Atheist TV: Coming soon to a television near you

STANFORD, Calif. (RNS) Move over, Christian televangelists. Atheism is coming to television.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, talks to audience members after announcing the formation of an atheist-only television channel at a talk at Stanford University. Religion News Service photo by Kimberly Winston

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, talks to audience members after announcing the formation of an atheist-only television channel at a talk at Stanford University. Religion News Service photo by Kimberly Winston


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Speaking at a gathering of local atheists, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheists in a chemistry lecture hall at Stanford University, David Silverman, president of American Atheists, a national advocacy group for nontheists, announced Tuesday (May 6)  that his New Jersey-based organization would launch the first television channel dedicated to atheism in July. “Why are we going to television?” he asked the audience, a mix of about 100 students and people from the local community. “It’s part of our strategy of going where we are not.” Silverman, 49, said the television channel, which will be available via Roku, an Internet streaming player that attaches to televisions like a cable box, will run atheist content seven days a week, 24 hours a day. He estimated it will reach 7 million households and will be free, at least initially. The channel, which Silverman did not name, is believed to be the first channel dedicated exclusively to nontheism. There are more than 100 Christian and four Jewish television stations broadcasting in the United States. The channel will air video of previous atheist events, such as footage from past American Atheist conventions and speakers at 2012‘s Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., as well as content provided by atheist video bloggers and other atheist groups. In addition, the channel will air segments of “The Atheist Viewpoint,” a show produced two decades ago by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, American Atheists’ deceased founder and plaintiff in the 1963 landmark Supreme Court case that removed Bible readings from public schools. “We are envisioning a lot of different content from many different atheist content creators,” said Dave Muscato, American Atheists’ director of communications. “We are hoping to sign on many other atheists who create videos currently on YouTube and other places.” Reaction from the Stanford crowd was enthusiastic; a few began to applaud and a ripple of discussion buzzed through the room after Silverman’s announcement. Tom Manger, an atheist from Pleasanton, Calif., asked Silverman whether he considered creating an atheist radio channel. Manger said he has a playlist of more than 1,000 songs that are atheist in theme, nature or origin. “It’s a possibility,” Silverman said. YS/MG END WINSTON The post Atheist TV: Coming soon to a television near you appeared first on Religion News Service.

14 Responses to “Atheist TV: Coming soon to a television near you”

  1. Michele Joseph

    P.S. Thanks for your reminder of the author or “Dark Night Of The Soul”
    I consider it to be a condition an amazing number of us experience.
    I, myself, was one.
    i have a most tender spot for those who are in this painful place.
    After all, if they were not sincere, they would not find it painful.
    Do I make sense. ?

    Reply
  2. Michele Joseph

    If you continue to have trouble understanding my posts, just ask.
    I will be most happy to clarify.

    Reply
  3. Michele Joseph

    Further, I find your remarks oddly misleadly, very often characterizing my previous remarks to mean the opposite of my intention.
    For example, your recent remark that claims i am obsessed with guns & shooting people ?
    What led you to believe something so different from my true character, as will be known by so many here in Toledo who associate with me ?

    Reply
  4. Michele Joseph

    Yes, Patrick, I don’t consider it to be a waste of time or foolish.
    As a matter of fact, I consider it to be the only worthwhile pursuit in
    existence.
    For anybody.
    I am sure that anyone who is caught up in their efforts to resolve
    questions regarding such topics are caught up in the effort to discover
    the purpose of life.

    Reply
  5. Patrick

    “I don’t remember who wrote “The Dark Night of the Soul”, “
    …St. John of the Cross.
    Who was neither an agnostic nor an atheist.
    …Something of a convinced Catholic, in fact, apparently.

    “..Otherwise, why should (atheists and agnostics) waste time worrying or singing or arguing about it ? “

    Well, why should anyone waste time doing such patently foolish things?
    …Either it’s true or it’s not.
    Doesn’t stop Michele wasting her time singing, and arguing, and worrying – or whatever – about it though, does it?

    …Doesn’t even slow her down.
    But then, why should it?
    And, maybe, it’s only a waste of time for Atheists and Agnostics.
    Not for her.
    …That must be it.

    Reply
  6. Michele Joseph

    http://youtu.be/N4pjB7aDBcQ
    If I were going to imagine such a channel, I would think that at some point,it might show this clip.
    Also, same song, original lyrics , sung by K.D. Lang. Do not miss.
    I am not an atheist or agnostic any more.
    At one time I was one.
    I can’t speak for others, but for me it was about grief, disillusionment, longing.
    I don’t remember who wrote “The Dark Night if the Soul”, but that was it.
    For me, desire was what it was all about.
    Longing for a transcendant meaning to existence, and fear that there was
    no such thing.
    I hope for the happiness of atheists & agnostics, and believe in their devotion.
    Otherwise, why should they waste time worrying or singing or arguing about it ?
    Why not just go watch football ?
    God bless the atheist-agnostics.
    They remain in longing for the Light, even in the darkest place of darkness.
    The faithful of the faithful.

    Reply
  7. Patrick

    “It will be interesting to observe whether a negative – non-belief – can be a basis of community. “

    A very good point indeed, Christy – my first reaction is that it is very unlikely ever to be so.

    I am a member, as are we all, of several “communities” in which I do positively believe – these include my local village, and my extended family and friends around the world, even those on this splendid blog.
    As an individual however, I am content to be a “loose cannon” – to believe only what I think, after suitable reflection, to be true, and don’t need – never mind want, – anyone else’s input or support.

    In short: would I join a “church,” or association, of Agnostics?
    No.
    What for?
    So we can all get together, and pat ourselves on the back and try and reassure ourselves about our combined misgivings and lack of certainty, like regular religions do?
    No.
    Agnosticism – like, for instance, Ba’hai, or tap dancing, or reading the entrails of dead animals, or pyramidology, or obscure and arcane Biblical prophecy – is old enough, and ugly enough – to look after itself.
    Or so I believe.
    And if it can’t – tough luck on Agnosticism.

    No dispute there, I imagine?

    Reply
  8. nick batt

    Bad business decision. Too many atheist channels already–NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS.

    Reply
  9. Christy Besozzi

    They are just following the evangelical methodology — evangelical atheism — hoping to get converts as well as gather the ‘believers’ together into some sort of community.

    It will be interesting to observe whether a negative – non-belief – can be a basis of community.

    Reply
  10. Denis Eble

    What would be the appeal of such a station? All I can imagine are those idiotic Christian babble stations on cable.

    Neither, thank you.

    Reply
  11. Patrick

    “Making critical statements and not listening to songs are two completely different things.”

    Why, yes, Michele – so they are!
    …I’d never thought of that before.

    Reply
    • Michele Joseph

      You’re welcome.
      I’m always happy to help. :)

      Reply
  12. Michele Joseph

    I doubt it.
    Not listening to songs doesn’t fall into those categories.
    Making critical statements and not listening to songs are two completely different things.

    Reply
  13. Patrick

    “Manger said he has a playlist of more than 1,000 songs that are atheist in theme, nature or origin. “

    …Well I doubt if I’ll be making a point of listening to any of them, then.
    Whether songs are “Atheist,” or “Christian,” or “Ba’hai,” or whatever – doesn’t matter a rat’s patootie.

    Whether they any good or not is what matters.

    …And I hope Atheists aren’t now going to get all hysterical, and start screaming “Persecution!” “Libel!” “Slander!” “Bullies!” every time somebody says anything mildly critical about them – like some other wimpy “interest” groups make a habit of doing.

    Reply

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