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2021 PODCAST ARCHIVES

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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Freethought Radio -- May 27, 2021

“Mental Immunity”

Breaking news! FFRF won its lawsuit against a Texas judge who opens his courtroom sessions with a prayer. We hear Christopher Hitchens talking about facing death, and then a “funny" song about death by Dan Barker called "No Hurry To Die." Then we speak with philosopher and author Andy Norman about his new groundbreaking book Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think.

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Freethought Radio -- May 20, 2021

"No Reason to Fear"

It is the merry month of May and the scary month of May. Secular groups make history by meeting with the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, but the Supreme Court decision to hear an abortion ban case is very bad news. After listening to Kristin Lems' song "Days of the Theocracy," we talk with sociologist Phil Zuckerman, a professor at Pitzer College, about his Secular Studies program and his LA Times article claiming: “There is no reason to fear a secular nation.”

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Freethought Radio -- May 13, 2021

Wordsmith

A state/church victory in Georgia, praise for Secretary of State Blinken’s inclusion of nonbelievers and for an HHS proposal to expand family planning services. After hearing the Sherry Matulis poem “Benediction," expressing pride in being an atheist, we talk with author Anu Garg, a former Hindu who is now an atheist, the founder of Wordsmith (wordsmith.org) and the writer of the popular "A Word A Day” email that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers in almost 200 countries.

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Freethought Radio -- May 6, 2021

COVID and Hindu Nationalism

VICTORY! Today we announce a major victory in our lawsuit against Texas Gov. Greg Abbot's censorship of FFRF's Bill of Rights display. Margaret Downey of the Freethought Society tells us how atheists and agnostics are helping the homeless and the hungry through the Mayday For Humanity event featuring well-known comedians, actors and musicians. Then, FFRF's Director of Communications Amit Pal describes how Hindu nationalism and religious beliefs are exacerbating the current COVID megatragedy in India.

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Freethought Radio -- April 29, 2021

Southern Rationalists

 We talk about rogue priests, predator priests, sanctimonious senators, creationist lawmakers and charitable atheists. After hearing Dan Barker's first freethought song, "You Can't Win With Original Sin," we talk with Jennifer Taylor, the new president of the Rationalists of East Tennessee, about how she escaped the Jehovah's Witnesses to become a happy freethinker.

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Freethought Radio -- April 22, 2021

Religious Trauma

We celebrate Earth Day and 15 years of broadcasting Freethought Radio by announcing some good news on the state/church front. After hearing Dan Barker's song "None of the Above," we talk with psychologist and educator Dr. Marlene Winell, author of Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion, who tells us how to deal with religious trauma.

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Freethought Radio -- April 15, 2021

Freedom Dues

Annie Laurie Gaylor reveals that the governors who resist pandemic science are white Christian nationalists. FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel tells us how the new congressional Supreme Court expansion bill, introduced today, will affect state/church separation. Then, Mexican-American actor, author, activist and atheist Indra Zuno describes her new book about white indentured servitude in early colonial America, Freedom Dues: A Novel.

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Freethought Radio -- April 8, 2021

Unabashed Atheist

Major court win! FFRF attorney Liz Cavell joins us to talk about FFRF's successful lawsuit blocking the state of Alabama from requiring the religious "So Help Me, God" oath on voter registration forms, a victory for state/church separation as well as voting rights. After listening to freethinker Yip Harburg sing "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", we hear Ron Reagan, son of president Ronald and Nancy Reagan, tell us why he is a life-long "unabashed atheist" who is "not afraid of burning in hell."

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Freethought Radio -- April 1, 2021

If I Only Had a Brain

We celebrate the fact that U.S. church membership is now below 50 percent, complain about voter suppression by evangelicals, and announce a historic endowment for Secular Studies. After hearing the Dan Barker/Charles Strouse song "Poor Little Me," we talk with neuroscientist and freethinker (and creator of the Palm Pilot) Jeff Hawkins about his new groundbreaking book, A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence.

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Freethought Radio -- March 25, 2021

Leaving God

"Thoughts and prayers" are not enough. Violence — often prompted or exacerbated by religion — must be addressed with meaningful legislation. We encourage people this week to take action to protect state/church separation in Arizona, Delaware and Tennessee. After hearing Dan Barker's song "Get Off Your Knees (And Get To Work)," we talk with former Madison Avenue adman John Follis about his award-winning documentary film, "Leaving God: Why I left God and why so many others are too."

