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FFRF Sunday TV guest says evangelical movement failed a generation

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s guest on its Sunday TV show has a lot of insights to offer about the evangelical movement — he grew up in it.

Jon Ward is the chief national correspondent at Yahoo! News. He’s covered American politics and culture for two decades, including as a White House correspondent traveling aboard Air Force One and as a national affairs correspondent. He hosts a podcast called “The Long Game” and has written for The Washington Post, The New Republic, Politico, Vanity Fair, HuffPost and the Washington Times. Ward’s new book is titled Testimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed a Generation. It not only recounts his childhood — the experience of growing up in a cult that taught the apocalypse was coming — but also chronicles evangelical politics almost to the present day.

“I’ll leave it to the experts to determine whether it was a full on cult or not, but there were a lot of hallmarks of that,” Ward talks about his family with “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The most negative thing was that our family was really sublimated below the decision-making authority of the church and the church leaders. This was something you saw a lot in the church, which did have cultish elements in it: Fathers and mothers really sort of handing over authority and influence over their own decisions to the leaders of the church. That was where I think a lot of things went wrong, not only for my family, but for many others.”

If you don’t live in the quarter-plus viewership of the nation where the show broadcasts on Sunday (see below), you can already catch the interview on FFRF’s YouTube channel. New shows go up every Thursday. “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 10 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. (Note: the show has been pre-empted for the next two Sundays, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.)
  • San Francisco, KICU-IND (Ch. 36), Sunday 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.

Upcoming guests include Nation magazine Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal, eminent philosopher Daniel C. Dennett and Kate Cohen, atheist and contributing columnist for the Washington Post.

You can catch interviews from past seasons here, iincluding recent ones with Gloria Steinem, Ron Reagan, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead, author John Irving, actor John “Q” de Lancie and award-winning columnist Katha Pollitt. Previous interviews include Julia Sweeney and Reps. Jared Huffman, Jamie Raskin, Hank Johnson and Eleanor Holmes Norton, among many other notable authors, activists, musicians, actors and freethinkers.

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!

If you are an FFRF member, sign into your account here and then update your email subscriptions here.

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