The religious right and FOX News are upset about FFRF's IRS church-electioneering victory. We hear Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talking about the Hobby Lobby decision. We celebrate the birthdays of freethinkers James Baldwin and Rupert Brooke. Then we talk with author and professor Anthony Pinn about his new memoir, Writing God's Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist.
Freethought Radio Archives
2014 PODCAST ARCHIVES
July 31, 2014
Writing God's Obituary
July 26, 2014
Freethinkers in Central America
We talk about FFRF's victory with the IRS, an agreement that they will begin to follow their own policy of enforcing restrictions on political activity by tax-exempt religious organizations and churches. We announce our newest lawsuit, filed with the ACLU and Americans United, against a Michigan city that is censoring atheist speech. Then we talk with David Pineda, President of "La Asociación Guatemalteca de Humanistas Seculares," an exciting new group of freethinkers in Guatemala.
July 19, 2014
Nothing succeeds like a secular invocation!
We’ll celebrate the 166th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention called by agnostic Elizabeth Cady Stanton, then talk with newsmaker and freethought activist Dan Courtney, a Lifetime FFRF Member, who just became the first atheist to give an invocation in Greece, N.Y. — site of the governmental prayer dispute at the center of this spring’s Supreme Court ruling.
July 12, 2014
Days of the Theocracy
Protest the Hobby Lobby decision. We hear the classic "Days of the Theocracy" by Kristin Lems, and pay tribute to atheist Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Then we speak with Dayna Long, president of Wisconsin NOW, about her successful protest against Hobby Lobby, and how you can fight back back against patriarchy.
July 1, 2014
Happy 238th Birthday U.S.A! After discussing the disastrous Supreme Court "Hobby Lobby" decision, we honor America's birthday by celebrating the July 4 (1826) birthday of songwriter Stephen Foster. Then we talk with Emmy-Award-winning Hollywood actor Scott Clifton, who hosts the "Theoretical B.S." blog on YouTube.
June 28, 2014
Dying With Dignity
Dying With Dignity. After celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and hearing about many FFRF legal victories, we celebrate the birthday of atheist Broadway composer Richard Rodgers. Then we talk with Wanda Morris, CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada about the current progress and the religious opposition to end-of-life choices in Canada and the world.
June 21, 2014
The First Amendment and Civil Rights
We welcome the summer solstice with freethought offerings from author Ian McEwan and other leading atheists. IN THE NEWS: State/church victory! Supreme Court declines to hear the Elmbrook (Wisconsin) case disallowing public school graduations in churches. Then Liz Cavell, constitutional attorney, explains how FFRF’s legal staff handles state/church and Civil Rights complaints.
June 14, 2014
Guest: Cosmos producer Ann Druyan
Ann Druyan, creator/writer/producer of "Cosmos," talks about how the successful TV science series was made. IN THE NEWS: Iowa withdraws funds for a Christian park; Wisconsin judge allows gay marriage.
June 7, 2014
In The News: FFRF’s “Parsonage Allowance” brief filed with 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; FFRF’s Ron Reagan ad to air during “Cosmos” in major cities. Celebrate the birthdays of four freethinking composers and songwriters, including “Live And Let Live” Cole Porter. Then we talk with the film-making brothers Gus and Luke Holwerda, whose beautiful documentary “The Unbelievers,” following Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a world-wide science tour, was just released this week.
May 30, 2014
Supreme Court plaintiff Linda Stephens
IN THE NEWS: FFRF’s Raleigh conference on CNN Belief Blog; Ohio billboards; Iowa Christian park protested. Then hear Greece vs. Galloway plaintiff Linda Stephens respond to being labeled “demonic” by a politician for trying to stop city prayer.
May 24, 2014
Philosophy & Biography
Two Boston authors! First, we talk with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein about her new book, Plato At The GooglePlex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away. Then we interview Megan Marshall, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning biography, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.
May 17, 2014
Greece vs. Galloway
IN THE NEWS: FFRF announces a national TV ad by Ron Reagan to air on Comedy Central. We talk with Marni Huebner-Tiborsky and Susan Woznicki of the Northeast Ohio FFRF chapter about the 11 "Out of the Closet" billboards they put up in the Cleveland-Akron area, then we speak with Susan Galloway, plaintiff in the Greece vs. Galloway Supreme Court case, about the May 5 decision expanding the right of cities to include sectarian prayer in government meetings.
