On the heels of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson using a sadistic parable to underscore his bigoted belief system and compare and contrast non-believers to his religious bent, CNN and Comedy Central are bravely airing a 30-second TV spot for the Freedom From Religion Foundation recorded by the son of “Saint Ronnie” to conservatives, Ron Reagan. Former president Ronald Reagan’s son, Ron Reagan, Jr, is completely out of the closet about his atheism, and it is his tongue in cheek remark about burning in hell that has the other networks refusing to air the spot.
Not surprising, many requests for information reportedly poured into FFRF after the CNN airings began last week. About 12 more ads will air this week on CNN.
It’s not just Phil who gets worked up about people who plainly state their lack of faith in God. From the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Facebook page:
“A sampling of FFRF’s voluminous fan mail, printed as received:
“Freedom: You people need to stay out of West Virginia with your evil ways! You people will burn in Hell if you don’t change your ways and repent to Jesus Christ!”
— Bernard Rice, Madison, W.Va.
“Amendment I: It does NOT mean any other than the government shall not establish a state religion such as in England you stupid jackasses. I’m so sick of you leftist assholes fucking up my country. Eat a sack of dog shit. If you don’t have any, let me know, I’ll be happy to harvest some for you.”
— Dave B
“Your web site: Why don’t you stop trying to rewrite history, and why don’t you stop trying to destroy our nation. Why not try Egypt Syria, Iraq, Iran, or some other Arab nation. You would be put to death by some extremist. You ought to be thankful for Christian teaching in America. Take it away, and all you have left is humanism, and look where that is taking us. Wake up.”
— Kim Alexander
FFRF is also airing the Ron Reagan spot on the day-after rebroadcasts of “The Daily Show” in March, April and May. The ad debuted live last May 22 on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show.”
CBS reportedly banned the ad from any national CBS show. This spring, national ABC and NBC also rejected the ad. Initially, NBC offered to accept the paid advertising if FFRF agreed to delete Ron’s closer, “not afraid of burning in hell.”
“Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist,” the commercial begins. “And I’m alarmed at the intrusions 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,” Reagan claims in the commercial.
He closes with, “Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”
It’s not just Ron Reagan who is an atheist, many have declared their lack of faith openly. The conservative literary darling Ayn Rand, who penned “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged”, was also an atheist.
Richard Branson is also an atheist.
Daniel Radcliffe, who became a star playing “Harry Potter,” is also an atheist. Radcliffe gave an interview saying, “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.”
Keira Knightley, Javier Bardem, Bill Maher, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Moore, Sir Ian McKellen, the late Andy Rooney, Emma Thompson, Billy Joel, Brian Eno, Penn Jillette, James Cameron, Hugh Laurie, Jodie Foster, Seth MacFarlane, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Hawking, late author Kurt Vonnegut, the late actress Katharine Hepburn and many others in all aspects of entertainment who do not ascribe to any religion or cults like Scientology or Mormonism.