PBS special on faith and 9/11 airs tonight
Weblog hasn't seen a preview copy of "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero," the two-hour documentary airing on PBS's Frontline tonight. Reviews around the country, however, say it's very good. "This is no feel-good exercise; it moves you to tears," says the Houston Chronicle. "The spiritual backlash from 9/11 is intensely personal and frequently painful." Newsday makes a similar judgment: "Forget those technical bells and whistles. This is interactive TV, at its most elementally intimate."
The program is divided into four parts: Sept. 11 (an immediate reaction to the terror attacks), The Face of God, The Face of Evil, and The Face of Religion. It interviews clergy who've lost their faith, grieving families who've been strengthened in it, and even touches on the David Benke controversy.
It's clear from the reviews that the documentary is predictably big on questions and avoids answers, but it still sounds like a show worth watching. And for those of you with teens in the house, don't worry: in most places, Frontline airs after the finale of American Idol.
By tonight, the program's website will have its usual cornucopia of extended interviews, transcripts, video excerpts, and other resources.
On a related note, New York Times columnist Peter Steinfels also examines "Where was God on Sept. 11?" this week. "It is an inevitable, a necessary and a valuable question. It is also an odd one. Where was God, after all, on Sept. 10" when countless others died around the world?
One of Steinfels's points also suggests that Frontline may have spent too much time interviewing atheists—who apparently get much more time in tonight's program than they warrant demographically. "Truly convinced nonbelievers ...1