May 10, 2014
Nothing Fails Like Prayer
IN THE NEWS: The Supreme Court wrongly expands government prayer; FFRF launches Out-Of-The-Closet billboards in northeast Ohio. Then we talk with "one of New York's 10 hottest comics," Leighann Lord, who is an atheist.
May 3, 2014
Music Was His Religion
IN THE NEWS: FFRF stops a West Virginia high-school wrestling team from using a bible verse as their motto. After complaining about Hobby Lobby inserting a bible class into an Oklahoma high school, we celebrate the birthday of the freethinking composer Johannes Brahms. Then we hear the Oxford University debate about the existence of God, where Dan Barker and Peter Hitchens go head-to-head.
April 26, 2014
IN THE NEWS: Dan Barker and substitute co-host Andrew Seidel discuss FFRF's freethought display in Daley Plaza and proselytizing Clemson University coach Dabo Swinney. We announce a major FFRF legal victory stopping prayer at city council meetings in Pismo Beach, California. Then we talk with scientist and author Steven Pinker about why he has agreed to become FFRF's first Honorary President.
April 19, 2014
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
IN THE NEWS: FFRF complains about Clemson University's proselytizing football coach. Saudi Arabia declares "atheism = terrorism" and other countries threaten the death penalty for nonbelief. After hearing many freethought connections to Shakespeare and Prokofiev (born April 23), we talk with activist and philanthropist Todd Stiefel of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.
April 12, 2014
Feed the Kitties!
IN THE NEWS: We listen to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's response after she was disinvited to give the commencement at Brandeis University when they withdrew her honorary doctorate for her remarks critical of Islam. After celebrating the birthday of the freethinking Charlie Chaplin, we talk with Ellis Felker, owner of Red Oak Greeting Cards.
April 5, 2014
Guest: Indre Viskontas
After hearing (and analyzing) the oral arguments in the Supreme Court "Hobby Lobby" case, challenging the reproductive mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act on religious grounds, we celebrate Tom Lehrer's birthday by listening to some of his songs, as well as Eric Idle's "The Galaxy." Then we speak with a modern Renaissance Woman, Indre Viskontas, an opera singer, scientist (Ph.D. in neuroscience), science podcast host, co-star of "The Miracle Detective" TV series (which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network), science/music educator, and atheist.
March 28, 2014
Celebrate 75 Years of Oz
For the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, we celebrate the life and legacy of the freethinking lyricist Yip Harburg, who wrote “Over the Rainbow,” and many other songs. Listen to Yip himself singing “If I Only Had a Brain,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and “Last Night When We Were Young.” Then we interview Yip’s son, Ernie Harburg, also an atheist, a scientist who is director of the Yip Harburg Foundation, about his father’s artistic life and social activism.
March 20, 2014
Guest: Marci Hamilton
In The News: "A Tale of Three Cities." FFRF complains about mixing religion and government in Green Bay (WI), Birmingham (AL), and Sand Point (ID). We welcome spring with music from Richard Rodgers and Yip Harburg, and celebrate the birthday of Elton John by hearing his freethought song "This Train Don't Stop Here Any More." Then we talk with prominent attorney Marci Hamilton, author of God vs. The Gavel, who argued and won a Supreme Court lawsuit challenging the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and who wrote FFRF's Supreme Court amicus brief challenging Hobby Lobby's refusal to honor the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds.
March 12, 2014
Guest: Ken Knighton
In The News: FFRF asks the Pope to "stay away from Green Bay"; tells a praying police chief in Birmingham to cease and desist; and chastises Florida schools for mingling with a local church. After hearing "The Stay Away Pope Polka" and "The Salt Lake City Blues," we talk with FFRF's 20,000th member, Ken Knighton, a former Mormon from Utah.
March 6, 2014
In The News: "Baby Messiah" judge censured; bibles finally removed from ISU hotels; Arizona atheist legislator offers another nonreligious "prayer" in the House; religious violence in Africa. We promote the premier of the new "Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey," and the Saudi movie Wadjda. Then we talk with Madison's own Bobby Hinds, 84, an FFRF Life Member who was just inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.
