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2022 PODCAST ARCHIVES

Freethought Radio -- May 12, 2022

The Wonder of Science

Guest: Sasha Sagan. It’s Mayday for women’s rights. We talk about state/church and women’s issues in Idaho, Arkansas, New Jersey and Arizona, and announce our full-page ad in the New York Times. After listening to philosopher Bertrand Russell (on the sesquicentennial of his birth) tell us why he was not a Christian, we hear Sasha Sagan, daughter of astronomer Carl Sagan and author Ann Druyan, tell us why the beauty of science is more awesome than religion.

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Freethought Radio -- May 5, 2022

Profusely Illustrated

Guest: Ed Sorel. Instead of honoring the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer, we celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Learn what you can do to resist the imminent religiously motivated overthrow of Roe v. Wade. Then, we speak with 93-year-old irreverent cartoonist, illustrator and caricaturist Ed Sorel — whose satiric artwork has graced magazine covers and newspapers for many decades — about his new lavish memoir Profusely Illustrated.

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Freethought Radio -- April 28, 2022

Secular Compassion

Guest: Phil Zuckerman. After reporting on victories and challenges regarding governmental prayer, we parse the Supreme Court oral arguments in the case involving a praying high-school football coach. Then we hear sociologist and author Phil Zuckerman, a pioneer in secular studies, making the case for why secular Americans, as a group, are more moral than religious Americans.

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Freethought Radio -- April 21, 2022

Rebels With a Cause

Guest: Clement Hiel. After reporting on national state/church news, we hear freethinker Barbra Streisand sing the song “Smile," written by the freethinking Charlie Chaplin. Then we speak with NASA scientist Clement Hiel about his alma mater, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels), which was founded as a direct challenge to the Catholic Church. The school's motto is "Science Conquers Darkness."

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Freethought Radio -- April 14, 2022

The Agenda

Guests: Sam Grover; Ian Millhiser. After we report on national state/church news, FFRF attorney Sam Grover joins us to talk about the oral arguments he gave last week before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in our lawsuit challenging a Texas judge who opens sessions with a prayer. Then we speak with journalist and author Ian Millhiser about his new book The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court is Reshaping America.

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Freethought Radio -- April 7, 2022

Separate Church & State

Guests: Patrick Elliott; Ryan Jayne; Barbara Alvarez. After reporting on state/church news, we talk with a trio of FFRF staff members. FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott describes our friend-of-the-court brief to the Supreme Court about a praying high-school coach. Strategic Response Attorney Ryan Jayne tells us about the many bad state bills dealing with LGBTQ rights. And Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez updates us on the good and (mostly) bad religiously motivated state bills dealing with abortion.

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Freethought Radio -- March 31, 2022

The Cosmos

Guests: Chris Line; Ann Druyan. After we report on national and regional news, FFRF attorney Chris Line updates us on the many state/church complaints and victories he has been handling around the country. Then we hear author, educator and Emmy-winning producer of the "Cosmos" TV series Ann Druyan (along with her daughter Sasha Sagan) as she accepts FFRF's "Emperor Has No Clothes" award.

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Freethought Radio -- March 24, 2022

The bible and slavery

Guest: Jeremy Schipper. Religion at Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. State/church complaints in Colorado, Virginia and Tennessee. Jazz musicians Tahira Clayton and Addison Frei perform freethinker Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You." Then Professor of Religion Jeremy Schipper describes how the bible was used in both sides of the slavery/anti-slavery debates in his new book, Denmark Vesey's Bible: The Thwarted Revolt that Put Slavery and Scripture on Trial.

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Freethought Radio -- March 17, 2022

Rationality

Spring is here, and state/church violations are bursting out all over. We report on violations in Ohio, Colorado, West Virginia and Indiana, and ask Idaho's governor not to sign a draconian anti-abortion bill. After hearing Audra McDonald sing the evocative "Spring is Here" by freethinking composer Richard Rodgers, we listen to Harvard Professor Steven Pinker at FFRF's convention in Boston describing his new book, Rationality: What It Is — Why It Is Scarce — Why It Matters.

