FFRF’s “Pray to Play” exposé gets national coverage, including FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel on MSNBC “Sports Matters.” Dan Barker was interviewed on NBC's “Today” show about the Jesus painting in a Kansas school that was taken down after FFRF complained. After talking with Viet Nam veteran and plaintiff Steve Trunk about the decades-long saga of the cross on Mt. Soledad, we interview Executive Director of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, Rev. Barry W. Lynn, about his new book: God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom of Conscience.
August 29, 2015
God and Government
August 22, 2015
“Pray to Play”
After honoring the life of famed freethinking civil-rights leader Julian Bond and catching up on state/church news in Texas and New Mexico, we listen to part of John Oliver’s hilarious take-down of greedy churches and evangelists taking unfair advantage of lax IRS codes. Then we talk with FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel about FFRF’s letter of complaint to university athletic departments that hire evangelical chaplains who turn the football field into a mission field.
August 15, 2015
Learning To Drive
In the news: FFRF’s Ron Reagan ad on the penultimate Jon Stewart Daily Show, Jesus sign in east Texas town, bible verses removed from Arkansas city webpage, “In God We Trust” challenged on municipal vehicles. After hearing Bo Burnham’s anti-religious rap song “Rant,” we talk with author, poet, and critic Katha Pollitt about her new book Pro (about abortion rights), and her previous book Learning To Drive, which has become a major motion picture released this week starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.
August 8, 2015
Ryan Jayne, FFRF’s law clerk and soon-to-be legal fellow, helps us celebrate many exciting state/church victories accomplished by FFRF’s attorneys. We honor the birthday of 19th-century agnostic orator Robert G. Ingersoll by hearing Dan Barker’s musical version of his famous “Trinity” lyrics. Then we interview author, poet and filmmaker Jeremiah Camara about his new feature-length documentary “Contradiction: A Question of Faith” that examines the effect of religion on African-Americans.
August 1, 2015
Jesus sign on city property, “In God We Trust” on patrol cars, Ten Commandments on high-school property, atheists barred from Boy Scouts, Tennessee freethought proclamation proposed. After talking about fish, large and small--Melville’s Moby Dick and Rupert Brooke’s Heaven--we interview Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers about his recent victory overturning capital punishment in that state.
July 25, 2015
Guatemalan secular humanists fight back after the legislature proposes to teach the bible in all public schools. After reporting on egregious state/church complaints in Texas and Minnesota, we celebrate many FFRF victories around the country. Then we talk with Florida activist David Williamson, director of FFRF’s chapter Central Florida Freethought Community, about the new lawsuit they filed (with FFRF, ACLU and AU) challenging Brevard County’s policy of excluding nonbelievers from board invocations.
July 18, 2015
After reporting on an FFRF state/church victory removing Christian crosses from a Texas county building, we hear “Blood Brothers,” the song Dan Barker wrote right after leaving the ministry. What happens when a minister no longer believes? Catherine Dunphy, a Catholic seminarian and chaplain who abandoned her faith and author of the new book, From Apostle to Apostate: The Story of the Clergy Project, tells us about how this new group is helping to “Save a Preacher."
July 11, 2015
FFRF has a new lawsuit (with AU and ACLU) challenging the Brevard County, Florida barring nontheists from opening meetings with a secular invocation. We report a victory removing the Christian flag from city property in Alabama, listen to Annie Laurie Gaylor’s “conversation” with four male theists on Fox News’ Sean Hannity show, and celebrate the birthday of life-long atheist comedian Phyllis Diller. Then we speak with clinical psychologist and professor Hector A. Garcia about his new book, Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression.
July 4, 2015
On this July 4 weekend we celebrate the Supreme Court decision recognizing gay marriage, and the July 4 birthday of American songwriter Stephen Foster. We talk with FFRF attorney Katherine Paige about the Colorado Supreme Court nixing vouchers to private religious schools. Then we interview Brady Henderson, legal director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, about their spectacular state supreme court victory this week calling for the removal of the Ten Commandments from the state capitol.
June 27, 2015
Protect the Children
After reporting FFRF victories in Arkansas and Wisconsin and complaining about a loose-cannon Florida sheriff who preaches in uniform, Annie Laurie analyzes what is wrong with the pope’s recent encyclical on climate change and what is right about South Carolina’s move to remove the confederate flag. Then we talk with Rita Swan, founder and director of C.H.I.L.D—Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty—about her decades-long effort to fight the religious medical neglect of children after she lost her own child due to Christian Science practices.
