05/10 - Church and the Bayou State: Religion in Louisiana

What role should religion play in public life?

From the church to the Capitol, religion plays an important part in both the private and public lives of Louisianans. The line separating church and state is often blurred in Louisiana and some would like it erased completely. What role should religion play in public life? Watch “Church & the Bayou State: Religion in Louisiana” Wednesday, May 26th at 7 p.m. on LPB.



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Click here to take the online survey

Click here to view the online survey results

Click here to view the LSU Before and After Survey Results

Our Panelists:

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


I am a Louisiana atheist, and fully support the separation of church and state. It should be remembered that many of our ancestors came to this country, to escape from religious persecution. Nobody has the right to create public policies (in Louisiana or elsewhere), based on religion, that must be observed both by believers - and nonbelievers alike.

Freedom FROM religion, is just as fundamental a right as freedom OF religion. We do not need a Christian version of Sharia Law, in the United States. NOR do we need a Christian version of the Taliban, forcing their views down everyone else’s throats.

There is no place for religion in Louisiana politics.

Posted by David Potter  on  05/22  at  06:11 PM

federal law mandates a separation of church and state.  this is the way it should be.  i am active in my catholic faith practice.  this is not a theocracy but a democracy we live in.

Posted by alison  on  05/23  at  06:48 PM

Superstitious beliefs have no place anywhere we rely on facts. Science class text books are based on facts and supported theories such as gravity. Injecting mythology into a science text book is completely illogical and immoral. A separate class that included all origin myths would be interesting but not scientific.
One only needs to look at recently passed Louisiana senate bill #528 to see that religion should have no part in politics. This law makes it mandatory for women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds to be given a picture of the fetus. This has nothing to do with bettering the health of the patient but serves to push the views of a vocal christian minority.
  People that want a faith based government need only look at Nazi Germany and Iran to see possible outcomes. Keep it separate!

Posted by Ryan  on  05/24  at  03:11 PM

I believe in separation of church&state; as our founding fathers intended;We are losing our freedoms as Christians and I do believe that if we continue to shut"God” out of our schools and society in order to be “politically correct” we are losing our"Cover of Protection” that we have obviously had! You cannot dispose of human fetuses for convienence-sake and turn away from God’s laws that do not change, and continue to be a “blessed” and prosperous nation! We can be tolerant of others beliefs..Ashamedly, it is difficult to find strong leaders with strong faith in God..A nation divided against itself cannot stand..We MUST be “One Nation Under God"and “Indivisible"before there can be liberty and justice for all!

Posted by angel  on  05/26  at  07:30 PM

I saw the results of the Survey Online, in which I participated. These results leaned heavily on Separation of Church & State. Also the results indicated a strong disdain for Mythologies,, (creation stories)  NOT belonging in science classes!!  However,
the survey results shown on television this evening between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm were just the OPPOSITE of those indicated ONLINE !!  Is there any explanation for this discrepancy??  I am very disappointed in the way the program was conducted..  Dr. Barbara Forrest got short-shrift., She was introduced in the beginning of the program and then never seen or heard from again. She wasn’t included in the “Panel of Experts”... either. The representative from Interfaith Alliance was not as strong as he should have been in explaining the NEED for the separation of Church & State.  I will try and watch it again on Sunday at 3:00 pm and study that Survey again.

Posted by Trudi  on  05/26  at  09:17 PM

It hasn’t harmed us thus far. And to speak of scientific “facts” when we know that they are not actual facts but only “theories”. Evolution is just that a “theory”. So some may say that creationism is a “theory” as well, so be it. It should be okay to let all “theories” be taught not just Darwin’s! There are many unanswered questions surrounding that foolishness. So my kids are forced to know it to past an exam, they are also taught to know that we were never fish, toads or MONKEYS!!

Posted by metchie  on  05/28  at  12:45 PM

I amazed by the hypocrisy demonstrated in the above comments. The Constitution is written with religion always in mind. The facts are government should be kept out of religion, not vise versa.

I was dismayed watching the broadcast when one man actually said the founders were masons therefore not religious.  Total ignorance was on display and not one commentator corrected his blatant error.

Posted by Diane Ducote  on  05/29  at  11:22 AM

I agree with the women who noticed the ....the results of the online survey were NOT what you presented on the show. What caused this to happen? Did someone involved with this program have an agenda and a bias?

And to not offer a balanced view with some non-believers (or even WOMEN) on the “expert” panel further ruins the credibility of this program. What kind of representation was this supposed to be? Religious men do not speak for the majority of our society, yet that is all you offered.

Very disappointing and a total travesty!

Posted by Charlotte  on  06/03  at  09:04 AM

This whole show could have been mistaken for a Christian proselytizing program. Shame on PBS to have allowed it. The blatant ignorance, even for a state as backward as Louisiana, was ‘something to behold’.

The show should invite on a few atheists. They may get accused of insulting the audience and the majority of the panel by challenging their foundationless concept of an invisible friend that hides behind the clouds, but they would not be accused of saying anything that wasn’t based on evidence.

Posted by Doug Stewart  on  06/03  at  02:26 PM

I agree with David Potter. He should be proud of speaking out against the wrong that has plauged this state as well as the country. We atheist need to make it known that the christians aren’t the only ones here though they would like to think that they are. The caption of this page is proof of that. Because the christians think the are the only ones here, they try to depress atheist from expressing our opinion.

                        Raymond Haley

Posted by Raymond Haley  on  08/03  at  10:04 AM
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