Billy Hallowell at The Blaze reports that the Freedom From Religion Foundation – the Wisconsin-based atheists who’ve run newspaper ads on how “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church” – have drafted former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney for a TV ad slamming America’s Catholic bishops as a threat to religious liberty.
It comes smack dab in the middle of the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign, which the freedom-from-religion crowd claimed is a "big wipeout." (Transcript and video below)
“Hi, I’m Julia Sweeney, and I’m a cultural Catholic,” she says. “I’m no longer a believer, and I even wrote a play about it called Letting Go of God. But I wanted you to 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,” she continues.
Most of Sweeney's current acting work has been voice work on cartoons -- although she did play a Catholic sister on Sex And The City in 2004. On SNL, she was best known for the which-gender-is-that-person skit "It's Pat" -- which spun off one of the biggest movie flops in the SNL canon, bigger than A Night at the Roxbury.
The ad is running approximately 1,200 times over a two-week period on a variety of national TV — but in regional markets. Guess which programs? FFRF leader Annie Gaylor boasted on MSNBC, and Jon Stewart, what a surprise:
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.”