Note: This is the last show of the fall/spring 2020-21 season. “Freethought Matters” will begin broadcasting again in the fall, starting on Sunday, Sept. 5.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation concludes the fall/spring season of its “Freethought Matters” TV show by taking a look at how freethinkers view heaven, hell and the “afterlife.”
“What’s So Great About the Great Beyond?” — a visually rich episode — shares the wise, philosophical and sometimes humorous views of well-known nonbelievers (such as scientists, authors, actresses and even a football player) who reject claims of life after death, eternal damnation or heavenly rewards.
Hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor play a clip of Carl Sagan’s partner in life and profession, Ann Druyan, discussing how Sagan lived and died a nonbeliever. Other video clips showcase the wisdom of philosopher Bertrand Russell, journalist Susan Jacoby, comedian Julia Sweeney and God Delusion author Richard Dawkins. The half-hour show concludes with a Barker song, “No Hurry To Die,” and a short cartoon video, “Heaven,” based on a witty poem by Rupert Brooks, set to music by Barker and animated by Kati Treu.
If you don’t live in the quarter-plus of the nation where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can already catch the episode on FFRF’s YouTube channel. You can also receive notifications when we post new episodes of "Freethought Matters" by subscribing to FFRF's YouTube channel.
The season finale is the 40th episode of “Freethought Matters,” being telecast in over a dozen cities on Sunday, May 30.
“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.
- San Francisco, KICU-IND (Ch. 36), Sundays at 10 a.m.
- Seattle, KONG-IND (Ch. 16 or Ch. 106 on Comcast). Sundays at 8 a.m.
- Washington, D.C., WDCW-CW (Ch. 50 or Ch. 23 or Ch. 3), Sundays at 8 a.m.
Previous guests from the fall season include: pundit Eleanor Clift, whose interview you can watch here, actor and FFRF After-Life Member John de Lancie of “Star Trek” “Q” fame, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Linda Greenhouse, the country’s leading analyst of the U.S. Supreme Court, and legislative stalwart and feminist and civil rights pioneer U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton. One of the most eminent public intellectuals in the world, Professor Steven Pinker, was interviewed a few episodes ago talking about his new course on rationality. Legendary TV host, actor and singer John Davidson was the guest in early December. Recently, the show featured Ann Druyan, the co-creator of “Cosmos,” possibly the most acclaimed TV series of all time. A.C. Grayling, a prominent British philosopher and the author of about 30 books, grappled on the show with philosophy and the pandemic, and discussed how he himself dealt as a nonbeliever with a personal tragedy. Feminist icon Robin Morgan has been the latest marquee name on the show.
Watch previous seasons here, including 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.
FFRF gives a shoutout to FFRF Graphic Artist Jake Swenson for creating the lovely visuals.
Please tune in to this episode of “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters, and look for its return next fall.
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!