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2024 PODCAST ARCHIVES

Freethought Radio - February 22, 2024

God or Country?

FFRF's Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow Kat Grant describes the amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief they wrote for FFRF in a case involving an Oregonian Christian who is challenging the law prohibiting her from discriminating against LGBTQ+ children in the adoption process. Then, we talk about the new documentary film "God and Country,” produced by Rob Reiner, that warns against the looming threat of Christian nationalism.

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Freethought Radio - February 15, 2024

Prohibited Books

This week we talk about Christian nationalism, leaving the Mormon Church, and religion in the classroom. After listening to part of our TV interview with Rep. Jared Huffman about the theocratic Speaker of the House, we talk with historian Robin Vose, author of The Index of Prohibited Books: Four Centuries of Struggle Over Word and Image for the Greater Glory of God.

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Freethought Radio - February 8, 2024

State-Church Watchdogs

Prayer is the target of this week's show: the National Prayer Breakfast and school-board prayer. For Valentine's Day, we hear Susan Hofer sing Dan Barker's freethought love song, "It's Only Natural." Then, we speak with FFRF attorneys Sammi Lawrence and Chris Line about their watchdog letters of complaint to public officials who violate state/church separation and the legal friend-of-the-court briefs they have written to keep religion out of government.


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Freethought Radio - February 1, 2024

Tiny Titanic Acts

This week, we call out governmental prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast and an egregious Christian nationalist invocation before the House of Representatives. Then we hear Kate Cohen, Washington Post contributing columnist and author of the book We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (and Maybe You Should Too), deliver her entertaining and riveting talk: "The Tiny Titanic Act of Telling the Truth."


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Freethought Radio - January 25, 2024

An Atheist Chaplain

FFRF Director of Communications Amit Pal describes how India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Hindu temple on the site of a demolished mosque in a political effort to establish Hindu nationalism in that country. Then we speak with Devin Moss, the humanist chaplain who was called in to support an atheist death-row inmate executed in Oklahoma.


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Freethought Radio - January 18, 2024

Anti-Caste Activist

Margaret Downey, president of the Thomas Paine Memorial Association, tells us about an exciting celebration of the birth of the “Forgotten Founder" Thomas Paine on his Jan. 29 birthday. Then, FFRF Director of Communications Amit Pal speaks with the actor, theater director and artist-in-residence at UW-Madison Vamsi Matta, a Dalit (the most oppressed in the Hindu caste hierarchy) who is fighting back against religious discrimination.


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Freethought Radio - January 11, 2024

Disobedient Women

After we hear from atheists Ron Reagan and Richard Dawkins, we listen to U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan greet attendees at FFRF's annual convention. Then we speak with author and essayist Sarah Stankorb about her new book, Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning.


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Freethought Radio - January 4, 2024

Atheists in Africa

Emily Olson, a very brave member of the Owosso, Michigan city council, tells us what happened when she challenged prayer at board meetings. Then we speak with the founder and president of Atheists in Kenya Harrison Mumia about that group's successful lawsuit challenging government discrimination against atheists and their activities to promote human rights in a country drenched with religion.

 

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Freethought Radio -- December 28, 2023

We report on FFRF state/church victories and complaints and honor the 2023 "Secularist of the Year." After welcoming the New Year by hearing the sparkling performance of Godless Gospel, we speak with FFRF contributing writer Barbara Alvarez about the current state of abortion rights and the challenges we will face in 2024 as Christian nationalists continue to restrict women's healthcare.

 

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Freethought Radio -- December 21, 2023

On this important date, we remind listeners of the real reason for the season: the Winter Solstice. After reporting on FFRF’s Solstice and “Bill of Rights nativity” scenes erected on public property to counter religious displays, we hear from the justice correspondent for The Nation magazine, Elie Mystal, author of the book Allow Me To Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution.

