WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) -- Even as Lent is being observed around the world and Christians are preparing to commemorate Jesus' death, burial and resurrection on Easter, CNN is running ads featuring Ron Reagan, President Reagan's son, attacking Christianity.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based anti-Christian group, produced the 30-second commerical.
During the promotional piece for FFRF, Reagan identifies himself as "an unabashed atheist" and expresses alarm "by the intrusion of religion into our secular government."
Describing the nearly 22,000-member group as "the nation's largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics" he asks viewers to support FFRF in its work to "keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers."
In closing, Reagan adds he is "not afraid of burning in Hell."
This paid promotional for atheism on CNN comes as the network is runnning the six-part series "Finding Jesus" which airs Sundays. Billed as part documentary and part drama, each installment looks at the Gospel through the evidence of various artifacts to address "the baptism, betrayal, the Passion, the Resurrection and after" using expert commentary, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Reagan's advocacy of disbelief is a major departure from the Christian character expressed by his father.
The 40th president of the United States was particularly vocal about his faith and his views on church and state.
During a 1982 radio address, he dismissed objections to prayers being said in Congress by calling the criticism "just plain wrong. The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray."
Likewise, in 1984 he condemned efforts to prevent student-led prayers in schools, remove "under God" from the pledge of allegiance and delete "in God we trust" from official documents and currency.
"Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience... . [W]ithout God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure... If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under," President Reagan said.
FFRF reports the ad is scheduled to air on CNN throughout this week and then on Comedy Central in March, April and May "on the day after rebroadcasts of "The Daily Show." According to the advocacy group, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox declined to accept "the paid advertising."