Lauryn Seering

Lauryn Seering

Katherine Stewart

Possibly the foremost expert on Christian Nationalism in the United States is interviewed on the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s weekly “Freethought Matters” TV show this Sunday. 

Journalist Katherine Stewart, whom the Boston Globe has called “the Paul Revere of American civic life,” is a leading authority on the politics of the Religious Right. Her first book, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, came out in 2012, and this spring her new book, titled The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, has been released. Stewart has written for the New York Times, the New Republic and the Washington Post.

“The role of the right-wing propaganda sphere in fostering distrust of fact-based media and scientific expertise really can’t be overstated here,” she explains in the interview, done remotely, about why a section of society is exhibiting such an irrational response to the pandemic. “The rank of the movement have been told over and over to dismiss the real news as fake news even before Trump.”

You can watch this show instantly on YouTube by clicking here, or on your television in 12 cities Sunday morning (see listings below).

If you find yourself hunkering down with extra free time, you might enjoy catching up with previous episodes of “Freethought Matters.” The first guest in the new season was U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Huffman’s appearance on the show made media waves due to his remarks about his colleague Rep. Liz Cheney’s dogmatic stance on the religious oath. Freethought icon Ron Reagan, world-renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett, acting legend Ed Asner and U.S. Reps. Jamie Raskin and Mark Pocan have recently appeared on the show. Guests on past seasons include comedian Julia Sweeney, former Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards and a variety of freethought authors and activists. “Freethought Matters” has also shown two classic FFRF movies in recent weeks, the first film exposing religion, and the second one focusing on major state/church U.S. Supreme Court cases.

If you’d prefer to watch it on television, the cities where “Freethought Matters” broadcasts, along with the channels and timings, are listed below:

  • Chicago, WPWR-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 9 a.m.
  • Denver, KWGN-CW (Ch. 2), Sundays at 7 a.m.
  • Houston, KUBE-IND (Ch. 57), Sundays at 9 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, KSTC-IND (Ch. 45), Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
  • New York City, WPIX-IND (Ch. 11), Sundays at 8:30 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.
  • Seattle, KONG-IND (Ch. 16 or Ch. 106 on Comcast). Sundays at 8 a.m.
  • Washington, D.C., WDCW-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 8 a.m.

FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and her husband, Dan Barker, a former evangelical minister and well-known atheist author, are creators and co-hosts of the show.

As an antidote to religion on the airwaves and Sunday morning sermonizing, the half-hour show airs Sunday mornings in 11 cities and Sunday evening in FFRF’s hometown of Madison, Wis. All previous programs are also available to view on FFRF’s YouTube channel.

The show is usually produced in the Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio at Freethought Hall in Madison, Wis., by FFRF’s videographer Bruce Johnson, a public television veteran. Crew includes staff members Bailey Nachreiner-Mackesey, Kristina Daleiden, Lauryn Seering and Chris Line, plus various floor managers, with sound production provided by Audio for the Arts.

Please tune in to “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics), with more than 31,000 members nationwide. FFRF also works as a watchdog guarding the constitutional separation between religion and government.

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!

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Freethought Radio -- May 7, 2020

NYT Ad Final Version 

Click here to view high-resolution image.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is running a full-page ad in the national news section of the New York Times today that urges: “We need reason, not prayer, to combat the coronavirus.”

FFRF’s ad notes that “Nothing fails like prayer. Prayer cannot stop a virus. Pious politicians should get off their knees and get to work.”

An eye-popping cartoon drawn by Steve Benson, formerly with the Arizona Republic, depicts Jesus being transported by gurney into an ambulance while asking: “Is there a doctor in the house?”

The ad deliberately coincides with the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer, occurring on the first Thursday in May, which requires the president to unconstitutionally enjoin citizens to “turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals.”

Ironically, the National Day of Prayer theme this year is “God’s glory across the Earth,” chosen by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, an evangelical outfit that has hijacked the date to promote an exclusionary Christian viewpoint.

FFRF’s ad notes that House Resolution 947, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, calls on making today a “National Day of Reason,” because “irrationality, magical thinking, and superstition have undermined the national effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Science works,” FFRF asserts in the ad: “We’re all in this together — that’s why we need actions based on science, evidence and compassion, not prayer or ‘alternate facts.’ ” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is quoted as saying, “Our behavior has stopped the spread of the virus. God did not stop the spread of the virus. And what we do now, how we act, will dictate how the virus spreads.”

The ad concludes, “Our work to uphold the constitutional principle of separation between religion and government has never been more essential.”

The educational ad was made possible thanks to the generosity of FFRF members donating to FFRF’s Advertising Fund.

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