FFRF debuts new ad during presidential debate, MSNBC this week 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is scheduled to debut a new ad focusing on the timely dangers of Christian nationalism during the presidential debate airing Thursday, June 27, on MSNBC. The ad will also run during commentary before and after the debate, which starts at 8 p.m. Eastern.

In addition, the ad appeared twice yesterday on “The Rachel Maddow Show” (8 p.m. Eastern, MSNBC) and will be airing on Tuesday and Wednesday this week during “All in with Chris Hayes” (8 p.m. Eastern, MSNBC).

When the national freethought association ran its iconic spot featuring “unabashed atheist” Ron Reagan in 2019 during one of the Democratic primary debates on CNN, it went viral, with one commentator pronouncing that Reagan had “won” the debate. The ad continued to trend during a 2020 Democratic primary debate.

However, this is the first time FFRF or any freethought group has run a commercial during an actual presidential debate.

“Since we began FFRF back in the late 1970s, we’ve been fighting the myth that the secular United States is a ‘Christian nation,’ but the rhetoric has become ever-more threatening and concerning to our secular democracy,” explains FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

The commercial opens with ominous music, photographs and footage from the Christian nationalist-based Jan. 6 insurrection, references bans on abortion and LGBTQ rights and concludes with positive images of freethinkers in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the music plays the concluding strains of “let freedom ring” from “America” (also known as “My Country ’Tis of Thee”).

The narrator states: “Christian nationalists are mobilizing. Our secular democracy is in danger. All personal liberties are in jeopardy. VOTE, like your rights depend on it — And join the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national association of atheists and agnostics working to keep state and church separate.”

Although about half of the U.S. public isn’t familiar with the term Christian nationalism, major surveys show that three in 10 Americans qualify as adherents or sympathizers, while about two-thirds of Americans reject the beliefs of Christian nationalism. Christian nationalists generally believe that the U.S. government should declare America to be a Christian nation, that U.S. laws should be based on Christian values, and that being a Christian is an important part of being truly American.

FFRF, along with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, released a major exposé on Christian nationalism at the Jan. 6 insurrection, which included analysis from experts and academics.

“We hope our ad will help wake up America to the growing dangers of theocracy,” Gaylor concludes.

FFRF advertising is made possible by contributions to FFRF’s advertising campaign and are deductible for income-tax purposes for the kind donor.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with over 40,000 members across the country. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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