June 20, 2015
Reasonable and Kind
This week’s show is dedicated to the memory of FFRF’s principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor, who died June 14 at the age of 88. After reporting some FFRF state/church victories (which continue Anne’s legacy), we listen to Anne’s voice (“Is it reasonable; is it kind?”), and read from the New York Times obituary/article about her. Then we read two of Anne Gaylor's articles from her 1983 book, Lead Us Not Into Penn Station.
June 13, 2015
Who is under attack?
Is Justice Scalia right when he says the human species is 5,000 years old? Can Jesus welcome visitors to a Texas town? Is Jesus the most Googled name on the planet? Is Christianity under attack by the liberal world? After answering those questions, we talk with Michigan activists Holly Huber and Mitch Kahle, who are fighting religious incursions into government, especially the public schools.
June 6, 2015
FFRF complains about South Carolina's Governor Haley calling the state to prayer, and University of Toledo football coach doing the same with his players. After announcing FFRF's financial help to beleaguered Bengali atheist and feminist Taslima Nasrin, we hear Roy Zimmerman's song “Kill a Doctor For Christ.” Then we interview activist Carole Beaton about her efforts to keep religion and government separate in Eureka, California.
May 30, 2015
Irish Eyes Are Smiling
We talk about our visit to Paris and to the International Atheist conference in Gologne, Germany. After commenting on former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's outrageous opinion about the authority of the Supreme Court, we celebrate Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers' victory overturning the death penalty in his state. Roy Zimmerman's song "I Want a Marriage Like They Had in the Bible" sets the stage for us to celebrate Ireland's historic vote for marriage equality by talking with Michael Nugent, head of Atheist Ireland, who joins us on the phone from Dublin.
May 23, 2015
Faith vs. Fact
On the first half of the show, we talk with evolutionary geneticist Jerry Coyne (author of the best seller Why Evolution is True) about his new book, Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. Then we hear excerpts of Chris Johnson’s new film, A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.
May 16, 2015
In the News: The rise of the “nones” has reached 23%; FFRF reports victories in Florida and California. After celebrating the birthday of Bertrand Russell, we talk with Harvard educated atheist professor of religious studies Hector Avalos about his new scholarly book, The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics.
May 9, 2015
In the News: Black atheists of Chicago, “Tea with Mr. Darwin,” Nonbelief-Relief, and National Day of Prayer protested with Dan’s song, “Get Off Your Knees and Get To Work.” We interview author Andrew Solomon (“Far From The Tree”), president of the PEN American Center, who this week awarded satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo its “Free Expression Courage Award."
May 2, 2015
One Nation Under God?
In the News: Venice, Florida, city council rejects “In God We Trust;” Doug Marshall’s Reason Station goes up in Warren, Michigan, city hall; creationist teacher disciplined in Arroyo Grande, California, public high school. After celebrating the birthdays of Peter Tchaikovsky and Pete Seeger, we talk with Princeton history professor Kevin M. Kruse about his eye-opening book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.
April 25, 2015
All in the Family
In the News: The dumbing down of America with Tennessee House voting the bible as the state book, global warming talk barred from Wisconsin state agencies, and prayer before university football games. After celebrating the birthday of feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft and hearing Roy Zimmerman's "Creation Science 101," we talk with Len Eisenberg, founder and CEO of Evogeneao, promoting evolution education.
AUDIOBOOK DRAWING. There is still time to enter the drawing for a free download of the audiobook of Dan Barker's new book, Life Driven Purpose. Send an email by April 29 to '[email protected]' with the Subject "Free Audiobook" and include your name, physical mailing address, and how you listen to Freethought Radio. Five winners will be announced on next week's show.
April 18, 2015
Celebrating 20th anniversary of Camp Quest
Find out why the pious Attorney General of Oklahoma is on the warpath against FFRF, why vouchers - ouch - hurt our public schools, plus other recent FFRF activism, then meet Amanda Metskas, executive director of Camp Quest, which provides secular summer camps around the nation, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary. We honor the birth of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, an atheist, by playing some of his enchanting music, and, with a camping theme, play Dan Barker and Steve Benson’s parody of the Boy Scout Hiking Song, “Why BSA?” from FFRF’s CD, “Beware of Dogma.”