 

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Freethought Radio -- December 14, 2023

Secularism is growing around the world, and in the United States resistance to Christian nationalism is increasing. FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence and FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line join us to talk about some of the encouraging state/church legal victories (in court and out of court) that the FFRF legal staff has been winning in recent weeks.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- December 7, 2023

FFRF Co-President Dan Barker discusses his recent debate at Oxford University on the topic "Is God a Delusion?" Then we have some fun hearing comedian, activist and political satirist Lizz Winstead, co-founder of "The Daily Show" and founder of Abortion Access Front, tell us how "to bring joy and fun to expose hypocrisy and to have hope."

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 30, 2023

We are asking Oklahoma's Superintendent of Education to resign for pushing religion in the schools and for verbally attacking FFRF. After honoring the life of freethinking TV correspondent Betty Rollin, we hear from two brave students — Marcus Stovall and Bear Bright — who are suing West Texas A&M University for censoring their drag show fundraiser to prevent suicide among gay youth.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 23, 2023

Our Thanksgiving 2023 show features Godless Gospel performing “Let’s All Give Thanks,” interviews FFRF Counsel Sam Grover on FFRF’s new brief against religious censorship of drag shows, and features law Professor Mary Ziegler warning about the anti-abortion movement’s goal of fetal personhood.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 16, 2023

This week we announce a Triumphant Trifecta of legal victories, ending high-school proselytizing in West Virginia, eliminating a religious test for public office in New Jersey, and stopping $1.5 million of South Carolina state funds from going to a religious school. Then we hear Jen Castle, the national director of abortion services for Planned Parenthood, deliver an impassioned speech in acceptance of FFRF's "Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism" award.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 9, 2023

Guest host FFRF Communications Director Amitabh Pal first recounts the state/church watchdog's achievements over the past few days — and the resulting media coverage. Then, he talks with University of Turin Professor Marzia Casolari about her groundbreaking book, In the Shadow of the Swastika, spotlighting the influence of Italian fascism and Nazism on the Hindu nationalist movement currently governing India. And interspersed throughout the show is the music of freethinker Aaron Copland, whose birth anniversary we are observing this week.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- November 2, 2023

FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert and FFRF Attorney Liz Cavell fill in as guest hosts this week. They discuss the alarming election of a Christian nationalism devotee to the speaker of the House of Representatives. FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott joins to share an exciting update in one of FFRF's lawsuits on behalf of West Virginia public school students.

 

 

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Freethought Radio -- October 26, 2023

For a special themed show, FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker discuss the harm of belief in heaven and hell. Songs include "Heaven" by Rupert Brooke, "Pack Up Your Sins (and Go to the Devil in Hades)" by Irving Berlin, "Declaration of the Free" by Robert Ingersoll, "Preacher & the Slave" by Joe Hill, "Spooky Mormon Hell" from The Book of Mormon, "This World" by Malvina Reynolds, "Reincarnation" by Wallace D. McRae, "Joy To The World" by Godless Gospel and "None of the Above" by Dan Barker.

 

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Freethought Radio -- October 19, 2023

Oklahoma's Superintendent of Public Education Ryan Walters is going after FFRF for complaining about that state's creation of a "public" religious charter school. FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence tells us about the new amicus brief we filed in favor of Southwest Airlines enforcing its policy against religious harassment. Then we hear from three eloquent 18-year-old college students who read their winning essays at FFRF's annual convention: Luci Green, Michelle Liao and Skylar Blumenauer.

 

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Freethought Radio -- October 12, 2023

FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor energetically demolish the Ten Commandments, both as moral guides and as an influence on U.S. law. After hearing the Philip Appleman poem “Noah,” read by Phil and his wife Marjorie, we listen to Dan’s song “Lucifer’s Lament,” about how Satan gets none of the credit for God’s destructive punishments.

