(To see the full-sized ad select the box in the lower right hand corner of the video screen. If you cannot view the video above within this news release, click here to view it on FFRF's youtube channel.)
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a message for pious politicians and pandering political candidates, and is taking that message to network television.
Look for FFRF's new commercial on Sunday's "Meet the Press" (NBC, typically 9 -10 a.m. Eastern,* Sunday, April 1) and all week long on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9-10 p.m., Eastern Central. FFRF's ad will play twice on Monday's "Rachel Maddow Show." (*To confirm your local time for "Meet the Press," click here. Note: It airs at 10:30 a.m. Eastern in New York City and Washington, D.C.)
FFRF's new TV commercial showcases the famous words of John F. Kennedy as presidential candidate in 1960, saying:
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. . . . where no ecclesiastical body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly on the general populace."
It is this comment during JFK's famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association which inspired fellow Catholic presidential candidate Rick Santorum to aver it "makes me want to throw up."
"Let's restore respect for America's secular roots," urges FFRF's commercial. "Help the Freedom From Religion Foundation defend the wall of separation between state and church. Join us at FFRF.ORG. Freedom depends on freethinkers."
Underneath the 30-second spot can be heard a piano rendition of "America" recorded by FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. The ad concludes with the strains, "Let freedom ring," and the image of a Lincoln penny with "In Reason We Trust" replacing "In God We Trust."
FFRF's name, website FFRF.ORG, and toll-free number, 1-800-335-4021, alternate on the screen. FFRF debuted the ad on the CBS Morning Show last week, and on the CBS Evening News on March 26.
"Our secular Constitution should inspire reverence, not contempt and disgust," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. In the words of a wise jurist:
'There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. ' " (Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Orton, Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 1890)
Added Barker: "Kennedy was right. Separation between religion and government must be absolute, or there's no freedom and justice for all."
Buzz Kemper narrated the ad, and it was produced for FFRF by John Urban Productions.
This is believed to be the first freethought ad ever to be aired on both "Meet the Press" and the "Rachel Maddow Show."
To help FFRF educate via television, the most powerful mass medium, use the Donate button below. FFRF will place this ad on more networks or websites as funds permit.