“Wake Up America” Campaign Begins

The Freedom From Religion Foundation began airing national ads on Air America radio in early April, in an advertising campaign that will continue for three months.

Comedian Julia Sweeney, a Saturday Night Live” alumna with a new one-woman show, “Letting Go of God,” has recorded an ad for the Foundation, which is running during the Al Franken afternoon talk show with Air America’s largest listener audience:

“Hi, this is Julia Sweeney. In my new play, Letting Go of God, I come out clearly as an atheist, absolutely committed to keeping church and state separate. Won’t you join me and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in waking up America to the growing dangers of theocracy? Phone 1-800-335-4021, or visit the Freedom From Religion Foundation at ffrf.org.”

Air America evening host Janeane Garofalo, also an SNL alum, atheist and actress (“West Wing”), has recorded a “voice endorsement” paid advertisement to run during “Majority Report,” her show with Sam Seder:

“Hello, this is Janeane Garofalo. Are you tired of right-wing politicians who desperately want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us? I know I am! That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Join the fight and call the Freedom From Religion Foundation toll-free at 1-800-335-4021. Or visit the Freedom From Religion Foundation website at ffrf.org. Proud to be an atheist! Janeane Garofalo.”

So has evening host Mike Malloy, another nontheist, and Laura Flanders, host of the weekend show, RadioNation. Her 30-second spot:

“Hi, I’m Laura Flanders. Are you as alarmed as I am about the religious right’s assault on our secular government and private lives? That’s why I’m glad to see the Freedom From Religion Foundation taking the lead in challenging the faith-based initiative. Please join me, Laura Flanders, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation in waking up the USA to the dangers of theocracy. To fight back, call toll-free 800-335-4021, or visit ffrf.org.”

Ads will run daily on each of the shows, and several times during the weekend during the 12-week media blitz.

“We are simply delighted to have a radio venue that doesn’t censor us!” commented Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.

The last time the Foundation attempted to buy TV advertising, its paid ad was turned down by all but three stations in a nationwide attempt, with similarly discouraging response by radio stations.

“We’re especially grateful to Julia Sweeney for lending her name and voice,” added Foundation co-president Dan Barker.

“And we’re also pleased that three Air America radio hosts were willing to do voice endorsement ads for the Foundation. It’s a mark of the growing number of secularists, in and out of the media.”

The ads are made possible due to generous response to the Foundation’s annual fall/winter fundraiser, in which a West Coast member matched $25,000 in donations for a campaign to “wake up America to the dangers of theocracy.”

Other ventures in the “wake up campaign” are in progress, and will be announced in future issues.

In a related activity, the Foundation is attempting to locate a radio station that will permit it to buy time to air a regular freethought radio program, which could be accessed via the internet as well.

Foundation members may wish to place advertisements in local periodicals (some shoppers will publish free blurbs) with information on the Foundation, either simply to promote the Foundation or as part of the “wake up” campaign. A few sample ads can be found on the inside back wrapper. 

“We are so grateful to our generous West Coast benefactor and all of the Foundation members who have contributed to the ‘wake up’ campaign,” said Annie Laurie.

Freedom From Religion Foundation