March 1, 2014
Taking Liberties with Religious Freedom
In The News: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoes the controversial bill denying service to gays. We educate the bible-illiterate Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, about why the Christian scriptures are insulting. We talk about the movie Philomena and the Academy Awards, and about Ricky Gervais’s view on "something to live for." Then we talk with Rob Boston, of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, about his new book: Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.
February 22, 2014
Guest: Katherine Spillar, Executive Editor of MS Magazine
In The News: FFRF removes bibles from another state-owned hotel room; and successful student activists in North Carolina. Hear Annie Laurie interviewed by Sean Hannity about the Iowa State victory. Celebrate the birthdays of Victor Hugo and W.E.B. Dubois. Then we talk with executive editor of MS Magazine, Katherine Spillar, about the religious war against women.
February 15, 2014
Guest: Professor Ronald L. Numbers, author, The Creationists
Guest co-host with Annie Laurie Gaylor: FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel
Radio Valentine to Susan B., Darwin
"Celebrating Darwin, exposing the creationists"
In the news: Annie Laurie and Andrew discuss FFRF’s new creationism law FAQ, Andrew’s complaint to New York officials over infant endangerment, deaths from ultra-Orthodox circumcision ritual. Birthdates honored: Charles Darwin, Galileo, Jeremy Bentham and Susan B. Anthony. Song: “It’s Only Natural,” Dan’s jazz love ballad inspired by Richard Dawkins’ book, “Unweaving the Rainbow,” paying homage to love, natural selection and Darwin, beautifully sung by Susan Hofer. Guest: the erudite and entertaining Professor Ronald L. Numbers, University of Wisconsin,-Madison, author of the definitive history, The Creationists.
February 8, 2014
Happy Birthday, Darwin! Exposing Religious Voucher Failures
In the News: Freethought Radio comments on international blasphemy prosecutions, UN committee evaluation of Vatican failings, and asks you to do your bit and buy Girl Scout cookies! (Antiabortionists have called boycott.) Birthdates honored: Charles Darwin, Philip Appleman and Phyllis Rose. Song: God’s Grandeur, words by Phil Appleman, music by Dan Barker. Guest: Patrick Elliott talks about a North Carolina state/church victory stopping a prayerful school coach that's grabbing national attention, and details shocking details his open records request uncovered about a religious voucher school in Milwaukee that closed its doors after receiving more than $2 million in tax dollars.
February 1, 2014
In Reason We Trust
In the News: FFRF files an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court lawsuit challenging the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the government appeals FFRF's federal court "Parish Exemption" victory to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. We honor the life of folksinger Pete Seeger, and then talk with artist and filmmaker Scott Burdick about his new film, "In Reason We Trust."
January 25, 2014
In The News: public vouchers to religious schools, and revelations of hundreds of priests defrocked for raping children. We hear some of the music of nonbelieving composer Jerome Kern, then we talk with Valerie Tarico about her book Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light.
January 18, 2014
A Better Life!
What do “Winnie the Pooh” and the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” have to do with freethought? We will give you two different reasons. Then we talk with New York filmmaker and photographer Chris Johnson about his new gorgeous book of photography, A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.
January 11, 2014
Guest: PZ Myers
Find out which famous singer/entertainer you may not have known is an atheist, and also which rock band leader you may not have known is an atheist. This week we talk about the religious war against women, and then interview science blogger and professor PZ Myers about his new book, The Happy Atheist.
January 4, 2014
Baby, it’s cold outside!
For the first show of the year, we talk about ObamaCare and religion, Justice Sotomayor and the nuns, vandalism of freethought solstice displays, and the freethinking views of author Zora Neale Hurston. After hearing the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” composed by freethinking songwriter Frank Loesser, we talk with Florida freethought activist Gary Whittenberger about his book God Wants YOU To Be An Atheist.
December 28, 2013
Happy 2014! We stop and rest at the end of the year, and listen to our selection of favorite freethought music, including Yip Harburg, Burton Lane, Tom Lehrer, Kristen Lems, George and Ira Gershwin, Joe Hill, Philip Appleman, Cole Porter, and Frank Loesser. We end with a Scottish version of freethinker Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne."
