CBS is refusing to air a Freedom From Religion Foundation ad featuring Ron Reagan warning of “the intrusion of religion into our secular government,” while describing himself as “an unabashed atheist” who is “not afraid of burning in hell.”
A CBS agent indicated that the ad was rejected “for words and tone,” according to a release issued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
The following is a transcript of the celebrity endorsement ad for the FFRF featuring the son of former President Ronald Reagan:
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.
Watch the ad:
The exact same ad aired last May on both “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. Thus, the fact that the ad has been rejected not only by “60 Minutes,” the desired placement, but for any CBS TV show, comes as a shock to Freedom From Religion Foundation officials and other observers.
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor opined:
“It appears that if a public figure makes a simple declarative statement in support of state/church separation, FFRF and atheism, it’s too hot to handle for CBS.”
Gaylor went on:
“Why are atheism and freethought still treated as socially unacceptable, even though fully a fifth of the population has no religion today? If anything should be socially unacceptable, it ought to be blind deference to religion.
Dan Barker, Co-Director of FFRF added:
“It seems that excess gas, erectile dysfunction and other intimate bodily functions, not to mention ads wherein political candidates viciously attack each other, are acceptable; But the plain-spoken, witty and slightly irreverent remarks of a well-known figure identifying as atheist are too much for the delicate sensibilities of CBS’ censors.”
Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan, previously worked as a talk radio host and political analyst for KIRO radio and later, Air America Radio, where he hosted his own daily three-hour show. Currently he is a commentator and contributor to programming on the MSNBC cable news network.
Reagan is also an FFRF honorary director who received the Emperor Has No Clothes Award from FFRF in 2004.