American Atheists is an organization which advocates for a “total, absolute separation of government and religion.” According to the organization’s website, American Atheists “is dedicated to working for the civil rights of atheists, promoting separation of state and church, and providing information about atheism.”
In a press release last month, American Atheists announced the creation of an entirely atheistic television channel, called Atheist TV. Secularists hope the channel will be a rebuttal to the many religious TV stations in the United States and elsewhere.
“We’re going to TV because it’s part of our strategy of going to where we are not,” David Silverman, president of American Atheists, wrote in the release. “There is a lot of potential here. From televangelists to Christmas specials, there is a plethora of religious TV programming to choose from. With Atheist TV, we’re filling a void.”
In an interview this week, Silverton stated that the current line-up of TV shows and channels offers “nothing for atheists.”
“[Atheist TV] is about atheist normalization. This is about being where we’re not,” Silverton said.
“I wanted to bring atheism to television one way or another … to bring atheism into the realm of normalcy to a greater extent by bringing it into the living room,” he added.
According to reports, Atheist TV will debut late this summer and will feature footage from atheistic rallies, atheistic commentaries, and other secular content. The channel will broadcast programming 24/7 on the online Roku Network, according to American Atheists.
Reaction from the general public about the Atheist TV channel has so far been mixed. On the one hand, some believe the channel will indeed fill a void in the broadcast industry. However, others question the venture’s usefulness, considering that only 1.6% of Americans identify as atheists, according to the Pew Research Center.
“I think this is a great thing,” one online commenter wrote. “People need to stop and open their eyes to reality. This is all very good news.”
“How do I sign up?” another asked. “Bring me TV about science and philosophy. Let’s foster knowledge and higher morals. We don’t need another televangelists telling us who to hate and who hates us.”
Meanwhile, some Christians suggested that Atheist TV might provide opportunities to have legitimate discussions about faith, morality, and Christianity.
“An atheist TV program would present a great platform to share one’s Christian faith,” a commenter stated. “In fact, it would lead to intellectual debate between believers and non-believers alike.”
Others predict that channel will actually be faith-affirming.
“If I saw it once, just to see where they are coming from and why, it would probably only confirm my trust, faith and love for God even more, since he will put an end to hate, prejudice, war, all sickness, old age and death on earth (Revelation 21:1-4),” one commenter proposed. “Man’s attempts to do this on his own through the centuries have always failed. Take your pick.”