The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” TV show guest this Sunday is a pastor of the most unusual kind: an atheist pastor.
When Gretta Vosper, pastor of West Hill United Church in Toronto (part of the United Church of Canada), announced to her congregation that she’d become a nontheist, then later on that she’d become an atheist, she expected fireworks. She was charged with heresy, but what happened next was something entirely unexpected. Watch the show to find out what.
Becoming “aware of the tragic unfolding of the number of murders that were taking place in Bangladesh,” especially the killing of the Bangladeshi-American freethinker Avijit Roy and the near-murder of his wife, Bonya Ahmed, prompted Vosper to publicly identify as an atheist.
“I understood that the things that I believed were no different, really, from what these brave scholars and authors had believed,” she tells “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “By identifying as an atheist, which was just taking the nontheist label one step further, I was saying I’m the kind of person that they’re killing with machetes in the streets in Bangladesh.”
If you don’t live in the quarter-plus of the nation where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can right now watch the interview 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 the playlist on FFRF’s YouTube channel.
Upcoming shows will feature actor John de Lancie (portraying “Q” in the new series “Star Trek: Picard”), atheist activist Aron Ra, philosopher Daniel Dennett and best-selling award-winning novelist John Irving (The World According to Garp). This fall season already contains must-see interviews with Texas iconoclast Jim Hightower (who will be receiving FFRF’s Clarence Darrow award at its October convention), leading constitutional abortion rights expert Professor Geoffrey Stone, Professor Anthea Butler and Katherine Stewart, incisive commentators on white Christian nationalism, and atheist Washington Post columnist Kate Cohen.
“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, WFTC-29, Sundays at 7:30 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.
You can catch interviews from past seasons here, including with Gloria Steinem, Ron Reagan, Julia Sweeney and Reps. Jared Huffman, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson and Eleanor Holmes Norton.
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 — your antidote to religion on Sunday morning!