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9/8/2006 Linfield to celebrate Constitution Day

McMINNVILLE ? "The Godless Constitution?" will be the topic of a program celebrating Constitution Day Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

David Gutterman, assistant professor of political science, will moderate a discussion of religion, the Constitution and American politics. A poll released last month by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life indicated that 67 percent of Americans believe that the "United States is a Christian nation" and 32 percent think that the Bible should be a more important influence on the laws of the United States than the "will of the people."

"As the 2006 elections approach and Americans are challenged by moral dilemmas from the war in Iraq to the health care crisis, it is a good time to reflect on the relationship between religion and politics in the United States," Gutterman said. "In particular, we can celebrate Constitution Day 2006 by discussing what this founding document of the nation says ? and does not say ? about religion and God."

Constitution Day is officially set for Sept. 17, when the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day: to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. Congress has mandated that all education institutions receiving federal funds celebrate the Constitution as a living document that continues to affect and shape the lives of all Americans.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, email Gutterman at dgutter@linfield.edu.