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Freethought Radio -- March 10, 2022

Drunk, High and Hypnotized

FFRF attorney Sam Grover updates us on the oral arguments in our "Do mess with Texas" lawsuit before the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals challenging Gov. Greg Abbot's censorship of our Bill of Rights nativity display at the state capitol. Then the actress and author Alice Greczyn offers a scientific explanation for ecstatic religious experiences, which she describes in her talk: "Drunk, High and Hypnotized: How Neurotheology Healed My Religious Trauma."

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Freethought Radio -- March 3, 2022

Katherine Stewart

This week, we comment on President Biden's State of the Union address as it relates to state/church separation, abortion, and LGBTQ+ rights. We hear Dan Barker's performance of the feminist anthem "Bread and Roses." Then we speak with journalist and author Katherine Stewart about her powerful cautionary column in the Sunday New York Times: "Why was a Catholic hospital willing to gamble with my life?"

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Freethought Radio -- February 24, 2022

What is Humanism?

Guest: Andrew Copson. FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott explains FFRF's newest federal lawsuit involving students who walked out of a Huntington W.Va., high school protesting religious services on campus during school time. Then we speak with the Chief Executive of Humanists UK, Andrew Copson, about the new book he co-authored with Alice Roberts called The Little Book of Humanism: Universal Lessons on Fnding Purpose, Meaning and Joy.

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Freethought Radio -- February 17, 2022

Beware of Dogma

Guest: Mark Dann. After reporting on state/church complaints and victories in Michigan, Tennessee, Florida and Indiana, we hear two versions of Dan Barker's song "Beware of Dogma": one by Dan and the other by Brazilian singer Sandra Belé. Then we speak with FFRF's Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann about his work in Washington, D.C., to lobby for a secular government, science and reason.

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Freethought Radio -- February 10, 2022

Secular Reparations

Guests: Cynthia McDonald and Andrew Seidel. FFRF's Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel announces the new major report by FFRF and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty called "Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021, Insurrection." Then activist and podcaster Cynthia McDonald tells us about her comprehensive article about the secular case for reparations: "Black economic justice from an atheist’s view."

 

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Freethought Radio -- February 3, 2022

Battling the Virus of Bad Thinking

Guest: Larry Shapiro. President Biden should not have attended today's divisive National Prayer Breakfast. U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin tells us why it is important to memorialize America's "forgotten Founder" Thomas Paine. Then we speak with philosopher Lawrence Shapiro about his new book (co-written with Steven Nadler): When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People: How Philosophy Can Save Us From Ourselves.

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Freethought Radio -- January 27, 2022

Forgotten Founder

Guests: Margaret Downey and Gary Berton. We talk about the need to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Breyer with a proponent of state/church separation. After hearing Dan Barker's tribute to Thomas Paine, "The World Is My Country," we talk with two Paine experts: Margaret Downey, president of the new Thomas Paine Memorial Association, and Gary Berton, president of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, about the drive to erect a statue to the "forgotten Founder" in Washington, D.C.

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Freethought Radio -- January 20, 2022

Francesca Stavrakopoulou

 The Supreme Court has recently taken a number of troubling cases dealing with religion. FFRF's Legal Director Rebecca Markert joins us to talk about the Supreme Court oral arguments in a case about the city of Boston being forced to fly the Christian flag. Then we speak with atheist bible Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou about her new book God: An Anatomy.

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Freethought Radio -- January 13, 2022

Cheesecake, anyone?

After reporting on national and local state/church news, we hear singer/songwriter Shelley Segal's feminist song "Eve" from her Atheist Album. Then we listen to Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times columnist and Supreme-Court observer Linda Greenhouse's "Cheesecake, anyone?" remarks as she accepts FFRF's "Clarence Darrow" award recognizing excellence in journalism about state/church separation.

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Freethought Radio -- January 6, 2022

Horrendous Suffering

We mark the anniversary of the January 6 insurrection by hearing FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel describe the Christian Nationalism of the rioters. Representative Don Beyer (VA) explains why he is a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus and we hear Representative Jamie Raskin (MD) stressing the need to talk about fascism. Then we talk with former evangelical minister and Christian apologist, John W. Loftus, about his new anthology God and Horrendous Suffering.

