Watch 30 second ad recorded by Julia Sweeney for TV. Trouble viewing embedded video? Click here to watch.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is storming the “Bishops’ Bastille” in an unprecedented TV ad campaign to counter the Roman Catholic Church’s inquisition against contraceptive insurance coverage. The 30-second spots feature one of America’s favorite former Catholics — actress Julia Sweeney, beloved by freethinkers for her play, “Letting Go of God,” and by the American public for her portrayal of “Androgynous Pat” on Saturday Night Live!
The spot may be viewed by all those whose carriers are Dish, DirecTV, Cox, Comcast, Verizon and Viamedia and will air on an impressive and diverse lineup of national TV shows.
The ads start today — the same day the Catholic Bishops declared their “Fortnight of Freedom” anticontraception offensive — and will air for two weeks through July 4.
FFRF’s website will update listings daily so viewers get a heads up on when the commercial is expected to air. Click here to view today’s listings. Because these ads are purchased as a remnant package, they may be pre-empted by breaking news or other station changes. More than 1200 estimated spots are included in the package reaching 42 million homes.
Today’s listings include a heady mix of national and cable shows airing from early in the morning through midnight, including MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” CNN offerings such as Anderson Cooper, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” shows on History, and even Lifetime Movies. Note: All times are listed as “expected air times” and are recorded as Eastern time on a 24-hour clock (e.g., 5:45 means 5:45 a.m. Eastern, 16:15 means 4:15 p.m. Eastern).
Look for anticipated future airings on Rachel Maddow, and Mythbusters, and on LOGO, Discovery, Science Channel and WE (Women’s Entertainment). FFRF is even scheduled to place a few ads on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity,” among other Fox shows — why not take our message to those who most need to hear it?
In the ad, Julia says:
“Hi, I’m Julia Sweeney, and I’m a cultural Catholic. I am no longer a believer and I even wrote a play about it called “Letting Go of God.” But I wanted to let you know that right now Catholic Bishops are framing their opposition to contraceptive coverage as a religious freedom issue. But the real threat to freedom is the Bishops, who want to be free to force their dogma on people who don’t want it. Please join the Freedom From Religion Foundation and help keep church and state separate. [FFRF's name, toll-free number and website are displayed throughout the ad.]
Additionally, FFRF is negotiating to air the ad on a first-run prime-time program so all members will be able to view it live. We’re running into some censorship, but will keep you posted!
FFRF produced the TV commercial in direct response to the Catholic Bishops’ posturing as victims of religious persecution, while intent on limiting women employees’ access to contraception. The Catholic hierarchy is corralling the faithful to make such as fuss that Congress will adopt a Catholic-authored law to permit any employer to deny employee health care coverage if they cite a religious objection. The Catholic Church has orchestrated numerous federal lawsuits against the Obama Administration’s mandate, even though all churches are specifically exempt from offering their employees contraceptive benefits. The rule is scheduled to go into effect in August, prompting the hysterical response by the Catholic Bishops.
FFRF's Stand Down the Bishops campaign
If you’d like to personally respond to diocesan activities in your own area seeking to subvert women’s reproductive liberty under the guise of “freedom of religion” for Catholic bishops, please check out the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ website listing local actions. Show up as a one-person picket, write a timely letter to your local paper exposing the Church or just post a helpful comment at a news site. Help get out the word about FFRF’s important “Counter the Bishops” multi-level campaigns. Make sure there is push- back in your community! Here’s the link to “anti” actions by Catholic dioceses.
Read more about FFRF’s “Stand Up to/Stand Down the Bishops” campaign (including FFRF’s famous “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church” newspaper ads). (Scroll down to check news updates.)
Read FFRF’s scholarly and thoughtful analysis of what’s wrong with the Bishops’ charge that “religious liberty” is violated by access to contraception.
View FFRF’s billboard in St. Louis, Mo. (where the archdiocese is suing Health and Human Services).
Check ffrf.org/news/ for updates or sign up to receive FFRF news updates in your inbox.
FFRF’s grateful thanks if you have recently donated, or have already contributed to FFRF’s “Quit the Church/Counter the Bishops/Julia Sweeney TV ad” campaign. Your donations made this possible!
FFRF has nearly reached our original goal of $100,000. The “thermometer” goal has been revamped to $150,000 to help pay for primetime live TV advertising. If you’d still like to make a tax-deductible contribution, your donation will go to work in the next two weeks! How’s that for action? Please indicate you are earmarking your donation for the Julia Sweeney TV ad.