2013 PODCAST ARCHIVES
May 16, 2013
It's That Time of Year!
May 11, 2013
Guest: HS senior activist Daniel Koster
It's Irving Berlin's 125th Birthday, and we celebrate the life of the nonbelieving songwriter by playing some of his famous music. Listen to George Carlin rail about religion, hear about FFRF's graduation prayer victory in Georgia, and learn about FFRF's May 2 full-page Washington Post ad challenging the National Day of Prayer. Then we talk with high-school senior Daniel Koster, who distributed freethought literature at Wekiva High School, Florida, protesting Bible distribution in 11 Orange County schools.
May 5, 2013
Guests: Robert M. Price and Jerry DeWitt
There is hope after faith! We listen to former pentecostal minister Jerry DeWitt "preach" his story of conversion to atheism before 900 nonbelievers at FFRF's 2012 Convention. Then we talk with another former preacher, Robert Price—scholar, author, Jesus Seminar fellow, and professor of theology—who tells us why many scholars doubt not only the resurrection, but also the very existence of Jesus.
April 27, 2013
If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother!
Actress, comedian, author and atheist Julia Sweeney discusses her new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother. Her hilarious yet poignant writings -- from one intriguing month of her life -- cover marriage, motherhood, adoption, Santa Claus, abortion, and the death of her brother, all in her uniquely humanistic and comedic way. We also hear the Malvina Reynolds song "The Judge Said," about the successful recall of a sexist Wisconsin judge (and hear about Annie Laurie dressed as a nun in 1977).
April 20, 2013
Ten commandments come down; with guest Shelly Segal
Breaking (and taking down) the Ten Commandments! Hear about FFRF's victory in Kentucky schools that are now removing the Ten Commandments after complaints from students and FFRF attorneys. Then we talk with Australian singer/songwriter Shelley Segal -- the new poster girl for the international atheism movement -- and play some of the songs from her CD, An Atheist Album.
April 13, 2013
Christopher Hitchens remembered, Guest: Dawn Brittain
This week we celebrate the April 13 birthdays of two great freethinkers: Christopher Hitchens and Thomas Jefferson. Listen to a hilarious excerpt of Hitchens' 2007 talk to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Then hear Dawn Brittain talk about her efforts to defend Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state, by trying to remove a cross from a war memorial in Coos Bay, Oregon. Bonus music: "Thank You, God," by Tim Minchin.
April 6, 2013
Guest: Ernie Harburg
This week we celebrate FFRF's victory in Jackson, Ohio. The Jesus painting in the high school was taken down! We also celebrate the April 8 birthday of Yip Harburg, the famous nonbelieving lyricist ("Over the Rainbow," "April in Paris," "Paper Moon"), by catching up with his son Ernie, who tells us that his Dad's socially minded legacy continues through the activities of the Yip Harburg Foundation.
March 29, 2013
“Leave No Stone Unturned.” This Easter weekend, we deconstruct the biblical resurrection stories, uncovering many contradictions, asking listeners to take FFRF’s “Easter Challenge.” We also discuss gay marriage, religious abortion laws, an FFRF complaint over a Christian cross on a war memorial in Coos Bay, Oregon, and hear FFRF dissed on the O'Reilley Show.
March 23, 2013
Guest: Katherine Stewart
It's bad news for the Good News Club. Listen to excerpts of the speech given before FFRF's October 2012 convention in Portland, Oregon, by Katherine Stewart, journalist and author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children. Also hear "One Sweet Morning," a peace anthem heralding the spring, lyrics by nontheistic songwriter Yip Harburg.
March 16, 2013
Guest: First Amendment hero Jim McCollum
In honor of the 65th anniversary of the historic McCollum v. Board of Education victory before the Supreme Court (March 8, 1948), we interview Jim McCollum, who was the young boy in that case challenging religious instruction in the public schools. We also listen to Dan Barker's rousing freethought song, "The Battle of Church and State."
March 9, 2013
Author of Beyond Belief, Jenna Miscavige Hill
Bible verses on middle-school baseball caps, now removed; action alert to protest federal money for churches to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Our guest on this week's show is Jenna Miscavige Hill, author of Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. Ms. Hill, the niece of Scientology's leader David Miscavige, tells her heartbreaking story of child labor, split families, mind control, and how she found the courage to run away from it all.
March 2, 2013
Guest: Gretta Vosper
Hasa Diga Eebowai! An atheist songwriter tells us why we should "Not Be Mad At God." FFRF attorney Patrick updates us on government prayer controversies, as well as a victory stopping church discounts at Milwaukee's Mexican Fiesta. Then we speak with Gretta Vosper, a pastor in the United Church of Canada who is now a nonbeliever and author of the bestselling book, With Or Without God: Why the way we live is more important than what we believe.