 

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Freethought Radio -- December 30, 2021

Happy New Year 2022

We listen to part of the interview that Annie Laurie Gaylor did with Gloria Steinem at FFRF's Boston convention. We see out the old year by remembering and honoring freethinkers who have left us in 2021. Then we welcome the new year by listening to some freethought songs that respond to the events of last year—some irreverent, some funny, some cautionary, and some optimistic songs that hope for better days in 2022.

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Freethought Radio -- December 23, 2021

Heathen's Greetings!

After news about "ominous omicron," secular Solstice displays and a state/church victory, we celebrate the real reason for the season — the Winter Solstice — by hearing some fun irreverent Christmas songs by Tom Lehrer, Roy Zimmerman, Addison Frei, Tahira Clayton, Ken Lonnquist, and Susan Hofer, ending with Tim Minchin's "White Wine in the Sun."

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Freethought Radio -- December 16, 2021

The Trouble With Christmas

FFRF's Reproductive Rights Intern Barbara Alvarez tells us why abortion is a state/church issue that should concern all freethinkers. We remember Tom Flynn of the Council for Secular Humanism, who died this year, by hearing the 2006 interview he did for us about his book The Trouble With Christmas. Then we listen to Winter Solstice songs by Dan Barker and Kristin Lems.

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Freethought Radio -- December 9, 2021

Highlights and Lowlights

FFRF's Legal Fellow Karen Heineman, an attorney and a veterinarian, tells us why Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is wrong to claim he was “immunized” when he took ivermectin, a medication commonly used as an animal dewormer. She also explains herd immunity. Then Freethought Radio co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor parse the highlights and lowlights (and religious implications) of the recent Supreme Court oral arguments in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization about the Mississippi law that bans abortion.

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Freethought Radio -- December 2, 2021

From Saved to Sane

We talk about the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the Mississippi abortion law case, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s eloquent plea for women over religious doctrine. Reproductive Rights Intern Barbara Alvarez reads the poignant letter she has written to Sotomayor. Then we speak with Willie O. Cartwright about his new book, From Saved to Sane: My Journey Away from Christianity and Why Christianity Has Been Detrimental to the African American Community.

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Freethought Radio -- November 25, 2021

Atheists Do Have Songs

The comedian Steve Martin has said: "Atheists don't got no songs." That is funny, but untrue. As a change of pace this Thanksgiving week, FFRF's audio engineer and announcer Buzz Kemper hosts and DJs a show of historic and contemporary freethought songs from the three albums produced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation: "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist," "Beware of Dogma" and "Adrift on a Star."

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Freethought Radio -- November 18, 2021

“Blacktino” Atheist

Two Freethought Radio audio engineers, Buzz Kemper and Grant Blaschka, play sound-tag as we interview each of them in turn about how and why they left (respectively) Catholicism and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Then we hear actress, comedian and atheist Julia Sweeney interview actor and "blacktino" atheist Jon Huertas in their entertaining contribution to the 2021 Secular Day of the Dead celebration.

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Freethought Radio -- November 11, 2021

Why We Believe

Religious governors, judges, members of Congress and high-school coaches are running roughshod over the Constitution. We complain about the nefarious National Prayer Breakfast by hearing Dan Barker's song "Nothing Fails Like Prayer." Then we talk with Princeton anthropologist and primatologist Agustín Fuentes, author of Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being.

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Freethought Radio -- November 4, 2021

American Ethics

FFRF's Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel describes the letter written by the Congressional Freethought Caucus to the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection complaining about the deceptive and dangerous Health Care Sharing Ministries. Then we speak with Bart Worden, executive director of the American Ethical Union, about the nontheistic religion of Ethical Culture Societies.

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Freethought Radio -- October 28, 2021

Justice On The Brink

A lot of "scary” news for Halloween. FFRF fights state/church violations and educates Christian nationalists around the country. FFRF attorney Liz Cavell describes FFRF's new report about Florida, “Casting Light: The Sunshine State's Problem of Religion in Public Schools.” Then we speak with Pulitzer-Prize-winning court reporter Linda Greenhouse about her new book, Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court.

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Freethought Radio -- October 21, 2021

Pack the Court

The ultra-conservative Roberts Supreme Court is a serious threat to equality, fairness, and the rights of women, LGBTQ and non-Christians. To discuss how we can preserve state/church separation and advance progressive views, we speak with law Professor Stephen M. Feldman about his book Pack the Court! A Defense of Supreme Court Expansion.