April 11, 2015
We Must Be Doing Something Right
FFRF continues to fight Vouchers and RFRA. When FOX News goes after you, you must be doing something right. Listen to a former DOJ employee attack FFRF and defend Christians' so-called right to discriminate. After celebrating the birthdays of freethinkers Charlie Chaplin and Thomas Jefferson with music, we talk with FFRF's Legal Publicist Maddie Ziegler about her work to defend Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state.
April 4, 2015
Relax, It’s Just God
In The News: The Madison, Wisconsin, City Council passed the resolution to add atheism as a protected class to city ordinances; FFRF takes out TV and New York Times print ads opposing religious school vouchers and the state and federal Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. After celebrating the birthdays of freethinking songwriters Tom Lehrer and Yip Harburg, we announce the winners of the drawing for a signed copy of Dan Barker’s new book, Life Driven Purpose. Our guest this week is Wendy Thomas Russell, author of the new book, Relax, It’s Just God: How and why to talk to your kids about religion when you’re not religious.
March 28, 2015
The Atheists Next Door
In the News: FFRF reports on its successful commercial by Ron Reagan on CNN, salutes Robert Kastenmeier, a former member of Congress who died last week, and its March Madness complaints over basketball chaplains at state universities. After celebrating the birthday of Eric Idle (by playing two of his irreverent Monty Python songs), Annie Laurie interviews Harry Shaughnessy, president of the Triangle Freethought Society (an FFRF chapter), whose family was featured this month in a CNN online story about “The Atheists Next Door.”
March 21, 2015
After reporting on the success of FFRF's national ad featuring Ron Reagan on CNN, we announce FFRF victories stopping prayer and bible reading in public schools in Texas and Maryland. We celebrate the birthdays of nonbelievers Elton John, Stephen Sondheim, Keira Knightly, Richard Dawkins, and freethinking feminists Matilda Joslyn Gage and Gloria Steinem. Then we talk with journalist and author David Seidman about his new book, What If I'm an Atheist: A teen's guide to exploring a life without religion.
March 14, 2015
Life Driven Purpose
Good news: FFRF reports many state/church victories around the country; federal Appeals Court won’t allow Milwaukee Catholic diocese to shield cemetery trust from bankruptcy to pay for victims of molesting priests. Bad news: Supreme Court temporarily sides with Catholic university to deny birth-control coverage; Wisconsin moves to expand school vouchers for mainly religious schools. After hearing the song “None of the Above,” Annie Laurie interviews Dan Barker about his new book, Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning.
March 7, 2015
Nonbelievers of Color
FFRF's TV ad featuring Ron Reagan was censored by the major news networks. After celebrating the birthday of freethinking botanist Luther Burbank and hearing “Bread & Roses” in honor of International Women’s Day, we talk with Kimberly Veal, an organizer with Chicago Black Skeptics.
February 28, 2015
Time to fight religion
After celebrating the 100th birthday of freethinking biologist Peter Medawar, we talk with Douglas Marshall, the victorious plaintiff who sued the city of Warren, Michigan, and won the right to display a Reason Station next to the Prayer Station in city hall. Then we speak with journalist Jeffrey Tayler, of The Atlantic (calling us from Russia), about his “It’s Time to Fight Religion” article and the problem with the media’s hesitation to criticize religion itself for the violence it creates.
February 21, 2015
Atheism a protected class?
In the News: Wisconsin Governor Walker's office confirms he has no record of communications with a deity; the dangers of school voucher expansion analyzed. After hearing astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson interview "God," we talk with Madison city council woman Anita Weir about her proposal to expand the city's protected class ordinance to include atheists.
February 14, 2015
A Freethought Valentine
In the News: After analyzing Obama’s Prayer Breakfast remarks and chastising the “lovely couple" Antonin Scalia and Judge Roy Moore for resisting gay marriage, we announce a new federal lawsuit over religious proselytizing by teachers in a Georgia school. We celebrate the birthday of Susan B. Anthony and hear the freethought love song “It’s Only Natural,” then we talk with the leading feminist author, activist, blogger, radio host and atheist Robin Morgan about the plight of women in today’s religion-drenched society.
February 7, 2015
A church in every school?
