FFRF Sunday TV show guest spotlights power of U.S. Catholic Church

Watch the preview here.

The guest on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s TV show this Sunday delves into the immense power of American Catholic bishops — and the sources of that power.

Mary Jo McConahay is a journalist with a distinguished career. She’s been a war correspondent who covered the Central American insurgencies in the 1980s. Her books include The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America During World War II and the multiple award-winning Maya Roads: One Woman’s Journey Among the People of the Rainforest. McConahay’s newest book is called Playing God: American Catholic Bishops and the Far Right, in which she documents how U.S. bishops are using dark money and aligning with ultra-right evangelicals in an attempt to make America a Christian nation.

“By the ’80s, certain ultra right-wing Catholics, especially people who had become part of the government of Ronald Reagan and various people who were traditionalist Catholics (that’s really conservative), decided that they wanted to bring the country back to the principles of the Founding Fathers as they saw them,” McConahay explains to “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. “They felt that they didn’t have the numbers, and so they needed to join up with evangelical Christians whose big issue at the time was segregation. One of the foremost Catholic activists met with Jerry Falwell and said, ‘Look, together we can make a moral majority in this country to bring our country back to the ideology of our Founding Fathers. Segregation is not an attractive issue; abortion needs to be the issue on which we plant this flag.’”

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.
  • San Francisco, KICU-IND (Ch. 36), Sundays 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 writer Christine Kenneally, who has a new book out on the horrors of Catholic orphanages, secularity sociologist Isabella Kasselstrand, former TV correspondent Jon Ward, author of Testimony: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Failed a Generation, Daniel C. Dennett and Kate Cohen, contributing columnist for the Washington Post. You can catch interviews from past seasons here, including 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. Past 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!

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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