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Freethought Radio -- October 14, 2021

Secular America

We need a vaccine to keep religion from infecting government. After reporting FFRF victories and complaints, we call for putting our trust in science and for vaccine mandates. We hear Roy Zimmerman's irreverent song, "I Want a Marriage Like They Had in the Bible." Then we speak with Debbie Allen, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, which lobbies to keep state and church separate.

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Freethought Radio -- October 7, 2021

Religion vs. Women's Health

Football baptisms, the North Carolina lieutenant governor's intolerance and billboards for Rev. Joel Osteen are among the state/church news this week. FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert tells us about the Supreme Court taking a case over a Christian flag in Boston. Then Reproductive Rights Intern Barbara Alvarez gives us the good news and the bad news about abortion rights in America.

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Freethought Radio -- September 30, 2021

Firing God

Happy Blasphemy Day! Religion & abortion, religion & capital punishment, and religion & Covid-19 are among our topics today. FFRF attorney Ryan Jayne joins us to talk about the friend-of-the-court brief we recently filed with the Supreme Court dealing with the death penalty. Then we speak with Cheryl Abram, author of the book Firing God, about how she took a "leap of doubt" to escape the oppressiveness of religion.

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Freethought Radio -- September 23, 2021

Women Beyond Belief

This week, we talk about the religious attack on abortion rights. FFRF attorney Liz Cavell explains FFRF's friend-of-the court brief we filed at the U.S. Supreme Court challenging Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. Then we talk with Mandisa Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers, about the "Women of Color Beyond Belief” conference in Chicago.

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Freethought Radio -- September 16, 2021

Modi's India

We celebrate Constitution Day by listening to a song, “We, The People,” written and performed in the U.S. Constitution's honor by FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. We spotlight FFRF’s recent multimedia efforts, including a new Ron Reagan TV spot, a full-page New York Times ad and a billboard campaign in Nashville aimed at megapreachers. Then, FFRF Communications Director Amit Pal speaks with Professor and India scholar Christophe Jaffrelot about his new book, Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy.

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Freethought Radio -- September 9, 2021

Dennett Double Header

A special sister/brother treat! Charlotte Dennett discusses her book The Crash of Flight 3804: A Lost Spy, a Daughter's Quest, and the Deadly Politics of the Great Game for Oil (Foreword by brother Daniel C. Dennett) about the mysterious 1947 death of their father Daniel C. Dennett II when he was an American spy in the Middle East. Then we talk with her brother, the atheist philosopher Daniel C. Dennett III, about his new book Just Deserts: Debating Free Will.

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Freethought Radio -- September 2, 2021

Freethought Matters

After the horrible Supreme Court decision upholding an abortion ban, we say "DO mess with Texas." We honor the memory of actor Ed Asner and hear folksinger Kristin Lems perform her classic cautionary song "Days of the Theocracy." Then we listen to a retrospective of Freethought Matters TV guests, including Ron Reagan, John Davidson, Cecile Richards, Ann Druyan, Julia Sweeney, Daniel C. Dennett, two members of Congress, and others.

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Freethought Radio -- August 26, 2021

Moral Majorities

Covid, Afghanistan and court reform are among this week's topics. We hear from the winners of FFRF's "First in the Family" Freethought Tuition Relief for students of color (selected by Black Skeptics Los Angeles). Then FFRF's Director of Communication Amit Pal joins as we talk with Professor Benjamin Cowan about his new book Moral Majorities across the Americas: Brazil, the United States, and the Creation of the Religious Right.

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Freethought Radio -- August 19, 2021

Taliban Takeover

We begin by criticizing anti-science resistance to vaccinations and masking. After reporting an FFRF state/church victory in Florida, stopping a high-school baseball coach from praying with students, we hear the 1986 rock song "Dear God" by atheist Andy Partridge. Then we speak with Professor and author Juan Cole of the University of Michigan, an expert on the Middle East and South Asia, about what is happening with the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

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Freethought Radio -- August 12, 2021

Imam No More

We are still fighting religious resistance to vaccinations. FFRF attorney Liz Cavell tells us about FFRF's new "Prayer Walk Report" describing how some public schools are unconstitutionally inviting or allowing "prayer warriors" to invade the campus. Then former African imam Mohamed Cisse tells us why he left Islam and is now a board member of the secular Clergy Project.

