As co-hosts of FFRF’s radio show and podcast, Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and I recently held a drawing to give away five signed copies of The Trouble with God, a new irreverent book by screenwriter Chris (“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”) Matheson. Chris, an atheist and entertaining guy who’s been a recent guest on Freethought Radio, generously sent the autographed copies to hand out, and we had lots of interest.
Since the show is taped, we unfortunately lack a way to interact personally with the 10,000 weekly podcast listeners, and always wish we could know more about them/you. Some of the listeners who vied for the book not only sent their names in for the drawing, but, we were glad to see, told us something about themselves or why they listen to Freethought Radio, including one young man who assured us “there are some Millennials listening in.”
Our podcast statistics last year revealed that we had listeners from every European country except Estonia, all Latin American countries except Suriname and French Guiana, 21 African nations, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and pretty much all East and Southeast Asian countries (with the obvious exception of North Korea). More than 192 podcast agents are being used to access Freethought Radio. Wow! Freethought is global.
Below are a few of the responses from our very diverse and international listenership. (We’ve used only initials to protect privacy.)
“I’ve been a member since coming out of the Amish as an atheist and want to thank you for all your work and the encouragement I’ve received over the last six years. I look forward each week to Freethought Radio!” —K.C., Maine
“Thank you so much for all that you do for state/church separation! I’m glad to have found the podcast, I enjoy it. There are some Millennials listening in.” B.F., Pennsylvania
“I’ve been listening to you guys since you were on Air America. Keep up the good work.” — J.P., Pennsylvania
“Please enter me in the drawing for the Chris Matheson book, The Trouble with God. I appreciate his work. More importantly, I greatly appreciate the essential work being done by the FFRF. I have been a member for several years (was late coming to atheism, slow learner, I guess), but intend to be with you as long as I am. Thank you for the work you do. Please keep it up. I am a reliable podcast listener.” —J.H., NC
“I said, ‘Be Excellent to Each Other.’ I love Chris.” —M.G., Florida
“You guys are amazing! Thank you for all you do to defend and support freethought.”—L.C., Alabama
“Usually listening from my semi-retirement home in Bangkok, Thailand. Actually listened to this episode on Thai Airways flight from Narita, Japan, to Bangkok. FFRF is the only thing keeping the USA from total insanity! As they say here … chok dee! (Good Luck).” —K.D., Michigan
“FFRF member since 2014 hailing from historic Germantown in Philadelphia.” —R.B., Pennsylvania
“Hello Team FFRF! Thank you so very much for the badly needed and much appreciated good work that all of you do.”—S.S., “Proud After-Life Member,” Missouri
“I have difficulty scheduling Freethought Radio at the time it’s broadcast, so I listen ‘freely’ whenever I choose to on podcast. Many of the books on my reading list come from people you interview on your shows.” —B.S., Colorado
“I love the radio program and have been a fan for many years. I am also a current FFRF member and I attended your Portland, Oregon, conference. Needless to say, I appreciate everything you do for the freethought cause.” — L.V.V., Oregon
“I’m a recent discoverer of your podcast, though I was familiar with FFRF. Thanks for the informative pod! The Religious Right in your country scares me! Since I am from Melbourne, Australia, we don’t have the same problem. Only a small percentage would be what we think of as Christian extremists (a la Ken Ham!). You give me some hope (& more fear).”—D., Australia
“Even though I am a Canadian, your podcast is very informative and reveals much of what we don’t see on the news, even from more liberal outlets. Great work.”—L.K., Ontario, Canada
“I appreciate your podcast.” —R.H., Manitoba, Canada
“Thanks and congratulations for the outstanding podcast. I have been a regular listener for a couple of years and really enjoy the podcast — always fascinating and informative. The music is also great. I have followed Dan for several years now and enjoyed reading several of his books. I have also proudly watched both of you on TV debating and courageously defending secularism.” —G.R., Maryland
Thank you, podcast and broadcast listeners. You give us hope. Please plan to join us regularly for more rational radio and blasphemous broadcasting.
How to Listen: Freethought Radio is available as a podcast Thursday afternoons, as well as being broadcast in Madison and Janesville, Wis., Columbia, Mo., College Station, Texas, Ithaca and Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Vermont/New Hampshire. This week’s podcast ADD LINK features veteran author, journalist and observer Susan Jacoby talking about her recent column in The New York Times, “The White House is Tearing Down the Wall Between Church and State,” along with commentary on timely news developments as well as FFRF actions. Last week, we spoke with Nation columnist, atheist and feminist touchstone Katha Pollitt, particularly about new perils to reproductive rights.
Look for the inside scoop on FFRF’s timely actions, and many fascinating guests and experts in coming weeks — to help all of us fight back against the Kavanaugh nomination and the attempted takeover of our government by the Religious Right (balanced, of course, with some light entertainment and music to soothe besieged seculars).