The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the largest freethought association in North America, today announced a fresh ad campaign featuring John F. Kennedy.
The ads will run on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during the month of March to promote the separation of church and state. The spots are part of FFRF's "I'm Secular and I Vote" campaign to ensure the voices of the fastest-growing minority group in America are heard in the 2016 presidential election.
"Since today's presidential candidates are more interested in quoting scripture than policy, we're resurrecting an important voice of reason to remind Americans that religious dogma has no place in government," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
The 30-second spots will appear from March 7 to March 20 on CBS affiliate stations in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Madison, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.
The commercial depicts the famous lines delivered by presidential candidate John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," said Kennedy, "where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly on the general populace."
FFRF urges viewers to "restore respect for America's secular roots." The ad makes this appeal: "Help the Freedom From Religion Foundation defend the wall of separation between state and church. Join us at FFRF.org. Freedom depends on freethinkers."
The 30-second spot is accompanied by a piano rendition of "America the Beautiful" recorded by FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. The ad concludes with the strains of "Let freedom ring" and the image of a Lincoln penny with "In Reason We Trust" replacing "In God We Trust."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.