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Freethought Radio -- August 5, 2021

Death and Disbelief

Masks, vaccinations and religion. After reporting FFRF legal complaints and victories, we celebrate the birthdate of 19th-century freethinker Robert G. Ingersoll by listening to his voice on an early 1890s Edison cylinder and hearing the song "The Time To Be Happy Is Now," which is based on Ingersoll's creed. Then we speak with former minister Candace Gorham, a licensed mental health counselor, about her new book On Death, Dying, and Disbelief.

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Freethought Radio -- July 29, 2021

The Clergy Project

We discuss the Christian nationalism behind the Jan. 6 insurrection and call for increased vaccination. After reporting state/church news and hearing the song "Just Say NO To Religion," we speak with Lon Ostrander, a former Wesleyan minister who is now president of The Clergy Project, which helps ministers and priests who no longer believe to leave the pulpit.

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Freethought Radio -- July 22, 2021

Rationality

After listening state/church news and decrying the religious anti-vaxxers, we hear Shelley Segal's song "I Don't Believe in Fairies" from her "Atheist Album." Then we talk with cognitive psychologist, linguist and author Steven Pinker (FFRF's Honorary Chair) about his book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Humanism, Science, and Progress.

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Freethought Radio -- July 15, 2021

"Census on Religion"

Proselytizing deputies, anti-abortion lawmakers, sexual predators, praying judges — FFRF is fighting them. After hearing irreverent humor from the comedians Robin Williams and Phyllis Diller, we talk with Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, about the organization's new unprecedented county-by-county "2020 Census on Religion in America" showing that while religion is shrinking, the nonreligious percentage is holding steady.

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Freethought Radio -- July 8, 2021

Apostate Report

This week, we report state/church victories in Colorado and Pennsylvania. After hearing poems by feminist, activist and atheist Sherry Matulis— "Religion's Child" and "Benediction," set to music by Dan Barker— we talk with Pakistani-American Muhammad Syed, co-founder and president of Ex Muslims of North America (EXMNA), about the new and unique "Apostate Report" that surveyed hundreds of former Muslims who have left Islam.

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Freethought Radio -- July 1, 2021

"Unholy”

We honor Independence Day by celebrating our independence from religion. After hearing the optimistic song "There's a Good Time Coming" by Stephen Foster (born July 4, 1826), we talk with reporter and author Sarah Posner about her book, Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump.

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Freethought Radio -- June 24, 2021

“Religion and Reproductive Rights”

We cover state/church news at the federal and state levels and talk about a new global study showing (unsurprisingly) that Christians are not happier than atheists. After hearing the song "Adrift On A Star," words by freethinking lyricist Yip Harburg and music by Dan Barker, we talk with FFRF's Reproductive Rights intern Barbara Alvarez about the growing threats to abortion rights from religiously motivated legislators.

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Freethought Radio -- June 17, 2021

For Christ's Sake

Happy Juneteenth and Happy Summer Solstice! FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott joins us to talk about today's Supreme Court Fulton decision over whether a publicly funded religious organization can refuse to place foster-care children with same-sex parents. Then we speak with journalist Helen Christophi about her article in the April/May Progressive magazine called "For Christ's Sake: Leonard Leo's Network Is Trying To Reshape the World Into the Kingdom of God.”

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Freethought Radio -- June 10, 2021

Militant Masculinity

This week there is plenty of evidence that "nothing fails like prayer." We report on state/church complaints in Utah, North Carolina, Milwaukee, Texas and Oregon. After hearing freethinking Broadway composer Charles Strouse's song "Poor Little Me" (lyrics by Dan Barker), we talk with historian Kristin Du Mez about her new book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.

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Freethought Radio -- June 3, 2021

Supreme Court & Abortion

We celebrate Pride Month and President Biden's decision not to fund the religiously repressive Hyde Amendment. After hearing the Cole Porter song "Experiment," we honor the legacy of U.S. Founder Thomas Paine by hearing his words in the song "The World Is My Country." Then we talk with leading constitutional scholar Geoffrey Stone about the Supreme Court's decision to accept a Mississippi case restricting abortion.

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