Preacher turned secular scholar on FFRF TV show this Sunday

Hector Avalos

A former preacher who is now one of the foremost secular analysts of Christianity is spotlighted on the latest episode of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” TV show.

Hector Avalos is a professor of religious studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University. He is the author of more than 10 books, including Fighting Words: The Origins Of Religious Violence, The End of Biblical Studies and The Bad Jesus.

Avalos was a fundamentalist preacher as a child. He went on to obtain a Master’s of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and then a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies from the same university. In 2005, Avalos and two colleagues formulated a statement against intelligent design and creationism that was eventually signed by scores of faculty members. Last year, Avalos received the first Hispanic American Freethinkers Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Eventually, the bible has to be left behind and we need to move forward in a society and not be dragged down by these ancient teachings and myths,” Avalos says on “Freethought Matters.”

As an antidote to religion on the airwaves and Sunday morning sermonizing, the half-hour show airs Sunday mornings in 11 cities and Sunday evening in FFRF’s hometown of Madison, Wis. And this week’s show is already available on FFRF’s YouTube channel

The first guest in the new season was U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Huffman’s appearance on the show made media waves due to his remarks about his colleague Rep. Liz Cheney’s dogmatic stance on the religious oath. U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and world-renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett have appeared on the show in recent weeks. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan will be on the show next month.

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 (a similar background to Avalos’), are creators and co-hosts of the show.

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!

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.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement