World’s First Atheist TV Channel to Launch July 29

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By The American Atheists

American Atheists announced Wednesday that it has set Tuesday, July 29, 2014, as the official date for the launch of Atheist TV, the world’s first television channel dedicated to atheist content, on Roku. The national atheist nonprofit will host a launch party that night in Manhattan to celebrate.

“The launch of Atheist TV is history in the making,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “There are hundreds of TV channels dedicated to religious programming, but nothing like this has ever existed before for atheists, and yet the demand is overwhelming. For the first time, atheist video content—from firebrand speeches, to stand-up comedy, to documentaries, to real science-based educational programming, and more—is now available to atheists worldwide, on the air and all in one place. Atheist TV brings consistent, quality, superstition-free programming for children and adults, on the air and on-demand, right from your regular television. This is an idea whose time has come and we’re celebrating.”

The invitation-only launch party will take place from 6-8 pm ET in Manhattan. Well-known TV producers and personalities, atheist activists and public speakers, video content producers for the channel, and Atheist TV and American Atheists sponsors and donors will be in attendance. The celebration and launch will feature a speech by President David Silverman and a countdown to the first broadcast at 7 pm, at which time a welcome video starring several well-known atheists and science educators will air.

Read more here and watch a promotional trailer here.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Not sure what they will talk about. As an atheist I share nothing in common with other atheists other than we do not accept arguments about the existence of a god or gods. I’m sure we share other things, but not as atheists. If programing will stray from the simple argument, there is no proof of any god, change the name. I hate channels that pitch themselves as one thing (TLC, The Learning Channel) and turn out to be otherwise (TLC, The Luddite Channel). Wouldn’t Reason TV or Education Station have been better? And, what the hell is Roku?

      • It is not inconceivable that the occasional atheist may need to have the whistle blown on his or her scurrilous scam, and it would be to the credit of an avowedly atheistic television station to report on such mischief as well.

        I agree with Aquilacane that the television station would do better to identify itself by a word other than ‘atheist’. His suggestion ‘reason’ is a good one, or ‘rationalist’, ‘freethought/freethinking’, ‘humanist’ or any of the various other more positive words available along those lines, or the name of an exemplary rational thinker in history (Thales, Epicurus, Hypatia, and so on to modern times someone like Ingersol (since the station is in the USA), or, for those who like a touch of irony, perhaps Apollo (the god of order and reason).

        Atheism is defined by a negation, which leaves one with little to go on. Millions of US Americans, however, do not seem to know this and seem to regard atheism as some kind of Satanic magic or evil practised by the wickedest of the wickedest, so the American Atheists, in naming the new television station Atheist TV, are perhaps deliberately challenging that perception. The very notoriety of the name, given the surrounding culture, is sure to attract viewers, and that makes good, indeed very good business sense.

        • Though you’d be in no doubt about the content if it’s so labelled. I don’t know, I think it may be better to be upfront. Some may be reluctant to watch, though ” The Atheist Experience” seems to have a large following of theistic viewers. They probably watch the program looking for loopholes in the arguments.

          I’m a regular viewer of a show called “Compass”; I’m not sure if it’s available in NZ. This show interests me because I like to know what people believe and think. Perhaps it will hold appeal for similar reasons.

          • Gidday, Nitya. It is the lure of Satan, that wily devil, that induces innocent theistic viewers to watch “The Atheist Experience”, no doubt. Curiosity and all that, especially about the unknown and forbidden, which always provides better titillation than anything on the straight and narrow path of righteousness. Always keep a flask of holy water handy when watching such dangerous programmes.

            I recall watching a documentary series called Compass some years ago here in New Zealand, but I am pretty sure it is not being aired here at present. In any case, finding out how other people think and what they believe is something everyone would do well to do, for, even if it is not always edifying, it usually adds to one’s insight into human nature and occasionally brings new ideas and ways of thinking to one’s attention.

          • may be better to be upfront

            Yes, it needs to be distinct!

            *The channel will be available via live-stream, also. A-tv would be a great place to advertise events such as Camp Quest.

          • @Cairsley July 24 9.07

            I should have clarified; “Compass” is a program exploring various religious beliefs and philosophies in general. To the credit of the producers, they’ve even featured Richard Dawkins as a panel member. There’s no doubt about the leanings of the show or the general nature of viewers, but it’s heart is in the right place and does not contain the sort of dogmatic rhetoric that you’d find pumped out by any one of the televangelists or a program endorsed by Rupert Murdoch. It’s a gentle exploration of the world of ‘belief’.

            It would be hoped that the believing public might tune in to this new channel even if it is just ‘forbidden fruit’. At some point, a particular aspect could set off a seed of doubt. I listen to the podcast of ‘ The Atheist Experience’ and on one occasion a caller finished his piece with the words. ‘You know, I think I might just be an atheist?’ It was a very surprising moment. I’m not an advocate of this show because I don’t think they always treat their callers with respect, ( they are the bread and butter of the program) but there are moments when I think it’s all worthwhile.

          • Thank you, Nitya. The programme you refer to does sound like something worth watching and seems to be different from the programme I remember watching, though that too was a very good current affairs series. Nor do I think your Compass programme has ever aired in New Zealand, a country where I can imagine television programme officials (with some justification) regard programmes that “explor[e] various religious beliefs and philosophies in general” as not being in high enough demand. Such a programme would do some good here.

  2. With Roku as the only source, they’ll be preaching to the figurative choir.

    Jesus, why (oh Jesus, why) can’t athiests even do what gay people are doing? There (probably) are more atheists than gay people and both are seeking legal equality and increased access to promote contrarian POVs in popular culture.

    Hey, here’s a thought; get the gay channel to show a program produced by and for gay atheists!

    Gay themed TV

  3. Could I suggest some educational content for a start!

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/11/16/1037149/-Discovery-Channel-Snubs-Sir-David-Attenborough-Censors-Climate-Change-Documentary

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2007/sep/07/censoringsirdavid

    An evangelical christian TV station in the Netherlands has been censoring Sir David Attenborough. When the Evangelische Omroep (Evangelical Broadcasting) network showed his flagship natural history series The Life of Mammals, it made several alterations to the script to take out references to evolution, the age of the Earth and the evolutionary relationships between humans and apes. It even left out a whole episode on human evolution.

    The UK has the BBC committed to honest balanced reporting (apart from the occasional crank) so if some celebrity scientist takes work and money from oil companies, losses the plot, and moves over to promote pseudo-science, their reputation suffers.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266188/David-Bellamy-The-BBC-froze-I-dont-believe-global-warming.html
    Conservationist dismissed man-made global warming as ‘poppycock’ in 2004
    BBC ‘stopped giving him work’ and his career dried up as a result, he says

    • Thanks for these links, Alan4D. I confess I have difficulty processing the very concept of ‘censoring Sir David Attenborough’, let alone believing that people are actually doing this. Would that truth were loved more! Less poetically, I wish everyone had more respect for facts.

      • Fancy no David Attenborough?? I wouldn’t want to subscribe to any channel in which his programs were censored. I’ve been following his shows for decades and they keep getting better! He’s a secular saint in my estimation!

        • fancy no David Attenborough

          When his ‘Planet Earth’ was released, Oprah Winfrey narrated the u.s. version (dvd and airtime). She may have done the voice for another one of his shows (‘Life’?).

          I wager most American folks would say “who??”, when asked if they know who Sir David is. What a shame. The cream floats to the bottom here.

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