 

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Freethought Radio -- October 5, 2023

FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence describes FFRF’s newest lawsuit challenging a religious test for public office in New Jersey. FFRF’s Equal Justice Works Fellow Kat Grant recounts the Wisconsin Capitol testimony in opposition to a religiously motivated bill that would prohibit gender-affirming care for minors. Then we speak with Washington Post contributing columnist Kate Cohen about her new book We Of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending To Believe (And Maybe You Should Too).

 

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Freethought Radio -- September 28, 2023

Find out why Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are dissing the Freedom From Religion Foundation. After hearing FFRF Co-President Dan Barker’s song “The Battle of Church and State,” we talk with the distinguished scholar Steven K. Green about his book Separating Church and State: A History.

 

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Freethought Radio -- September 21, 2023

We report four state-church victories this week: Minnesota, Oklahoma and two in California. We also report on the advocacy group FFRF Action Fund, working to keep religion out of politics and law. Then we speak with Robert P. Jones, president and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), about his powerful new book The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy: And the Path to a Shared American Future.

 

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Freethought Radio -- September 14, 2023

Do Say Gay

We protest coaches forcing prayer and baptism on students, a public library system closing on the Sabbath to "honor God" and judges who inject bible verses into their decisions. Courageous freethinking high-school student Will Larkins tells us how he is protesting Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law. Then, we honor Margaret Sanger by hearing Dan Barker's song "No Gods, No Masters." 


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Freethought Radio -- September 7, 2023

Asian American Apostate

We expose the hypocrisy of praying football Coach Joe Kennedy and complain about religious incursions into the public schools. After remembering the life of "Lone Star Freethinker" Catherine Fahringer (1922–2008), we talk with R. Scott Okamoto, author of Asian American Apostate: Losing Religion and Finding Myself at an Evangelical University.


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Freethought Radio -- August 31, 2023

Indian Jeopardy

We protest bibles and prayers in public schools and "In God We Trust" on public buildings. Freethought Radio co-host Annie Laurie Gaylor wraps up her series on "The Cult of Fetus Worship." Then we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Indian rationalist Narendra Dabholkar by speaking with his brave successor Avinash Patil, president of the Maharashtra Association for the Eradication of Superstition.


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Freethought Radio -- August 24, 2023

How religion became more conservative and society more secular

"It's Too Darn Hot!" And evangelicals are making global warming worse. After reporting state/church news in Indiana, South Carolina, Colorado, Ohio and Florida, Freethought Radio co-host Annie Laurie Gaylor reads more of her blog: "Let's Abort the Cult of Fetus Worship." Then we speak with Berkeley history Professor David A. Hollinger about his book Christianity's American Fate: How Religion Became More Conservative and Society More Secular.


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Freethought Radio -- August 17, 2023

The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover

After reporting on state/church complaints and victories in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana and California, Freethought Radio co-host Annie Laurie Gaylor asks, "Is there a cult of fetus worship?" Then we speak with Stanford Professor Lerone A. Martin about his illuminating new book, The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover: How the FBI Aided and Abetted the Rise of White Christian Nationalism.


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Freethought Radio -- August 10, 2023

Beyond Doubt

We announce a new lawsuit attempting to stop public money from repairing churches in New Jersey. We celebrate the birthdate of the "Great Agnostic" orator and author Robert G. Ingersoll by hearing his "Love" recitation set to music. Then we speak with University of Aberdeen Professor Isabella Kasselstrand about her new book, Beyond Doubt: The Secularization of Society.


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Freethought Radio -- August 3, 2023

Humanly Possible

We announce a new lawsuit to stop Oklahoma officials from creating the nation's first religious public charter school. After hearing Rupert Brooke's poem "Heaven" (from the point of view of a fish) set to music by Dan Barker, Annie Laurie Gaylor questions why so many Americans still believe in angels. Then, British author Sarah Bakewell tells us about her new book Humanly Possible: Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope.

 

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Freethought Radio – July 27, 2023

Ban the Bible?

