Steve Pinker’s new humanist ad for the FFRF

March 30, 2019 • 8:30 am

As the Freedom from Religion Foundation explains, this is the first time they’ve done a national television ad in a long time, and reader Paul just saw it on the Colbert show.

The ad debuted in January in about 18 regional markets during “The Late Show.” In February, CBS agreed to run the ad nationally. This will be the first time an FFRF commercial has aired nationally on CBS since 2012. FFRF’s ad featuring John F. Kennedy’s famous remarks as a candidate endorsing the separation of state and church was shown then on “CBS News Sunday Morning” and the “Nightly News.” However, CBS has refused to broadcast FFRF’s commercial featuring Ron Reagan, in which he describes himself as “an unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

I’ve put Reagan’s ad below Steve’s:


h/t: Paul

25 thoughts on “Steve Pinker’s new humanist ad for the FFRF

    1. I always enjoy when religious parents end up spawning atheist children. Happily, the ones I know accept their kids but that’s most likely because they accept me. Still, it gives me the opening to say more atheist things to them.

      1. I’ve always liked Ronnie & Nancy’s two kids, RR Junior and Patti Davis, a lot. The Gipper’s other son, Michael, whom he adopted with his first wife, actress Jane Wyman, is an off-his-rocker radio talk-jock wingnut. Their daughter, Maureen, died a couple decades back, so de mortuis nil nisi bonum as to her.

  1. Great commercials and a great outfit to donate money to. I see Reagan’s commercial on MSNBC all the time.

  2. I’m glad to see Steven Pinker lending his support to the cause, however, I’m not sure how many religionists know of him.

    1. That would be about like wondering how many of the folks here would know about the NIT tournament.

  3. I like Ron Reagan’s chutzpah with his “burning in hell” conclusion but it can be taken several ways:

    1) He doesn’t believe in hell, so it’s not an issue. Surely this is what he meant.

    2) He likes hot weather so it won’t bother him to burn in hell.

    3) He expects to go to heaven so, again, not a problem.

  4. CBS has refused to broadcast FFRF’s commercial featuring Ron Reagan, in which he describes himself as “an unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

    I was reading around a bit again in Chomsky & Herman’s thirty-year-old tome Manufacturing Consent the other day, and this recalls their discussion of the type of tacit censorship the mass media employs to keep the populace subtly, even unconsciously, propagandized toward mainstream thinking.

    1. That theory is one of those that always has me thinking less of Chomsky. While it is certainly true, it seems little more than a trivial observation. Society as a whole tends to amplify mainstream thinking over non-mainstream thinking. The mass media merely reflects that bias and they apply it both consciously and unconsciously. We even apply this principle to ourselves. We tend to tell others our mainstream thoughts and suppress our wilder thoughts. Am I missing something here?

      1. No, don’t think you are missing anything. I think it is mostly done unconsciously. It is the job of critics and thinkers to bring it up to a conscious level do that things can change.
        They used to burn thinkers like that at the stake. Being banned from CBS is less severe.

        1. To the extent ideas in Manufacturing Consent may seem commonplace today, it’s a testament to the impact it’s had on the American intelligentsia in the three decades since its publication.

      2. I dunno, Paul, have you read the book? It’s available as a pdf online. There’s a lot more to it than my quotidian observation here. I often find much to disagree with him about politically, but I rarely find Chomsky trivial or mundane.

  5. The Pinker ad is more likely to bring in donations from both atheist/agnostics and theists who are alarmed by the recent cases where the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (both state and federal) have been used in ways that seem to protect specific religions and beliefs over others.

    The Reagan ad is really targeting atheists.

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