U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin lends his unique perspective as both an elected official and constitutional scholar to this week’s episode of the nation’s premiere freethinking television show, Freethought Matters.
Raskin, who is a co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, represents Maryland’s 8th congressional district. Before serving in Congress, he was a three-term state senator in Maryland. Raskin was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s College of Law for more than 25 years. He has authored several books, including Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students. Raskin will receive FFRF’s Clarence Darrow Award at the upcoming annual convention, taking place in Madison Wis., and will be accepting via video.
“Your religious beliefs do not give you the right to discriminate in commerce against people based on their race, based on their ethnicity, based on their religion,” Raskin explains on the show. “The Free Exercise clause gives you the right to worship as you please, to go to the church that you please, to not go to church at all if that's what you please, but it doesn't give anyone, whether you are Baptist, Jewish, Catholic, atheist, agnostic, the right to discriminate against anyone if you were running a place of public accommodation like a department store or a motel.”
The show airs in 11 major cities on Sunday mornings, plus Madison, Wis., on Sunday night. But this week’s show is accessible to all on FFRF’s YouTube channel (look for the Freethought Matters playlist to watch previous shows).
In a show airing earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, the other co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, was interviewed, attracting the attention of Fox News.
The cities where “Freethought Matters” broadcasts, along with the channels and timings, are listed below:
- Chicago, WPWR-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 9 a.m.
- Denver, KWGN-CW (Ch. 2), Sundays at 7 a.m.
- Houston, KUBE-IND (Ch. 57), Sundays at 9 a.m.
- Los Angeles, KCOP-MY (Ch. 13), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Madison, Wis., WISC-TV (Ch. 3), Sundays at 11 p.m.
- Minneapolis, KSTC-IND (Ch. 45), Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
- New York City, WPIX-IND (Ch. 11), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Phoenix, KASW-CW (Ch. 61, or 6 or 1006 for HD), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Portland, Ore., KRCW-CW (Ch. 32), Sundays at 9 a.m. Comcast channel 703 for High Def, or Channel 3.
- Sacramento, KQCA-MY (Ch. 58), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
- Seattle, KONG-IND (Ch. 16 or Ch. 106 on Comcast). Sundays at 8:00 a.m.
- Washington, D.C., WDCW-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 8 a.m.
FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and her husband, Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister and well-known atheist author, are creators and co-hosts of the show. This week’s show is hosted by Gaylor and guest host Andrew Seidel, an attorney and FFRF’s director of strategic response.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), with more than 30,000 members nationwide. FFRF also works as a watchdog guarding the constitutional separation between religion and government.
The show is produced in the Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio at Freethought Hall in Madison, Wis., by FFRF’s videographer Bruce Johnson, a public television veteran. Crew includes staff members Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey, Kristina Daleiden, Lauryn Seering and Chris Line, plus various floor managers, with sound production provided by Audio for the Arts.
Please tune in to “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters.
P.S. Please tune in or record according to the times given above regardless of what is listed in your TV guide (it may be listed simply as “paid programming” or even be misidentified). To set up an automatic weekly recording, try taping manually by time or channel. And spread the word to freethinking friends, family or colleagues about a TV show, finally, that is dedicated to providing programming for freethinkers!