The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” show this Sunday is paying tribute to one of the most-honored actors of our time, also a freethinker.
Ed Asner, who died in August, won more primetime Emmys than any other male actor. In addition to his iconic Lou Grant character, among his nearly 400 credits on TV, on the stage and in movies were the beloved lead role in the cartoon feature “Up,” Santa in the movie “Elf” and a recent guest spot in the Netflix series “Dead To Me.” He also made a name for himself as a political activist. Asner became an FFRF honorary director and received the Clarence Darrow Award in 2020 from the state/church watchdog for his promotion of rationalism and freethought.
Asner was in Madison, Wis., in late 2019 to fundraise for The Progressive magazine and graciously agreed to come by Freethought Hall and sit down for a chat with FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. It was exciting for FFRF staff to meet him when the interview was recorded in the Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio. The conversation was originally aired in February 2020 and is being rebroadcast as a paean to the legendary thespian. “It’s all so blatantly plain: How people can follow a God and turn it into a false idol,” said Asner during the fun back-and-forth.
If you don’t live in the quarter-plus of the nation where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can already catch the interview on the “Freethought Matters” playlist on FFRF’s YouTube channel. New shows go up every Thursday. You can also receive notifications when we post new episodes of “Freethought Matters” by subscribing to FFRF’s YouTube channel.
Coming shows this season include interviews with the head of Spain’s only humanist group and with Secular Coalition for America Executive Director Debbie Allen.
“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, KIAH-CW (Ch. 39), Sundays at 11 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, Digital Channel 5.5), Sundays at 9:30 a.m. (Digital channel 5.2 has been dropped.)
- 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.
The show launched its fall season in early September with clips from the best past interviews on the program. Subsequently, it featured an interview with famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. The program has focused on a landmark Supreme Court case against religious indoctrination in public schools, has offered answers on how nonreligious people should deal with death. A few weeks ago, the interview was with FFRF Honorary Director Katha Pollitt, one of the nation’s foremost writers, freethinkers, atheists and feminists. Last week, the show interviewed distinguished evolutionary psychologist and renowned author Harvard Professor Steven Pinker.
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!