First ‘atheist ad’ on ‘Daily Show,’ ‘Colbert Report’ features Ron Reagan

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a state/church watchdog that’s the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), has produced a TV ad featuring Ron Reagan promoting atheism. It’s scheduled to air Thursday, May 22, on live editions of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.”

“The Daily Show” airs at 11 p.m. Eastern and “The Colbert Report” at 11:30 p.m. (The ad will repeat on rebroadcasts two hours later.)

The celebrity endorsement features the son of President Ronald Reagan, self-described as “a lifelong atheist,” plugging FFRF:

Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusion of religion into our secular government. That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended. Please support the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.

Reagan is an FFRF honorary director who received the Emperor Has No Clothes Award from FFRF in 2004 and gave an acceptance speech at the 2009 national convention in Seattle.

As liberal as his famous father was conservative, Reagan stopped going to church when he was 12 and has publicly stated he’s an atheist numerous times.

The New York Times asked him in 2004, in an interview that ran three weeks after his father died, if he’d like to be president. “I would be unelectable,” Reagan said. “I’m an atheist. As we all know, that is something people won’t accept.”

This is not FFRF’s first national ad, but it’s the first emphasizing atheism. In 2012, FFRF produced a 30-second spot rebutting Rick Santorum’s remarks dissing candidate John F. Kennedy’s pro-state/church separation speech before Houston ministers in 1960.

That ad was the first freethought ad running on “The CBS Evening News,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Meet the Press” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Last year, FFRF produced a commercial with “Saturday Night Live” alum Julia Sweeney going after the Catholic bishops’ anti-contraceptive crusade against the Affordable Care Act, which ran more than 1,000 times on a variety of national shows in regional markets. The issue-oriented ad was rejected by Comedy Central.

“We’re so grateful to Ron Reagan as a public figure for being willing to support the causes of FFRF, atheism and state/church separation,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

“In one nation indivisible, nonbelievers should not be invisible,” added Dan Barker, who co-directs FFRF.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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