February 23, 2013
Guest: Neil Shubin, discoverer of Tiktaalik and author
"We are all star stuff." After discussing FFRF legal complaints in South Dakota and Arkansas, we take up on Carl Sagan's famous words by talking with paleontologist Neil Shubin, discoverer of Tiktaalik and author of the bestselling Your Inner Fish, whose newest book is The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People.
February 16, 2013
Guests: FFRF Staff Attorneys Rebecca Markert and Patrick Elliott
We've got to fight the battle of church and state. This week we have FFRF attorneys Rebecca Markert and Patrick Elliott in studio to discuss current legal complaints--city prayers in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Onalaska, Wisconsin (a victory), pastors roaming the schools in Conway, Arkansas, proselytizing football coaches in North Carolina--and our newest lawsuit over a Jesus painting on the walls of an Ohio Middle School.
February 9, 2013
Guest: FFRF Florida Activist David Williamson
Happy Birthday Darwin! We celebrate Charles Darwin's 204th birthday on February 12, then we ask "Why, BSA" are you discriminating against atheists and gays? We announce FFRF's newest lawsuit in Ohio, then talk with David Williamson, organizer of Central Florida Freethought Community (an FFRF chapter) about how they are countering bible distribution in public schools with atheist literature in the same schools.
February 2, 2013
Guest: biologist Jerry Coyne
The Boy Scouts may be considering allowing gays, but they still deserve a Badge of Dishonor for excluding atheists. Annie Laurie and Dan discuss FFRF's Action Alert about the Boy Scouts, complaints about religion in schools, vouchers for religious schools and patriarchal religious attitudes toward women. Then, to celebrate Darwin's upcoming birthday, they interview biology professor Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True.
January 26, 2013
Guest: Zach Kopplin, evolution activist
There was a whole lot of "godding" going on at Obama's 2nd inaugural. Dan and Annie Laurie analyze the plusses and minuses of the event. Then we interview Zach Kopplin, a 19-year-old activist college student from Louisiana who is trying to repeal that state's creationism law.
January 19, 2013
Guest: Freethinking feminist author and activist Robin Morgan
A NY high-school science teacher pushing Christianity in the classroom, and a large portrait of Jesus in an Ohio middle school--these are some of FFRF's state-church complaints we discuss this week. Then we talk with freethinking feminist author and activist Robin Morgan, who is host of the new CBS radio show Women's Media Center Live.
January 12, 2013
Atheist activism among the youth. This week listen to high-school students Max Nielson and Jessica Ahlquist talk about the challenges of coming out as a young nonbelieving activist in predominantly Christian communities.
January 5, 2013
Guests: Ed and Michael Buckner
The past holiday season was not a time of "goodwill for all." This week we talk with Justin Vacula about the vandalizing of FFRF's Winter Solstice sign that was put up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, one of 5 FFRF signs (out of 12) around the country that were stolen or defaced. And then, on a more hopeful note, we interview Ed and Michael Buckner, co-authors of the new book, In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist Guide To Religious Liberty.
December 30, 2012
Happy Unholy New Year!
December 22, 2012
Merry Winter Solstice!
Hear of recent nativity scene violation victories, FFRF solstice signs in numerous cities. Listen to Dan's version of "Merry Frickin' Christmas," seasonal songs by Tom Lehrer and Roy Zimmerman, as well as the debut of Dan's new song "Unfaithful," from FFRF's new CD, Adrift On A Star.
December 15, 2012
Guest: Marie Schaub, Penn. plaintiff
Heathens' Greetings. It's the most unconstitutional time of year. Atheist bus signs go up in Alaska. We talk with Marie Schaub, an atheist and a mother in a small Pennsylvania community. She's also a brave plaintiff in a hot-button lawsuit involving a Ten Commandments monument at a public high school.
December 8, 2012
Get Off Your Knees!
"Get Off Your Knees And Get To Work," a new song by Dan Barker, is debuted this week, especially in response to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback calling for a "Day of Repentance." Listen to some brave Florida commissioners objecting to prayer, and hear an NPR interview of FFRF member William Cox objecting to the Jesus statue in the Montana federal park. Then we talk with Susan Jacoby who has a new book out about Robert Ingersoll: The Great Agnostic.
December 1, 2012
Guest: Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta
Find out why Fox News "can't stand the Freedom From Religion Foundation" (and the feeling is mutual). This week we cover a sleigh-load of state/church complaints: a federal decision allowing FFRF's Montana shrine case to continue, removal of a cross from a Kansas city seal, coverage of our IRS lawsuit over church politicking, and more. Then we talk with "Friendly Atheist" blogger Hemant Mehta about his new book, The Young Atheists Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive.
November 24, 2012
Reason prevails in Santa Monica and Wis. atheists win big!