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Freethought Radio -- March 18, 2021

Thoughts and Prayers

Happy spring! FFRF attorney Maddy Zeigler reports legal victories in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan. A year into the pandemic, we see that "thoughts and prayers" are no match for science and action. We hear Roy Zimmerman sing "To The Victims of This Tragedy." Then we ask: Is atheism good for your health? We speak with Professor David Speed of the University of New Brunswick, author of a new study about religion and health with some surprising findings.

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Freethought Radio -- March 11, 2021

Wayward

We report that atheists are more likely to be vaccinated than any other group. FFRF staff attorney Patrick Elliott explains a Supreme Court decision that is helpful to state/church lawsuits. FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel tells us why Congress' HR1 "For The People Act" voting-rights bill is good for seculars. Then we talk with the actor and author Alice Greczyn about her new fundamentalist-to-atheist book, Wayward: A Memoir of Spiritual Warfare and Sexual Purity.

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Freethought Radio -- March 4, 2021

Nine Decades of Progress

We celebrate Women's History Month by cheering New Mexico's law overturning the ban on abortion. The Do No Harm Act passed the House of Representatives. FFRF reports a state/church victory in Alabama and a legal complaint over a North Carolina public school entangling with a local church. After hearing the feminist anthem "Bread and Roses," we talk with James Haught, 89, author and editor emeritus of the West Virginia Charleston Gazette, about "Nine Decades of Progress."

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Freethought Radio -- February 25, 2021

Ideas & ideologies

Colorado is getting tough on molesting clergy, Congress is passing the Equality Act to protect the LGBTQ community against Christian nationalists, and taxes are being appropriated to pay for a Kentucky church. FFRF intern and blogger Barbara Alvarez tells us about the bad South Carolina abortion law and about how members of Congress are being shunned by their evangelical families for voting to certify the President. Then we talk with Professor James Lull about his book Evolutionary Communication: An Introduction, linking the development of ideas and ideology.

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Freethought Radio -- February 18, 2021

Anointed with Oil

From Black History to Black Gold. We listen to the voice of the freethinking NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois and the music of nonreligious African-American composers. After we hear Lena Horne sing the irreverent Yip Harburg song "Ain't It The Truth?", FFRF's Director of Communications Amit Pal joins as a co-host to interview Professor Darren Dochuk, author of the illuminating book, Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America.

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Freethought Radio -- February 11, 2021

Natural Born Rebel

Christian nationalism and Roman Catholic greed are the themes for the first half of the show. We talk about Jeep's religiously divisive Super Bowl ad and the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, accused of inciting Christian Nationalists to carry out the Jan. 6 insurrection. We hear talk show host Bill Maher's takedown of the religious extremists who stormed the Capitol. Then we speak with British author Rachel Holmes about her new biography of the early 20th-century feminist, atheist, activist and reformer, Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel.

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Freethought Radio -- February 4, 2021

Investigate the Church

We call on the Wisconsin attorney general to launch an investigation into the widespread sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church. FFRF attorney Ryan Jayne tells us the tragic story of an abuse victim who recently committed suicide when the church abandoned him. Then we hear the humorous and irreverent "Noah" by poet and Darwin scholar Philip Appleman, read by Philip and his wife Marjorie.

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Freethought Radio -- January 28, 2021

Secular Rituals

Christian Nationalists were among the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, but they were also among dozens of members of Congress who voted against certification. Mandisa Thomas of Black Nonbelievers tells us why her group is opposing Rep. James Clyburn's proposal for a National Hymn. Then we speak with Sasha Sagan, daughter of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, about her book For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals For Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World.

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Freethought Radio -- January 21, 2021

This Land Is Our Land

We talk about the three "I" words in the news: insurrection, impeachment and inauguration. We hear part of Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem, "The Hill I Climb," freethinker John Legend's Inauguration-Day performance of "Feeling Good," and Sharon Jones' rendition of "This Land Is Your Land." FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott describes our newest lawsuit challenging a discriminatory Trump administration regulation. Then U.S. Representative Jared Huffman, co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, joins us to describe his experience during the insurrection, the impeachment of Trump and the Inauguration of President Biden.

