Legislative stalwart and civil rights and feminist pioneer U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton is the guest on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s TV show this week.
If you don’t live in the 27 percent of the country’s markets where “Freethought Matters” broadcasts on Sunday, you can already catch the episode on FFRF’s YouTube channel.
Norton has represented the District of Columbia for 15 terms and is a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. She argued and won her first case before the Supreme Court after graduating from Yale Law School just four years earlier and is currently a tenured professor of law at Georgetown University.
Norton has been a lifelong advocate for civil rights. She helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, and she worked with John Lewis when both were young members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She also worked with Medgar Evers and she bore witness to Fannie Lou Hamer’s mistreatment. She was part of the Mississippi Freedom Summer and has championed voting rights and self-government for the District of Columbia.
Her feminist credentials include being appointed by President Carter to be the first woman to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she crafted the first sexual harassment regulations. Norton convened the first hearings in the nation on discrimination against women as New York City Commissioner on Human Rights. She successfully represented 60 female employees who sued over Newsweek’s policy that allowed only men to be reporters. And she’s been an early and now lifelong champion of reproductive rights.
“Remember, I was born and raised in a city where I had to go to segregated schools. That’s no longer the case,” she reveals her reasons for optimism to FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “I was born and raised in a city that didn't have any rights whatsoever — not even the right to vote locally. I was born and raised in a city that had no rights to have a member of Congress, and here I sit as a member of the House of Representatives. So if you believe in change, then, of course, you must be optimistic. I believe in change because I have seen change happen.”
This is the fall season’s seventh episode of “Freethought Matters,” airing in 12 cities on Sunday, Oct. 18.
FFRF has energetically brought together the fall season of its TV show, “Freethought Matters,” in the face of the pandemic. The season’s first episode was broadcast with the distinguished journalist and pundit Eleanor Clift, which you can watch here. The second show had as the guest Professor Khyati Joshi, an expert on Christian privilege, while the third one had as the joint interviewees possibly the foremost scholars on Christian Nationalism in the United States. The fouth episode featured an interview with actor and FFRF After-Life Member John de Lancie of “Star Trek” “Q” fame, and the fifth one provided a double musical treat in the form of jazz artists Addison Frei and Tahira Clayton. The most recent show had as the guest Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Linda Greenhouse, the country’s foremost expert on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Upcoming guests include psychologist and philosopher Steven Pinker and ’60s and ’70s pop star, movie and TV actor and singer John Davidson, today a nonbeliever.
Freethought Matters” airs in:
- 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.
Watch previous seasons here, including recent interviews with Ron Reagan, Julia Sweeney and Ed Asner, as well as U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman and Jamie Raskin, co-chairs of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.
“We want to provide sympathetic programming for the ‘unmassed masses,’ and offer an alternative, so that religious programming does not win by default,” says Gaylor.
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.