A classic First Amendment movie on FFRF’s ‘Freethought Matters’ this week

Champions of the First Amendment

You’ll be watching a landmark Freedom From Religion Foundation First Amendment film on the “Freethought Matters” TV show this Sunday, also available on YouTube.

FFRF’s second movie, “Champions of the First Amendment” (1988), introduces major plaintiffs who’ve been triumphant in landmark state/church cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. You will meet Vashti, Jim and Dan McCollum, who were victorious in a lawsuit against religious instruction in the public schools in 1948, a case upon which rests all other law protecting school children from indoctrination. Also interviewed are Ed Schempp, whose family won Abington v. Schempp in 1963, ending bible readings in public schools, and Roy Torcaso, who obtained a unanimous ruling by the high court in 1961 affirming the constitutional prohibition against religious tests for public office.

“We are delighted that we were able to capture these interviews of these Establishment Clause heroes for posterity,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. The film was produced in 1988 on a shoestring budget. Both Jim and Dan McCollum have recently been reinterviewed on “Freethought Matters.” Last week, “Freethought Matters aired FFRF’s first feature, a 40-year-old movie called “A Second Look at Religion.”

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.) 

If you’d prefer to watch it on television, 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.

You will also enjoy catching up with previous episodes of “Freethought Matters,” which has been in production for several years. 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. Freethought icon Ron Reagan, world-renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett, acting legend Ed Asner and U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin and Mark Pocan have recently appeared on the show. Guests on past seasons include comedian Julia Sweeney, former Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards and a variety of freethought authors and activists

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 31,000 members nationwide. FFRF also works as a watchdog guarding the constitutional separation between religion and government.

The show is usually 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

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