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Freethought Radio

Progressive Talk

A weekly show, broadcast live from Madison, Wis., on 92.1 FM, Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Hosted by Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents, Freedom From Religion Foundation. Slightly irreverent views, news, music and interviews.


Sun Prairie, WI


A weekly show, broadcast live from Madison, Wis., on 92.1 FM, Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Hosted by Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents, Freedom From Religion Foundation. Slightly irreverent views, news, music and interviews.






Freedom From Religion Foundation PO Box 750 Madison WI 53701 608-256-8900


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.


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.


Black Atheist Activists

We applaud President Biden’s repeal of religious discrimination. FFRF joins in an abortion appeal to the United Nations, and appreciates a State Department reward for Avijit Roy’s killers. Vashti McCollum’s heroic lawsuit is honored and Gov. Greg Abbott’s idea of education is exposed as indoctrination. FFRF attorney Sam Grover explains our brief challenging the Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas. Then we hear five black atheists explain why they left religion and discuss the special...



Our guest this week is Dr. Christine Henneberg, author of the book Boundless: An Abortion Doctor Becomes a Mother. FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence describes some first-amendment legal victories she was involved in, and describes the problems nonreligious seniors have while living in religious nursing homes. After reporting state/church news around the country, we hear the freethinking singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell perform "Both Sides Now."


Secular elected officials

After reporting state/church news in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, we talk about the tragic religious persecution in Pakistan and Afghanistan. FFRF Senior Policy Counsel Ryan Jayne discusses the more than 1,000 state-level religiously based bills introduced in 2023 that we are monitoring and reports a "Health Care Sharing Ministry" victory in Missouri. Then we speak with Leonard Presberg, founder and president of the Association of Secular Elected Officials.


No more "thoughts & prayers"

Amy Hagstrom Miller, with Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, tells us about the devastation to abortion access wrought by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. We hear jazz singer Tahira Clayton perform freethinking composer Jerome Kern's song "I'm Old Fashioned," and we cover many local, national and international stories about religion and government.


"The Family" Feud

A new PRRI study shows that Americans overwhelmingly reject Christian nationalism. FFRF Attorney Chris Line talks about this week's Wisconsin State Journal story, "The Running Man," that features his successful effort to lose more than 250 pounds. Then we speak with Jonathan Larsen, managing editor of The Young Turks, about his revealing investigation into the National Prayer Breakfast.


First Amendment champions

We have many state/church victories to report, including against the National Prayer Breakfast and proselytizing Colorado coach Deion Sanders. FFRF litigation counsel Sam Grover describes our newest federal court win against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who censored our display in the state Capitol. Then we hear Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt, an atheist working to keep religion and government separate, as she accepts FFRF's "Champion of the First Amendment" award.


The problem with prayer

After addressing the numerous problems with the National Prayer Breakfast, we speak with Central Florida Freethought Association director Joseph Richardson about how his secular invocation before a county board was "corrected" by a Christian prayer. Then we speak with Owosso, Mich., City Councilor Emily Olson, who received a death threat after she complained about prayers before council meetings.


Hindu Nationalism

After we report on national and local state/church news, FFRF Legal Fellow Karen Heineman describes a disturbing case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will most certainly expand religious privilege. Then FFRF Co-President Dan Barker and Communication Director Amitabh Pal report on their trip to India this month to meet with brave rationalists who are battling superstition and Hindu nationalism.


Having fun fighting the gods

We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day and National Religious Freedom Day, “eulogize” Cardinal Pell via Tim Minchin’s song, “Come Home Cardinal Pell,” then hear irreverent Jim Hightower pillory religious entanglements in Texas.


Meeting of the Minds

We review secular highs and lows of the week. FFRF Legal Fellow Karen Heineman tells us why the Catholic Church cannot run public charter schools in Oklahoma. Then we hear the entertaining conversation between actress/comedian Julia Sweeney and Dan Barker at FFRF’s 2022 convention.


Ringing in the New Year

After reporting on state/church issues in December, we listen to the freethinking Frank Loesser song "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" sung by Madison jazz vocalist Susan Hofer accompanied by Dan Barker on the piano. Then, FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert wraps up the year by telling us about FFRF's significant legal challenges and victories of 2022.


Bible Museum

Tidings of great joy: the bipartisan bill to approve a Thomas Paine memorial in DC is likely to pass this session. After hearing irreverent holiday music by Roy Zimmerman and Tom Lehrer, we talk with professor Cavan Concannon, co-author with Jill Hicks-Keeton of the new book Does Scripture Speak For Itself? The Museum of the Bible and the Politics of Interpretation.


Beyond Belief

We have a news-packed show this week, with congressional testimony, lawsuit updates, and state/church complaints. We celebrate Bill of Rights Day (Dec. 15) and the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) by reporting "solstice/bill of rights" displays being erected around the country, and by hearing Dan Barker's seasonal song "Solstice Tribute." Then we speak with Australian reporter Elle Hardy about her new book, Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity is Taking Over the World.


Evangelical Threat

Tis the season to report on state/church entanglements, as well as state/church victories. This week we listen to professor Anthea Butler, author of White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America and contributor to the 1619 Project, deliver her "Do Mess With Texas" speech at FFRF's 45th annual convention in San Antonio, warning us about religious threats to democracy.


Mark on the Hill

We honor Dr. Anthony Fauci, a secular humanist who is retiring at the end of this month as the Chief Medical Advisor for the President of the United States, by hearing Dan Barker’s new song, “Thank you, Fauci.” Then FFRF’s Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann recaps our many successes fighting Christian nationalism in the 117th Congress and the challenges that await us in the upcoming 118th Congress in 2023–2024.


Let’s All Give Thanks

On our Thanksgiving show, we give thanks where thanks is due. We hear the new song “Let’s All Give Thanks,” written by Dan Barker and sung by Tahira Clayton and the Godless Gospel singers. Then FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott talks about the amicus brief FFRF has filed in the “303 Creative” Supreme Court case about a Christian business owner who wants to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.


Phantom God

This week we talk about the novelist John Irving, Christian supremacy, and the Respect For Marriage Act. After hearing the debut of the Godless Gospel song “I Don’t Need Jesus,” we talk with scientist and author John C. Wathey about his new book, The Phantom God: What Neuroscience Reveals about the Compulsion to Believe.


The Unbelieving

After hearing the good news (and a little not-so-good-news) after the November election, we listen to the freethinking Irving Berlin song “Pack Up Your Sins (And Go To The Devil in Hades)” 100 years after its 1922 debut on Broadway. Then we speak with playwright Marin Gazzaniga and qualitative researcher Linda LaScola, producers of the new off-Broadway play “The Unbelieving,” about clergy who no longer believe in God.