The winter solstice season is approaching, and with it comes holiday complaints. Listen to Damon Vix (photo) talk about his victory this week when a federal judge ruled that the city of Santa Monica, Calif., is free to discontinue nativity scenes on public property, after 58 years of Christian domination in Palisades Park. We also talk with Ph.D student Chris Calvey, head of the Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics (AHA!) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who were just awarded almost $70,000 in student-segregated fees to compete with religious groups on campus.
November 17, 2012
Guest: Kentucky Mom Suzanne Lamb Fights the Gideons
FFRF is suing the IRS! Find out more about our most recent lawsuit demanding that the IRS enforce its rules prohibiting churches from political activities. Listen to a Kentucky Mom, Suzanne Lamb, tell how she is fighting the Gideons in the public schools. Then hear an update from FFRF attorney Rebecca Market about stopping prayers at school-board meetings.
November 10, 2012
Guest: Author Dr. Peter Boghossian
We present a secular wrap up on election news. Then, we speak with Dr. Peter Boghossian who teaches a class on atheism at Portland State University. He is working on a book called A Manual to Create Atheists.
November 3, 2012
Vashti McCollum's historic victory!
Why are "acts of God" and "gifts of God" always so bad? This week we report on theocratic politicians, more football prayer, and an early "holiday" controversy in Texas. Then hear interviews of Vashti McCollum, whose historic 1948 Supreme Court victory removed religious instruction from public schools, and Roy Torcaso, whose equally historic 1962 Supreme Court decision affirmed there should be no religious test for public office, in FFRF's 1988 film "Champions of the First Amendment."
October 27, 2012
Guest: Mike Austin
DEBUT! Hear the radio debut of "Poor Little Me," the new song written by Broadway composer Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye Bye Birdie) and Dan Barker. We read editorials in favor of FFRF's high-school cheerleader complaint that ran in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. Then we talk with Michael Austin, author of the new book, That's Not What They Meant! Reclaiming The Founding Fathers From America's Right Wing.
October 20, 2012
First Amendment Fights
The religious right is right about one thing: there definitely is a climate of hostility, and they are creating it. Listen to the Governor and Attorney General of Texas accuse FFRF of "menacing intimidation" over our First-Amendment complaint of the Kountze cheerleaders' Christian banners. Listen to Annie Laurie and Dan's response to "Wall Builder" David Barton accusing FFRF of creating a "toxic" climate of hostility. Then find out if there will be casseroles in an atheistic world.
October 13, 2012
The interviews of A Second Look at Religion
The "nones" are growing, but the religious battles continue. This week we listen to FFRF's 1980 movie, A Second Look at Religion, showing that little has changed on the state/church front in more than three decades.
October 6, 2012
Guest: Robert Parham, former minister and member of the Clergy Project
The battle over Christian banners in Texas high-school football games continues, with much national media attention. FFRF victory in Oregon plus the music of John Lennon and Ralph Vaughan Williams round out the first half of the show. Then we talk with Robert Parham, a Southern Baptist minister who "saw the light" and is now a nonbeliever and board member of The Clergy Project.
September 29, 2012
Blasphemy is a victimless crime!
"Blasphemy is a victimless crime!" This week we report on many "blasphemous" FFRF victories and complaints, and comment on the move to criminalize blasphemy around the world. Then listen to Oprah Winfrey's 1984 "AM Chicago" TV show where Dan and Annie Laurie met for the first time.
September 22, 2012
Guest: Adam Lee
The vernal equinox is here, and school year violations are piling up like fallen leaves.This weeks we cover numerous FFRF victories over high-school and Tennessee university prayers. Then we talk with popular blogger Adam Lee, the author of Daylight Atheism, who has a new book by the same name.
September 15, 2012
Guest: Lorena Rios
Public school football games don't have a prayer! Hear about 30 (!) recent FFRF victories removing prayer and other religious intrusions from government around the country. Then we talk with Lorena Rios of Hispanic American Freethinkers.
September 8, 2012
Guest: Rene Chouinard
Religion in politics. Listen to the vote (3 times!) at the DNC, and YOU decide if there was a 2/3 majority wanting to insert "God" into the platform. This week we expose both major political parties mixing religion and government. Then we talk with Rene Chouinard, the Canadian father whose complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is challenging the distribution of Gideon Bibles in public schools, and the refusal to allow distribution of Just Pretend, Dan Barker's book for children.
September 1, 2012
Guest: Michael Nugent, chair of Atheist Ireland
This week we announce FFRF's decision to sue the City of Memphis over governmental prayers, and denounce the American Family Association's complaint that FFRF is waging "the second war of northern aggression" against southern states. Our guest is Michael Nugent (calling us from Dublin), chair of Atheist Ireland, a group that recently donated to a Milwaukee charity to thank Irish Fest for stopping religious discrimination.