December 21, 2013
Away With The Manger!
Away With The Manger! The Winter Solstice is the reason for the season. After hearing news about FFRF's seasonal displays, countering nativity scenes and religious messages on public property, we devote the show to our favorite freethought seasonal music, including Tim Minchin, Tom Lehrer, Roy Zimmerman, South Park's "Merry Frickin Christmas," FFRF's musical albums, and, of course, the agnostic Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. We also hear the radio debut of Dan Barker's children's song "Time Never Stops," honoring the solstice.
December 14, 2013
It's That Time of Year!
It's that time of year -- for nativity scene violations! We report on a couple of FFRF creche complaints (out of 60+ so far this year), then then we talk with Tom Cara, director of FFRF's Metropolitan Chicago chapter, about the large atheist 'A' and the "nativity of the Bill of Rights" his group erected in downtown Daley Plaza. On the second half of the show, we interview Linda LaScola, one of the founders of the Clergy Project, and co-author of the new book (with Daniel C. Dennett) about clergy who have abandoned faith, Caught In The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind.
December 7, 2013
Guests: Judy Saint, IRS agent Robert Baty, Attorney Richard L. Bolton
FFRF wins major federal court victory! Also fifty-five freethought billboards in Sacramento! We talk with Judy Saint of the Sacramento chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation about the many local nonbelievers whose faces and phrases appear on billboards all over the country. Then we talk with FFRF’s attorney Rich Bolton and retired IRS attorney Robert Baty about FFRF’s significant federal victory declaring the IRS “Housing Allowance” exclusion for clergy unconstitutional.
November 30, 2013
Guests: Journalist Jamila Bey, activist Zack Kopplin
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving with gratitude in the face of the almost impossible fragility of human existence, and listen to Shelley Segal’s “Apocalyptic Love Song." We hear journalist Jamila Bey, of “Sex, Politics and Religion: SPAR with Jamila Bey,” addressing FFRF’s convention. Then student activist Zack Kopplin tells us how he is battling creationism in Louisiana.
November 23, 2013
Guest: TV reporter Stuart Watson
Three presidents! This week we play President Obama reading Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address without saying “under God,” and then hear John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about keeping state and church separate. Then we talk with North Carolina investigative TV reporter Stuart Watson about pastors who abuse the IRS “Housing Allowance,” and have other “financial questions” in their ministries.
November 16, 2013
Guest: Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers
After hearing a fun news story about our billboard in Janesville, Wisconsin that says “Enjoy Life Now: There is no afterlife,” we dissect the oral arguments heard in the Supreme Court "Greece vs. Galloway” case dealing with prayer at city council. Then we talk with a legal legend, a true hero of freethought, the plucky Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers (who has served since 1971), whose 1983 lawsuit resulted in the historic “Marsh vs. Chambers” decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
November 9, 2013
Guest: Peter Boghossian
This week we announce FFRF's new lawsuit in state court, challenging official city prayer and City Chaplain in Pismo Beach, California. We hear Dan Savage's "Emperor Has No Clothes" award acceptance speech. Then we talk with Peter Boghossian, author of the new best-seller A Manual For Creating Atheists.
November 2, 2013
Guest: SSA's Jesse Galef
Happy Birthday Annie Laurie! We hear the Scottish ballad "Annie Laurie," then listen to a 1980 interview of Annie Laurie Gaylor (who was 24) talking about the harm of religion to women. We also celebrate the birthday of Bad Religion's Greg Graffin by playing the punk-rock tune "God's Love." Then we talk with Jesse Galef, Communications Director of the Secular Student Alliance, about the difficulties (and victories) in forming new freethought clubs on high-school campuses.
October 26, 2013
Guests: Candace R. Gorham and Juan Mendez
Freethought Radio will play an excerpt of Arizona State Rep. Juan Mendez' Emperor Has No Clothes Award acceptance speech at the recent national FFRF convention. Mendez is the only "out" atheist in elected state government and talks about why he gave a freethought invocation before the Arizona State Legislature last spring and what happened when he did.
Candace R. Gorham, author of the new book, "The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion — and Others Should Too." Candace was an ordained evangelist who holds a master's degree from Wake Forest University, is a credentialed counselor and founder of www.EbonyExodus.org.
