Freethought Today · April 2015

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

But CNN airing wins raves

ABC, NBC join ban of Reagan’s FFRF ad

A 30-second TV spot recorded by Ron Reagan for the Freedom From Religion Foundation has now been banned by the three major networks: ABC, NBC and CBS.
However, FFRF has run the ad on CNN in late March and early April to great success, welcoming hundreds of new members and hearing from thousands of interested viewers. The ad says:

Hi, I'm Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I'm alarmed by the intrusion of religion into our secular government. That's why I'm asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation's largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended. Please support the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.
FFRF is also airing the spot on day-after rebroadcasts of "The Daily Show" through the spring.

The ad debuted on May 22, 2014, on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show." FFRF next tried to place the spot on CBS' "60 Minutes." Last fall, after months of delays, CBS rejected that placement and banned the ad from any national CBS show. Recently, ABC and NBC also rejected it.
NBC first offered to accept it if "not afraid of burning in hell" was deleted, then even decided against that.

"We'd never agree to censor Ron's punch line," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. "Imagine these national networks being so afraid of a little irreverence."

FFRF also ran the ad in select metropolitan cities on the finale of "Cosmos" last year after Fox refused to air it nationally, citing a policy against "advocacy" ads. Even major metropolitan CBS stations have refused it.

Although the networks may be panning the ad, CNN viewers gave it rave reviews:

"Where have you been all my life?" (Andrew, Johns Creek, Ga.); "That is literally the best commercial I've ever seen!" (J.T., Akron, Ohio); "This is the best thing that has happened to atheism since Richard Dawkins!" (Jane, New York City); "That's an extremely superior and wonderful ad. Wow!" (C.D., Vancouver, B.C.); "Best ad I've ever seen." (J.S., Fallbrook, Calif.); "I'm excited about what you do!" (Mike, Cleveland, Tenn.); "I'm a 95-year-old lifelong atheist. That's a long time!" (Gainesville, Fla.); "I thought I was the only atheist in America!" (E.Z., Elmhurst, N.Y.); "Brilliant!" (Ron, Nevada).

"The censorship of this ad and of Ron Reagan's 'unabashed views' by so many major networks really shows the heavy hand of religion upon this country and its power to suppress freethought and even the mildest criticism of religion," said FFRF Co-President Dan Barker.

FFRF encourages freethinkers to speak up on social media with the #NotAfraidofBurninginHell hashtag.


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