary, “First Freedom: The Fight For Religious Liberty,” he traces the route the leaders of America took to get from the founding of the country to the creation of the First Amendment.
“The Puritans imposed the same religious tyranny they came here to get away from,” said Groberg. “It took 150 years for people to figure it out.”
The program, which will premiere on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. on KUED, begins with these early religious settlers before moving ahead to the Continental Congress. It was at this time that George Washington was called on to be general to the new army.
“It was a pretty ragtag bunch,” said Groberg.
Historians have considered several theories over the years concerning the religious views of the country’s founding fathers. At times, some have even said that they were athiests.
“Some have said they were godless men, but from my own personal discoveries they were far from it,” said Groberg. “Some were quite devout, but others were far more private about they believed.”
For Washington, the important thing was that people worshipped at all, According to Groberg, he set aside Sundays for his soldiers to worship in whatever way they saw fit. His army was also the first in the West to have chaplains as part of its ranks.
“He felt that worship was good for a virtuous society,” Groberg said.
After Washintgon won the war and the Constitutional Convention was convened in 1787, it was that diversity among the convention members that Groberg believes led to the First Amendment.
“They were a diverse group, and so they wanted to protect what everyone believed in,” he said. “That diversity was the key to religious freedom.”