This week the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) released an ad featuring Julia Sweeney, which they call "great experiment to storm the "Bishops' Bastille"" countering the Catholic bishops' war on contraception. This ad is part of their "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" and "Quit the Catholic Church" campaigns.
The 30-second spot, according to the FFRF, received various responses thus far and it will run 1200 times during a two-week period.
We're getting a lot of phone calls at the FFRF office in response. Some callers are giving our female receptionists a hard time, making unprintable comments. But others are our kind of folks, such as a grandmother in Pennsylvania who said she was raised Catholic but is "98 percent atheist," and is disgusted by the Catholic Church's attempt, as she put it, to "put canon law over civil law."
A kind man living in a remote area of North Carolina caught us on MSNBC's Hardball With Chris Matthews. Another North Carolinian called after seeing Julia's spot on a rerun of the The Daily Show and said people have forgotten the need for a strict separation between state and church. I couldn't help replying: "It might sound strange for an atheist to say this, but hallelujah, brother." He laughed and said, "Amen, sister."
The FFRF lists the various shows that will feature the ad through July 4, and updates the page frequently. The FFRF listed the times the ad will air as expected times for when the ad will air and listed as Eastern Time on a 24-hour clock and they are guaranteed over 42 million viewers.
"Hi, I'm Julia Sweeney, and I'm a cultural Catholic. I am no longer a believer and I even wrote a play about it called "Letting Go of God." But I wanted to let you know that right now Catholic Bishops are framing their opposition to contraceptive coverage as a religious freedom issue. But the real threat to freedom is the Bishops, who want to be free to force their dogma on people who don't want it. Please join the Freedom From Religion Foundation and help keep church and state separate. [FFRF's name, toll-free number and website are displayed throughout the ad.]