The Freedom From Religion Foundation will not only end this year on an irreverent note but begin the new year the same way: with its “unabashed atheist” Ron Reagan ad on “60 Minutes.”
The spot will air on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day during the legendary news show, which will start a bit late these days due to scheduled football games. The 30-second commercial will also play on the CBS program on Sunday, Jan. 8. “60 Minutes” is a Top 10 show and one of the most widely watched primetime programs.
When FFRF first approached Reagan in 2014 about recording the ad, wherein he famously calls himself “an unabashed atheist . . . not afraid of burning in hell,” FFRF had intended to run it on “60 Minutes.” However, CBS, as well as NBC and ABC, surprised FFRF by refusing to run the ad nationally. Last year, CBS national network finally accepted the 30-second spot to air several times on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” And in January, the commercial ultimately aired on “60 Minutes.”
Reagan recorded a refreshed and updated version of the ad last year, in which the former dancer, sitting on a stage in an empty auditorium, states:
Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed, as you may be, by the intrusion of religion into our secular government. That's why I’m asking you to join the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founders intended. Please join the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.
“We’re proud that we’re able to reach out to the viewers of such a historically significant show,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “And we’re eternally appreciative to Ron for magnifying our national profile.”
Reagan, who is the son of President Ronald and Nancy Reagan, has spoken on FFRF’s “Freethought Matters” TV show about why he stopped attending church as a 12-year-old and what happened when he told his father. He has received FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award for his outspoken, lifelong identification as an atheist and advocacy of the separation between religion and government.
After FFRF aired the ad during several Democratic presidential debates carried by CNN in 2019, Reagan was credited with “winning” and becoming the top trending search on Google. Reagan’s quotable words have spawned a digital interactive billboard and FFRF-produced T-shirts, caps, mugs, pins and bumper stickers.
Your donation to FFRF’s advertising campaign will help keep Ron’s — and your message — on the air, where it is educating the public and substantially growing FFRF’s membership.