Ron Reagan, the boy of president Reagan, who assisted inspire the spiritual right, stars in a 30-second TV spot for the liberty From faith Foundation, a group of atheists, agnostics and also other freethinkers.
SACRAMENTO—I’ll miss out on the democratic presidential arguments — specifically watching Ron Reagan tell us he’s a “lifelong atheist, not afraid of burn in hell.”

It may be my all-time favorite TV ad, ceded with a slight grin and perfect time — an extremely Reagan-like — through the boy of the 40th U.S. President.

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He’s touting the freedom From religion Foundation, a 32,000-member organization of nonbelievers that fights because that the separation that church and also state.

The 30-second spot was squirted right into commercial breaks throughout three of the 11 democratic debates. The significant networks refused to operation the ad, however CNN was fine with it — and the more than $200,000 the foundation said it paid because that the TV time.


I didn’t an alert the ad until the final debate March 15 between former Vice chairman Joe Biden and also Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders dropped the end of the gyeongju last week, leaving Biden as the last male standing v no more Democratic opponents to debate.

In the last exchange, Biden listed the large news by promising to choose a woman as his to run mate. Yet Reagan, put on a dark T-shirt and slight smile, provided the entertainment with this:

“Hi, i’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alert by the intrusion that religion into our secular government. It is why I’m questioning you to assistance the freedom From religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and also agnostics, functioning to save state and church separate, just like our starting Fathers intended….

“Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, no afraid of burning in hell.”

I go a dual take and also laughed. I spanned Ronald Reagan up close for two decades — as president, as California governor and in five political campaigns. The conservative symbol was a true believer.


Congregants climb for a minute of silence during a church company at Bel wait Presbyterian Church, to honor former President Reagan after his death in 2004. That attended the church for many years.
(Associated Press)
How go a kid of republicans Ronald and also Nancy Reagan come to be an “unabashed atheist”? and also how walk the parents take that?

As Easter approached, ns thought much more about this and also called Ron Reagan, 61, at his residence in Seattle.

My first recollection the Ron was together an 8-year-old referred to as “Skipper.” He appeared a reasonably obedient kid. But later he displayed a continuous independent streak — dropping out of Yale university after one semester, for example, to become a dancer through the Joffrey Ballet. After watching a performance, president Reagan created in his diary the Ron reminded that of Fred Astaire.

Later, Ron Reagan ended up being a for free radio talk show host and also TV commentator. He never joined a political party yet votes Democrat.

“I was 10 year old or so as soon as I concluded that the story told to kids had little an ext validity 보다 stories around Santa Claus, an additional white man who to know what she thinking and can punish you,” Ron Reagan said me.

“If he’s sufficiently displeased with what you’re doing, he will send you come a dark corner for eternity while your family goes to a quite place. The doesn’t take it a budding Einstein to establish there space some problems with this.”

Young Reagan was especially troubled by the Old testament story the Abraham and Isaac.

“What type of point is that for a little kid to hear?” the asked. “God wants Abraham come prove his belief by slaughtering his son Isaac like a feather lamb? space you kidding? death your child? Abraham went along with this. The appropriate reply would have actually been, ‘Go come hell.’”

“I know,” Reagan continued, “the point of view intervened so it didn’t yes, really happen. Yet think the the emotional damage” come a freethinking child.

Ronald Reagan was governor then, however the family members usually spent weekends at their home in Pacific Palisades. ~ above Sunday mornings, a highway patrolman would drive them in a limousine to the Bel wait Presbyterian Church, whereby the minister was Donn Moomaw, a previous UCLA All-American football lineman and Reagan family members friend.

The round-trip journey to church and earlier took one hour and the service lasted 2 hours.

“I to be 12 when I told mine father ns wasn’t walk anymore,” Reagan recalled. “I stated I didn’t want to it is in hypocritical, disrespectful and also fake it. It was a rubbish of a perfectly an excellent Sunday morning.

“My father to be smart enough to know he can not strong-arm me. And he never ever marshaled a compelling argument. He gained Donn Moomaw to pertained to the home to to convince me. Yet after 10 minutes, us were talking around UCLA football.

“Mom mainly stayed in the background on this. I don’t think she had any an effective religious feel herself. She went in addition to the program.”

Later in life, his dad “occasionally would certainly take a run at it and circle back,” Reagan said. “‘Are friend still …?’


“’I just think you’d be happier …’

“’I’m just happy ns don’t should be a component of it.’”

Ron continued: “Dad was happy in life to believe in what he called ‘the man upstairs.’ He to be unapologetic around his beliefs, but not showy around it like some politicians, constantly crowing about how faithful castle are. He never wore his belief on his sleeve.”

Reagan blames Christian conservative for slowing progress on stem cabinet research and also holding back the fight against climate change.

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“Stem cabinet research gained me right into being vocal,” Ron said. “My mother agreed. My dad would have actually too.”

The liberty From Religion foundation asked Reagan to reduced a TV ad and that agreed. The was six years ago. However “networks wouldn’t touch it,” Reagan said. “It hardly ever ran prior to the debates. Climate it had a great run.”

“Ron’s advertisement has had a large impact. It yes, really gets us new members,” said structure co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor that Madison, Wis. “I never ever get tired of it. I just smile or laugh.”

The “burning in hell” grabber to be Reagan’s voluntary idea.

“We essential 30 seconds and also were to run short,” that recalled. “We kept acquiring 27. Ns was walk slower, slower. That was beginning to sound weird. Ns said, ‘I’ll just add something in ~ the end.’”