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Freethought Radio -- January 14, 2021

Humanism for Kids

Religion played a huge part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at our national Capitol. We denounce Christian Nationalist members of government who participated in the riot, and hear Congressional Freethought Caucus Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., give impassioned remarks at the impeachment hearings. Then we speak with 10-yr-old Elle Harris, author of the charming new book, Elle The Humanist.

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Freethought Radio -- January 7, 2021

Optimism for 2021

After discussing the Christian Nationalist roots of the insurrection at the national Capitol on Jan. 6, and calling for President Trump's impeachment, we listen to Rep. Jamie Raskin's eloquent plea for the passage of Resolution 512 calling for an end to blasphemy laws. Then we speak with FFRF's Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann, who explains why there is optimism for the freethought, science, equality and state/church agendas with the incoming administration and new Congress.

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Freethought Radio -- December 31, 2020

Happy 2021!

We celebrate the new year by saying farewell to the disastrous 2020. We play some comfort music and protest music by freethinking songwriters, performed (mostly) by freethinking singers. We hear Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, and more — performed by Tom Lehrer, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Nina Simone, Elton John, James Taylor, Cher, Dan Barker and Shelley Segal.

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Freethought Radio -- December 24, 2020

Solstice Cheer

This week we present a musical medley of irreverent and celebratory secular holiday songs by Tom Lehrer, Tim Minchin, Roy Zimmerman, Dan Barker, Tahira Clayton, Addison Frei, Brent Michael Davids, Steven Phelps, Ken Lonnquist, and the London Humanist Choir; and we hear agnostic orator Robert Ingersoll's 1897 recitation of "What I Want For Christmas."

  

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Freethought Radio -- December 17, 2020

Winter Solstice 2020

FFRF attorney Liz Cavell describes FFRF's alarming new report: "Religious liberty under threat: The Christian Nationalist capture of the federal judiciary." After we hear Kristin Lems' seasonal song "Solstice Time" and Dan Barker's ballad "Solstice Tribute," Michigan activist Doug Marshall tells us about the equal-time "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia" banner in Warren, Mich., that was vandalized and stolen.

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Freethought Radio -- December 10, 2020

Grievance Conservatives

We talk about Beethoven's 250th, nonbelieving legislators, blasphemy and December displays. After we hear Roy Zimmerman's irreverent seasonal song "Christma-Hanu-Rama-Ka-Dona-Kwanzaa,” New York Times Supreme Court columnist and Yale scholar Linda Greenhouse describes what she calls “grievance conservatism” in her recent article, "Justice Amy Coney Barrett's choice."

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Freethought Radio -- December 3, 2020

Public Places

This week we talk about SCOTUS, churches and COVID-19; Kansas schools and proselytizing Franklin Graham; praying Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and non-praying Hollywood celebrity John Davidson. Then we talk with former church music director Steven Phelps who is now an atheist songwriter and performer in Nashville. We hear his moving ballad "After The Last Amen" and his state/church song "Public Places."

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Freethought Radio -- November 26, 2020

A Year of Challenge

Happy Thanksgiving! Co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker host a series of exciting 2020 reports from FFRF staff led by Legal Director Rebecca Markert and Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel. Actor Ed Asner accepts FFRF's "Clarence Darrow Award," activist Ben Hart accepts FFRF's "Freethinker of the Year" award . . . and more from a very busy staff!

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 19, 2020

They are here to stay

FFRF's Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel dissects the shocking speech U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered to the Religious Right Federalist Society last week. Then journalist Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers, talks about her recent New York Times article, "Trump or no Trump, religious authoritarianism is here to stay."

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Freethought Radio -- November 12, 2020

Reality Denial

Many Christian Nationalists are denying the reality of the U.S. election results. FFRF Legal Fellow Brendan Johnson describes the amicus brief we filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court regarding religious groups challenging COVID-19 school closure orders. Then we speak with Nandini Archer of Open Democracy about the group's report, “Revealed: $280 million of ‘dark money’ spent by US Christian Right groups globally,” implicating Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

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