FFRF Airs Freethought Weekly Radio Broadcast

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national association of atheists and agnostics, launched its new radio broadcast, Freethought Radio, on April 29.

Freethought Radio is believed to be the only weekly radio broadcast (as opposed to podcast) devoted to the secular point of view” in North America.

Listeners can now wake up Saturdays to Freethought Radio, which airs 8-9 a.m. (Central Time) on 92.1 FM “The Mic, Progressive Talk,” the Air America station in Madison, Wis., where the Foundation is located.

Podcasts will be archived and can be accessed at the Foundation’s website, ffrf.org/radio, on the Monday after each weekly broadcast. Transcripts will also be available.

Co-hosting are Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the Foundation’s co-presidents. The program’s goal is to reach out not only to the 14 percent of the U.S. adult population that is not religious, but to educate the general public.

“We also hope to wake up the public to the growing threat of the religious right,” said Barker.

The pair describes Freethought Radio as offering “slightly irreverent views, news, music and interviews.”

“Our immediate goal is to buy time or be featured on Air America or similar channels in many regions around the country. The public airwaves are inundated with religion, but where is the alternative?” said Gaylor. Shows and guests will be of national significance.

“This is radio for the rest of us,” added Barker. “Broadcasting should be broadminded!”

The show opens and closes with the strains of John Lennon’s popular freethought anthem, “Imagine.”

The lively, positive premiere broadcast featured the irreverent, freethinking views of one of America’s most beloved lyricists, Yip Harburg, who wrote such classics as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “April in Paris” and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” The late Harburg, who defined himself as “an ardent agnostic,” also penned light verse, Rhymes for the Irreverent, which was recently reprinted by the Foundation.

Interviewed on the show was Yip’s son, Ernie Harburg, the articulate president of the Yip Harburg Foundation of New York City, and co-author of Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz?

Ernie Harburg was a wonderful interview, noted Barker, talking not only about his father’s history and freethought views, but his own. The interview was interspersed with Yip’s songs and witty verses.

The first show, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow — Rhymes for the Irreverent,” also included a thoughtful shorter segment with University of Minnesota researcher Prof. Penny Edgell, detailing the startling results of a national study showing that atheists are the least accepted minority in the United States.

Future shows will introduce various segments, including “Theocracy Alert,” “Ask-an-Atheist,” and will air freethought music by Barker, a professional musician and songwriter. Guests for May shows include feminist author and atheist Robin Morgan, and Mike Newdow, who is suing to rid the Pledge of Allegiance of the words “under God.”

“We have high hopes that broadcasting a show with a positive take on freethought and the separation of church and state can open minds and dispel the negative images toward both concepts,” said Gaylor.

“There is a wealth of talent and subject matter waiting to be aired!”

Freedom From Religion Foundation