FFRF attorney Chris Line explains why many evangelicals are boycotting the "Barbie" movie. Colorado activist Rob Rogers tells us how he is protesting book banning by insisting that the bible should also be banned. Then we remember freethinking author and editor James A. Haught, from West Virginia, who died this week at age 91.

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Freethought Radio – July 20, 2023

Conspiracy theories

FFRF litigation attorney Sam Grover tells us about his trip to Little Rock to do oral arguments in FFRF's federal lawsuit challenging the placement of a Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas capitol. Then we interview the well-known skeptic Michael Shermer about his book Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational.

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Freethought Radio - July 13, 2023

Apes and Gods

Atheists have bragging rights when it comes to LGBTQ-plus matters. We talk about state/church issues in Utah, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Canada. After hearing the 1954 Woody Guthrie song "Ballad of Old Man Trump," Professor and author Hector Garcia tells us about "Apes, Gods and Reproductive Health Policy."

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Freethought Radio - July 6, 2023

Bad decisions

We tell Trump that atheists are not arsonists. After hearing Henry Fonda defend freethought and academic liberty in 1942, we listen to George M. Cohan's freethinking 1904 song "Life's a Very Funny Proposition After All." Then FFRF Associate Counsel Liz Cavell and FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert describe two recent bad Supreme Court decisions, Groff v. DeJoy and 303 Creative v. Elenis.

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Freethought Radio - June 29, 2023

Narco-Pastors

We complain about religion and government mixing in Texas, Colorado, New York, Florida and Oklahoma. Freethought Radio co-host Annie Laurie Gaylor tells Southern Baptist women: "Please stay home next Sunday." After hearing lyricist Sheldon Harnick (who died last week) sing his cautionary song "Merry Little Minuet," we speak with The Progressive journalist Jeff Abbott about how right-wing evangelicalism and narco-trafficking are affecting policy and politics in Latin America.

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Freethought Radio - June 22, 2023

Playing God

We report state/church victories and complaints in Texas, Alabama, Utah, California and Wisconsin, and we chastise Sen. Josh Hawley for his erroneous and tone-deaf Juneteenth comments about Christianity and slavery. Then we speak with Catholic journalist Mary Jo McConahay about her new book, Playing God: American Catholic Bishops and the Far Right.

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Freethought Radio - June 15, 2023

Testimony

Students complain about graduating in a church. We talk about women pastors, Catholic charter schools, Ten Commandments and prayer in public schools, child marriage and book banning. We talk with Sheryl Monk, a brave South Carolinian who is complaining about the "Lord's Prayer" at school board meetings. Then we interview Jon Ward, chief correspondent for Yahoo! News, about his new book Testimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Failed a Generation.

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Freethought Radio - June 8, 2023

Ellery's protest

Oklahoma Catholic charter school complaint; bibles banned in Utah schools; state/church complaints in Arizona and Georgia schools. After noting the death of televangelist Pat Robertson, we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the June 1963 Abington v. Schempp Supreme Court decision that removed bible reading and the Lord's Prayer from public schools by speaking with octogenarian Ellery Schempp, the courageous high-school student who initiated the complaint.

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Freethought Radio - June 1, 2023

A young Humanist

Americans are losing confidence in God’s existence; Tulsa massacre anniversary; exoneration of ‘witches'; Uganda’s anti-gay law; state/church complaints in Arkansas and Michigan. We hear Roy Zimmerman's hilarious "Wedding of Church and State" song and Shelley Segal's moving "Apocalyptic Love Song." Then 11-yr-old Elle Harris describes her book Elle The Humanist.

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Freethought Radio - May 25, 2023

Everyday crusade

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Texas Ten Commandments bill fails; anti-abortion laws proliferate; Illinois reports widespread clergy sex abuse; proselytizing school bus driver; legislative prayer; graduations in churches. After we hear Dan Barker's song "The Freethinker Blues," FFRF's Director of Communications Amit Pal joins us to interview Professor Irfan Nooruddin, co-author of The Everyday Crusade: Christian Nationalism in American Politics.