After commenting on religious violence around the globe, we talk with Rachel Harger about the upcoming Texas Secular Convention in Austin. We hear actor/novelist Stephen Fry denounce the “wicked” god of the bible, and then celebrate the 89th birthday of freethought poet laureate Philip Appleman by hearing his lyrics set to music in the song “Fleas.” Then we talk with journalist Katherine Stewart, author of the book The Good News Club, about the movement to plant a church in every public school.
January 31, 2015
The Moral Arc
In the News: New FFRF billboards in Chicago, Greece’s atheist prime minister sworn in, California mayor refuses prayer, Mike Huckabee disses atheism, and Obama recognizes nonbelievers. We celebrate the birthday of freethinking composer Burton Lane by hearing his irreverent song “The Begats,” from Finian’s Rainbow. Then we talk with skeptical author Michael Shermer about his new book, The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom.
January 24, 2015
The World Is My Country
Pope Francis says we should not “make fun of faith,” but we point out that blasphemy is a victimless crime. After honoring the birthdays of freethinking composers Mozart and Jerome Kern, we celebrate the birthday of founding patriot Thomas Paine, the deistic freethinker who wrote The Age of Reason, by listening to Dan Barker’s tribute,“The World is My Country." Then we talk with Steven Hewett, a retired Army sergeant and Afghanistan veteran who successfully stopped religious symbols from being displayed at a Veterans Memorial in his North Carolina city.
January 17, 2015
A Year Without God
In The News: FFRF’s donation to Charlie Hebdo and a full-page FFRF "Atheists in Foxholes” ad in USA Today’s Defense Commemoration issue. We talk with Eric Stone, an FFRF Life member who helped stop prayers at Concord, California city council meetings. Then we ask former Seventh Day Adventist minister Ryan Bell what happened after his experiment to live a “Year Without God.”
January 10, 2015
How “God” Works
We honor the French cartoonists who were killed this week by religious extremists by talking with the irreverent Pulitzer-Prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson. Then we chat with Marshall Brain, the founder of “How Stuff Works,” about his new freethinking book, How “God” Works.
January 3, 2015
We start the show talking about three recent movies with freethought connections. Then we ask, "How do atheists deal with death?” Greta Christina tells us about her new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do About God. Then we talk with Barbara Mancini, who was arrested and prosecuted for handing her terminally ill 93-yr-old father prescribed medicine that he requested, a charge of "assisted suicide" that was religiously and politically motivated, and ultimately dismissed.
December 27, 2014
Happy New Year
In the news: FFRF on ESPN basketball, North Carolina nativity scene victory, and the first winter solstice sign in Puerto Rico. We celebrate the New Year with a light-hearted performance of Phil Appleman's "Noah," and Jim Malcom's Scottish rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." Our guest is Tom Cara, director of FFRF's Metropolitan Chicago chapter, talking about 11 Out of the Closet billboards and other freethought seasonal displays.
December 20, 2014
It’s That Time of Year
FFRF announces two new lawsuits: suing Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's administration over open records violation and challenging a nativity scene in Indiana. We celebrate the Winter Solstice with seasonal freethought music. Then we speak with FFRF attorneys Patrick Elliott and Rebecca Markert about the new lawsuits.
December 13, 2014
A Sense of Style
Nativity scenes, Winter Solstice displays, the Ark in Kentucky, county grants to churches and praying high-school coaches top the news this week. Then we speak with evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker about his newest book, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. (Photo by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein)
December 6, 2014
FFRF's Winter Solstice and Natural Nativity are back at the Wisconsin Capitol. After talking about a victory stopping a "Keep Christ in Christmas" parade in Piedmont, Alabama, we celebrate the birthdays of secular songwriters Ira Gershwin and Jay Gorney. Then we talk with FFRF intern and activist Jarvis Idowu, a 3rd-year law student at UW-Madison, about the Secular Law Students Society that he started and his work to keep state and church separate.
November 29, 2014
FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel tells us about FFRF's victory against Hobby Lobby, stopping a bible class in Mustang, Oklahoma public schools. Then we talk with author and researcher Roy Sablosky about his recent article in Social Science Journal, "Does Religion Foster Generosity?"
November 22, 2014
Belief and Unbelief
After discussing FFRF’s temporary setback (on standing, not merits) in federal Appeals Court over the IRS “Housing Allowance” case, we announce a new lawsuit challenging prayer at Chino Valley, California, school board meetings. We celebrate the 88th birthday of FFRF’s principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor by honoring the feminist freethinker Margaret Sanger. Then we talk with author and scholar Barbara G. Walker about her new book, Belief and Unbelief.
