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Winter Solstice special on FFRF’s TV show this week

Reason of the Season

The celebration of the Winter Solstice — the real reason for the season — is the focus of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters“ television show this Sunday.

Co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor guide us on a warm personal and historical tour of the real holiday. FFRF Attorney Patrick Elliott takes us on the road to explain constitutional versus unconstitutional Christmas displays. We also get a musical treat in the form of Barker and guest vocalist Susan Hofer performing freethinking tunes.

The Solstice heralds the symbolic rebirth of the sun, the lengthening of days and the natural New Year. Nonbelievers are quite willing to celebrate the fun parts of anybody's holidays but want to be spared the schmaltz, the superstition — and the state/church entanglements.

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. World-renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett and U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin and Mark Pocan have appeared on the show in recent weeks. 

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!