2013 PODCAST ARCHIVES
December 14, 2013
December 7, 2013
Guests: Judy Saint, Attorney Robert Baty
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."
October 4, 2013
Guest: Aisha Goss, Secular Coalition of America
36th Annual FFRF Convention wrap-up. Announcing Steven Pinker as new Honorary President of FFRF. Tennessee PTA prayer nixed. Five freethinking composers with birthdays this week! This week we talk with Aisha Goss, Deputy Director of the Secular Coalition of America.
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?
July 25, 2013
Nothing Fails Like Governmental Prayer
Nothing fails like governmental prayer! This week we point out that today's Florida governor got it just as wrong as those who prayed at the 1774 Continental Congress. We also report on the fact that atheists make up only 0.02% of the federal prison population. Then we talk with philosopher Lawrence Shapiro, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about miracles, science, and religion.
July 20, 2013
Guest: Mandisa Thomas, president of Black Nonbelievers
This week we report on FFRF's victory in Ohio, removing a Jesus painting from Jackson High School. We hear George Carlin's monologue on "God and Religion." Then we talk with Mandisa Thomas, president of Black Nonbelievers, who is planning the historic "Blackout Rally" in New York City on July 27, celebrating the contributions of nonbelievers of color.
July 13, 2013
Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne
This week we talk about abortion and the religious right in Ireland, Texas and Wisconsin. Then we interview science professor Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution is True, about the ongoing controversy at Ball State University (Indiana) where a creationist professor is preaching Intelligent Design in the science classroom.
July 6, 2013
Independence From Religion!
On this July 4 weekend, we celebrate our nation's independence from religion. Then we talk with a former pentecostal preacher of 25 years from Louisiana, Jerry Dewitt, whose new book is out: Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey From Belief to Atheism.
June 29, 2013
Tools for Thinking
This week we talk about songwriter Frank Loesser, immigration, the Boy Scouts ban on atheists, and religious symbols on government property. Then we interview philosopher Daniel C. Dennett about his new book, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools For Thinking.
June 22, 2013
Get Off Your Knees, and Get To Work!
"Christmas is early this year!" Texas Governor Perry signed into law this month the "Merry Christmas" bill, encouraging public schools to promote religion, taking pot shots at FFRF. Hear coverage of our Florida school distribution lawsuit. Then we talk with Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez, who opened a session of the House of Representatives with a freethought invocation instead of a prayer.
June 15, 2013
50th Anniversary of Abington v. Schempp
We file another lawsuit in federal court this week, challenging censorship of freethought literature in Orange County, Florida high schools. FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel gives us the details. Then we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 Abington v. Schempp decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by talking with Ellery Schempp, who was the high-schooler in 1956 who took his complaint to the highest court.
June 8, 2013
Guest: Author and Journalist Linda Greenhouse
There is no reason to keep hating. Women's rights, Roe v. Wade, and the current "marriage equality" cases before the U.S. Supreme Court are this week's topics. We hear Roy Zimmerman's hilarious song "Defense of Marriage" and Dan Barker's "No Gods, No Masters" (about Margaret Sanger). Then we talk with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Linda Greenhouse, who has covered the Supreme Court for 3 decades for the New York Times, author of the books Becoming Justice Blackmun and Before Roe Against Wade.
Read the transcript here.
June 1, 2013
Guest: Particle physicist Victor Stenger
Happy Birthday to composers Edward Elgar and Charles Strouse! This week we hear an update on the Ball State professor who is preaching creationism in the classroom. Then we talk with Victor Stenger about his new book, God and the Atom.
May 25, 2013
Guest: HS activist Gage Pulliam
Nonbelievers in the news! Tornado victim interviewed on CNN says she is an atheist, while Ricky Gervais sends money, not prayers, to Oklahoma relief. An Arizona representative delivers a secular humanist invocation before the assembly, and an Australian TV host delivers an "Aussie" version of the Ten Commandments. Then we talk with high-school activist Gage Pulliam, whose complaint to FFRF resulted in the Muldrow, Oklahoma, schools removing hundreds of Ten Commandments plaques from the walls of public classrooms.
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.