November 15, 2014
FFRF's "legal fellow," attorney Katherine Paige, tells us about her recent victory stopping county funds from supporting a religious ministry in Alabama. Then we talk with Carol Fiore, widow of test pilot Eric Fiore, about her new book, A Grief Workbook for Skeptics: Surviving Loss Without Religion.
November 8, 2014
Christianity Is Not Great
Timely news updates include FFRF’s reports to the IRS of illegal politicking by 501(c)(3) tax-exempt churches. We report some Bible Belt victories against blatant promotion of religion in public schools. Then Freethought Radio salutes artistic freethinkers born this week, including Schiller and Aaron Copeland. We interview former minister John W. Loftus about the last in his trilogy anthology, called “Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails,” which is hot off the press!
November 1, 2014
Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart
In The News: football baptisms, proselytizing teachers, Fox & Friends lecturing FFRF on "culture of the South," and USA Today acknowledging FFRF's accomplishments. Then we talk with John Figdor, Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University, about his new book Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-First Century.
(Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Figdor.jpeg#mediaviewer/File:John_Figdor.jpeg)
October 25, 2014
From Apostle to Apostate. In the News: Landmark Minnesota Church abuse case. Freethought Hall expansion progress, including video of the artist making commemorative tiles. Then we hear from two former ministers who no longer believe: Randy Bender (Lutheran) and Matt Killingsworth (Pentecostal).
October 18, 2014
Life Beyond Belief
Life Beyond Belief. After state/church news in South Dakota, Georgia, Ohio, and Oklahoma, we hear from science-fiction writer Ursula K. LeGuin, and listen to part of Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize remarks. Then we talk with Bob Ripley, former pastor of the largest mainline Protestant church in Canada who resigned after discarding his faith. His new book is Life Beyond Belief: A Preacher's Deconversion.
October 11, 2014
In God SOME of us Trust
Many FFRF state/church victories to report, including stopping prayers over the loudspeakers at high-school football games. After celebrating the birthdays of the freethinking songwriters P.G. Wodehouse and Ralph Vaughan Williams, we talk with Nikki Muongo, a Missouri mother who successfully convinced the city of Ballwin not to display "In God We Trust" on government property.
October 4, 2014
FFRF protests Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a day when pastors are encouraged to break IRS electioneering law. Hear about FFRF’s victory in a Texas elementary school, and more on our complaint of the St. Augustine mayor’s invitation to the pope. We celebrate the birthdays of John Lennon, Guiseppe Verdi, Joe Hill, and Thelonious Monk. The we talk with Alabama student activist Amanda Scott about her efforts to separate religion and government.
September 27, 2014
Humor in atheism
After protesting invitations of the pope by the U.S. Congress and the City of St. Augustine, Florida, we hear some of our favorite atheist comedians, including Julia Sweeney, Leighann Lord, George Carlin, Bill Maher and Roy Zimmerman, as well as irreverent verses by Yip Harburg. Then we talk with Katja Guenther, professor of sociology at UC-Riverside, about her current research into humor in the "New Atheism" movement.
September 20, 2014
In the news: football prayer and religion in the military. We hear a tribute to George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue, Bernstein; "I Got Rhythm," Mary Martin; "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," Billie Holiday; "Someone To Watch Over Me," Nancy Wilson; "It Ain't Necessarily So" Sammy Davis Jr; "Embraceable You," Kiri Te Kanawa; American in Paris; "Summertime" Ella Fitzgerald). Then we talk with Sam Erickson, president of AHA!--the Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison--the strongest campus freethought group in the country.
September 13, 2014
God and Cosmology
This week we are happy to report four state/church victories around the country: one in Florida, two in Pennsylvania, and one in Arkansas, dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust," hotel bibles, and crosses on football helmets. After hearing Dan Barker's freethought song, "Life is Good," we talk with physicist Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World, about "God and Cosmology."
September 6, 2014
The Sober Truth
"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings." After hearing news of FFRF state/church victories and complaints, we remember the life of physicist, author, and FFRF Honorary Director Victor J. Stenger. Then we talk with Lance Dodes, M.D., about his new book debunking Alcoholics Anonymous: The Sober Truth: Debunking the bad science behind twelve-step programs and the rehab industry.