 

 

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Freethought Radio - May 18, 2023

Ghosts of the orphanage

We talk about abortion, book banning and the X-rated bible. We also talk with "God." After hearing the song "The Trinity" (words by Robert Ingersoll), we speak with investigative journalist Christine Kenneally about her chilling new book Ghosts of the Orphanage: A Story of Mysterious Deaths, a Conspiracy of Silence, and a Search for Justice.

 

Link to the podcast here.

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Freethought Radio - May 11, 2023

Sex and religion

We talk about religion and abortion rights, the IRS and church electioneering, the Texas Ten Commandments bill and clergy sexual abuse. After Annie Laurie describes the bible's role in asking rape victims "Why didn't you scream?", FFRF contributing author Barbara Alvarez tells us about her new book (published by the American Library Association): The Library’s Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information.

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Freethought Radio - May 4, 2023

The end is near?

We celebrate the National Day of Reason, recommend the new movie "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" based on Judy Blume's banned book, and advocate for meaningful court reform. Then we speak with distinguished Bible scholar and bestselling author Bart D. Ehrman about his new book, Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says About the End

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Freethought Radio - April 27, 2023

Atheist Street Pirates

We announce plans to sue the state of Texas over their new Ten Commandments edict, and we celebrate the upcoming National Day of Reason on May 4. After hearing Sammy Davis Jr. sing "It Ain't Necessarily So" (written by George and Ira Gershwin), we speak with Evan Clark, Executive Director of Atheists United, about the "Atheist Street Pirate" campaign to remove religious signs from public property.

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Freethought Radio - April 20, 2023

Surviving a cult

In the news: religious privilege in Minnesota, predator priests, ancient "Comstock law" revived, Latinos losing religion, and Walter Reed military hospital's phony "crisis." After hearing the wistful Richard Rodgers song "Spring is Here," we talk with Michelle Dowd, author of the new memoir Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult.

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Freethought Radio - April 13, 2023

God is still not great

We discuss some troubling state/church news (and a few victories) in New Jersey, California, Texas, Indiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Oklahoma. FFRF attorney Liz Cavell describes the Groff v. DeJoy case before the Supreme Court that will likely extend religious privilege in the workplace. Then we hear a voice from the past, the never-before-played "God is not Great" speech by Christopher Hitchens at FFRF's 2007 convention.

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Freethought Radio -- April 6, 2023

Atheists Day and theocratic threats to Israel

We announce the "Theocrat" & "Secularist" of the Week, play Bill Maher's very funny "Atheists Day" monologue, then interview University of San Francisco Professor and Middle East expert Stephen Zunes about the theocratic threats in Israel and what's at stake.

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Freethought Radio - March 30, 2023

Do mess with Texas

After reporting international and U.S. state/church news, we talk with Kentucky activist Linda Allewalt, whose op-ed opposing a new state law that encourages public school teachers to promote religion was printed in the Lexington paper. Then we hear Val Benavidez, executive director of the Texas Freedom Network, tell us how her group is "messing with Texas" by fighting religious extremism in the Lone Star State.

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Freethought Radio -- March 23, 2023

Preparing for war

FFRF's "Equal Justice Works Fellow" Kat Grant describes the letter they wrote to the president of West Texas A&M University protesting his cancellation, for religious reasons, of a student-hosted drag show. Then we speak with former minister and religion scholar Bradley Onishi about his new book Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—and What Comes Next.

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Freethought Radio - March 16, 2023

The Delusions of Crowds

Local and federal state/church victories and complaints; Walgreens and abortion; new rules for faith-based providers. FFRF attorney Chris Line describes the controversy over University of Colorado coach Deion Sanders praying with students. Then we talk with neurologist and financial theorist William J. Bernstein about his book The Delusions of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups.

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