October 19, 2013
Guest: Richard Dawkins discusses his new memoir!
Julia Sweeney says "OMG, there is no God!" on FFRF's Times-Square billboard, while Oprah Winfrey insults atheist swimmer Diana Nyad by claiming nonbelievers cannot experience "awe." We laugh at the mixing of religion and government with the government shutdown, hear the brave 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai defending education as an antidote to religious violence. Then we talk with scientist Richard Dawkins about his new memoir, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist.
October 12, 2013
Guest: Prof. Brian Bolton
This week we celebrate "Freethought Day," the anniversary of the October 12, 1692 end of the Salem Witch Trials, and the October 12, 1872 birthday of freethinking English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. After "FFRF in the News," we talk with professor Brian Bolton, who has endowed FFRF's graduate student essay contest, about the inefficacy of prayer and the myth that America is a "Christian nation."
September 26, 2013
Guest: Author Guy Harrison
"Why does all my money have to say 'In God We Trust'?" This week we challenge the motto on U.S. currency as well as on license plates. We hear a young Ellery Schempp in 1963 being interviewed by Eric Sevareid on CBS News about the historic Abington v. Schempp decision by the Supreme Court outlawing bible reading in public schools. Then we talk with Guy P. Harrison, author of the book, 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian.
September 21, 2013
Happy Birthday, George Gershwin
FFRF tells high court to stop city prayer. We celebrate the equinox and end the summer by celebrating the birthday of nonbelieving composer George Gershwin, who wrote "Summertime" and "It Ain't Necessarily So." Then we discuss the amicus filed by FFRF in the Greece, NY, city-prayer case before the Supreme Court, with our two staff attorneys who drafted the brief: Patrick Elliott and Andrew Seidel.
September 14, 2013
INFIDELS! Guest: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
INFIDELS! We hear the only known recording of journalist H. L. Mencken, admitting he was an agnostic, commenting on his coverage of the 1925 Scopes "monkey trial." Then we hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the ex-Muslim Somali author of Infidel and Nomad, give her acceptance speech of FFRF's "Emperor Has No Clothes" Award.
September 6, 2013
Battle of Church and State
We stop football prayer and expose Hobby Lobby’s “crafty” and misleading ads about the founding fathers. Then we talk with Dan Savage, author and founder of It Gets Better, about his new book, American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics.
August 31, 2013
Atheist in the Foxhole
"The bases are loaded," as a federal judge this week gave FFRF the green light to proceed in our 3rd ongoing lawsuit against the IRS. On the second half of the show, we interview Joe Muto, a former employee of Fox News and an associate producer of The O'Reilley Factor, author of the new book An Atheist in the Foxhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media. (Photo credit: Alexis Lamster)
August 24, 2013
We celebrate the 93rd anniversary of Women's Equality Day and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. We talk about FFRF's state/church activism, including this week's federal court victory upholding standing to proceed in our IRS electioneering lawsuit. Then we talk with Hawaii state/church activists Holly Huber and Mitch Kahle who, as whistleblowers on behalf of the state, are suing churches who are underpaying millions of dollars for the use of public schools.
August 17, 2013
Guest: Susan Jacoby
Government prayer is run amok! Hear updates about FFRF complaints in Texas and Alabama, as well as the Cullman County "Prayer Caravan" saga, in which the governor takes sides against FFRF. Then we interview Susan Jacoby about her newly released book, The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought.
August 10, 2013
Guest: Chuck Roslof
This week we hear a sneak preview of our upcoming convention with music and commentary from Julia Sweeney and Jill Sobule's "Jill & Julia Show." We report our victory in the Ball State University "intelligent design" controversy, and hear of FFRF complaints over state church violations in Alabama. Then we talk with FFRF summer legal intern Chuck Roslof, who tells us about the problems that result when secular hospitals merge with Catholic institutions.
August 3, 2013
Why Tolerate Religion?
What is the afterlife to a fish? To answer that question, we play the debut of Dan Barker's new song, "Heaven," setting to music the poetry of Rupert Brooke. State/church entanglements in Alabama and Texas are in the news. Then we talk with University of Chicago Law Professor Brian Leiter, author of the new book, Why Tolerate Religion?