The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Matters” TV show this Sunday highlights a new off-Broadway play about disbelieving clergy that has gotten plaudits from The New York Times.
“The Unbelieving,” currently running at an off-Broadway theater 59East59, is about clergy, ministers and priests who lose their faith and become nonbelievers. The play is based on interviews conducted for the book Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind, written by Tufts University Professor Daniel Dennett and the researcher Linda LaScola (portrayed in the play).
Dennett, an FFRF honorary board member, is the author of many popular books, including the bestseller Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Dennett is also, with FFRF Co-President Dan Barker and acclaimed thinker Richard Dawkins, a co-founder of The Clergy Project, which assists pastors and ministers and rabbis and imams who find themselves caught in the pulpit. Dennett joins “Freethought Matters” to talk about “The Unbelieving.”
Also on the show is the creative consultant and theater producer for “The Unbelieving.” Megan Kingery is a Broadway and film producer who was the executive director for the film “The Subject” and co-producer of the musical “Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.” Kingery is the person largely responsible for shepherding “The Unbelieving” to the stage.
“Ever since I wrote the book Breaking the Spell, I’ve been telling people who will listen that religion is dying,” Dennett tells “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Let’s let it die gracefully. Let’s help the people who are hurt. Let’s take them seriously. Let’s comfort them if we can. Let’s respect them and help them out of their fantasies. And I think this play will go a long way.”
If you don’t live in the quarter-plus of the nation where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can 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 (who portrays “Q” in the new series “Star Trek: Picard”), the ACLU’s Dan Mach 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 received FFRF’s Clarence Darrow Award at its recent annual 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!