CBS rejects Ron Reagan’s atheist ad
A Freedom From Religion Foundation ad featuring Ron Reagan, son of the former US President, has been rejected for airing by CBS.
A statement issued this week by the FFRF said the ad – featuring “unabashed atheist” Ron Reagan – was was rejected “for words and tone”.
In this video, Reagan says:
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.
The rejection came as a shock, since FFRF aired a 30-second spot on national CBS in 2012, rebutting Rick Santorum’s remarks dissing candidate John F Kennedy’s pro-state/church separation speech before Houston ministers in 1960. That ad was accepted to run on “The CBS Evening News” as well as “CBS Sunday Morning”.
Said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
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.
Added Dan Barker, who co-directs FFRF:
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.
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.
Reagan is an FFRF honorary director who received the Emperor Has No Clothes Award from FFRF in 2004 and gave an acceptance speech at the 2009 national convention in Seattle.
As liberal as his famous father was conservative, Reagan stopped going to church when he was 12 and has publicly stated he’s an atheist numerous times.
The New York Times asked him in 2004, in an interview that ran three weeks after his father died, if he’d like to be president.He replied:
I would be unelectable. I’m an atheist. As we all know, that is something people won’t accept.