August 25, 2012
Guest: Professor Charles Negy
Hear about FFRF's billboard caveat at the RNC in Tampa: "God Fixation Won't Fix This Nation." This week we talk with University of Central Florida professor Charles Negy, whose Cross-Cultural Psychology course warns about bigotry, yet he was unable to avoid religious bigotry in his own class, prompting him to send an eloquent letter to his students which has gone viral on the internet.
August 18, 2012
Guests: Alvin Harris and Josh Everett
Irish atheist eyes are smiling! FFRF complaint stops church discount at Irish Fest in Milwaukee. Listen to FFRF's new "Spotlight On Freethought" segment now airing on national public television. Guests this week are Alvin Harris, the Nashville attorney who handled the successful lawsuit challenging the water tower cross, and Josh Everett, a former fundamentalist evangelical minister and missionary who is now an outspoken atheist.
August 11, 2012
Guest: Greta Christina
More FFRF victories and activism to report this week. Listen to Russian female punk band Pussy Riot protest the government in an Orthodox church, and hear Robert Ingersoll's "Declaration of the Free" set to music. Then we talk with well-known atheist blogger Greta Christina about her new book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry?
August 4, 2012
Guest: Plaintiff Linda Stephens
Government prayer, religious symbols on city seals, freethought billboards in Spokane, atheist Boy Scouts turning in their badges: it is a busy summer for state/church activism. This week we hear the testimony of a brave 12-year-old girl protesting prayer in her Tennessee county; we play a little-known Cole Porter song, "Experiment," about the value of science; and then talk with Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs in the victorious 2nd-Circuit Appeals Court decision outlawing governmental prayer in the Town of Greece, New York.
July 28, 2012
Guest: Former minister annalise fonza
This week we have a whole lot of victories to report in the battle to keep religion and government separate, mostly in the south. We listen to country singer-songwriter Robbie Fulks' irreverent tune, "God Isn't Real," and then talk with annalise fonza, a United Methodist minister who gave up her faith and is now a happy atheist university professor.
July 21, 2012
Freethought in the Arts!
July 14, 2012
Guest: African Activist Leo Igwe
Hasa Diga Eeebowai! After reporting news on our own continent--including an FFRF victory in Virginia stopping prayers at a county board meeting, a JFK billboard in Lubbock, press coverage of our full-page ad in the New York Times, and a clip of FFRF's "freethought poet laureate" Philip Appleman being interviewed by Bill Moyers--we talk with Leo Igwe, the leader of Humanists in Nigeria, about his heroic attempts to combat superstition, witchcraft, Christianity, and Islam in Africa with reason and skepticism--efforts which got him unjustly thrown in jail.
July 7, 2012
Guest: Prof. Barbara Forrest
Perhaps it should be called the "Godless Particle," since the newly discovered Higgs boson was named after an atheist. This week we honor nonbelieving lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, and talk with Barbara Forrest, professor of philosophy, author of Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, and expert witness in the Dover (PA) "intelligent design" trial.
June 30, 2012
Guest: Ron Williams
This week we hear reaction to FFRF's provocative "Quit The Church: Put Women's Rights Over Bishop's Wrongs" billboard. We talk about (yet) more governmental prayer violations, then we interview Ron Williams, the Australian singer/songwriter and father of six who challenged state-paid chaplains in public schools, and this month won a victorious decision from the High Court.
June 23, 2012
Guest: FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel
We're storming the bishops' bastille. Attorney Andrew Seidel exposes the bishops' phony claim that the contraception mandate is religious persecution. We unveil FFRF's impressive TV ad campaign with Julia Sweeney.
June 16, 2012
Eleanor Smeal, former director of NOW, and current director of the Feminist Majority
Honoring "June-teenth" this week, we talk about FFRF's recent Nativity Scene victory in Santa Monica, California, and we listen to the new TV-Web ad that former Catholic Julia Sweeney made for FFRF fighting the Catholic Bishops' assault on birth control. Our guest for the 2nd half of the show is Eleanor Smeal, former director of NOW, and current director of the Feminist Majority.
June 9, 2012
Guest: Sam Brower, author of Prophet's Prey
Hear the new radio ad that Julia Sweeney recorded for FFRF. This week we talk about FFRF's retort to the Catholic Bishops' assault on women's healthcare, and about yet more illegal governmental prayer. Then we interview private detective Sam Brower, author of Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints.
June 2, 2012
Guest: Max Nielson, high school prayer complainant
Tis the season . . . for graduation prayer violations. This week we talk with Max Nielson, the South Carolina high-school senior who complained about student-led prayer at his graduation on May 30, which led to FFRF's most recent lawsuit.
May 26, 2012
It's Memorial Day weekend, and the livin' is easy. Relax with us as we listen to some freethought music, new and old. On the second half of the show, we talk with Teresa MacBain, the Methodist minister who recently made national news (with stories on CNN and NPR) when she came out publicly as an atheist. Teresa is now Acting Director of The Clergy Project.