A member of Congress who recently declared himself a freethinker at the Freedom From Religion Foundation annual convention is interviewed on the latest episode of the organization’s “Freethought Matters“ TV show.
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, representing the area of Wisconsin where FFRF is headquartered, was named a Champion of the First Amendment at FFRF’s recent national convention due to his work as a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, formed to promote secular values and give a voice to freethinking voters. Before an audience of nearly 700 freethinkers — atheists, agnostics, humanists and nonreligious Americans — Pocan declared himself one “of us” who do not follow a specific religion. Pocan is also the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“It just doesn’t make a lot of sense that this is being a fight that’s being put up by the chaplain, because we should try to be inclusive of everyone in the country,” Pocan says on “Freethought Matters” about the House chaplain blocking FFRF’s attempt (with Pocan’s full support) to have FFRF Co-President Dan Barker present a freethinking invocation before Congress. “It would mean more power and, finally, some representation for 24 percent of us in the United States: the adults who are not religious.”
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. (Look for the Freethought Matters playlist to watch previous shows.)
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 week.
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 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.
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!