Freethought Radio Debuts Saturday Morning in Madison, Wis. (Will be Podcast, too)
Broadcasting should be broad-minded!
The feisty Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison, Wis.-based national association of atheists and agnostics, is launching a new radio show, Freethought Radio, this week. Freethought Radio is believed to be the only weekly radio broadcast devoted to "the secular point of view" in North America.
Listeners can wake up Saturdays to Freethought Radio from 8 - 9 a.m. on 92.1 FM, "The Mic, Madison's Progressive Talk," in Madison (the local "Air America" station). The show is streamed live at http://themic921.com/main.html. The Foundation podcast will be available at the Foundation's website, www.ffrf.org, by May 1.
Co-hosting are Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Foundation's co-presidents, who also hope to wake up listeners to the growing threat of the religious right. The pair describe Freethought Radio as offering "slightly irreverent views, news, music and interviews."The show opens and closes with the strains of John Lennon's freethought anthem, "Imagine."
The premiere show will feature the irreverent, freethinking views of one of America's most beloved lyricists, Yip Harburg, who wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "April in Paris" and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime." The late Harburg, who defined himself as "an ardent agnostic," also penned light verse, Rhymes for the Irreverent, which was recently reprinted by the Foundation. Interviewed will be his son, Ernie Harburg, president of the Yip Harburg Foundation of New York City, and a former Madison resident.
The show also includes a segment with a University of Minnesota researcher detailing the startling results of a national study showing that atheists are the least accepted minority in the country. Prof. Penny Edgell will talk about some of the common misconceptions that dog the 14% of Americans who are not religious.
Future shows will introduce various segments, including "Theocracy Alert," "Ask-an-Atheist," "Freethinkers Almanac" and freethought music by Barker, a professional musician and songwriter, and other freethinking performers. Listeners may call in comments or questions at the Progressive Hotline, 608/663-7291.
"It's been the Foundation's intention from our start to go into broadcasting," said Gaylor. "Our plan is to place the program in other regional markets as finances permit. We want to do something to balance the religious broadcasts that can be seen or heard 24-hours a day through the public airwaves."
Added Barker: "This is radio for the rest of us!"
"We are reaching out to the general public with the Foundation's message in support of reason and the separation of church and state. Broadcasting should be broad-minded!""