The National Religious Broadcasters association represents hundreds of Christian radio and TV stations across America and the world. What we critically call "TV evangelists" have certainly made waves in Christian culture. Even local churches are featured regularly on TV. But now, something new is on the horizon: the Atheist TV Network.
Starting on the online Roku Network, the founders believe it will potentially reach as many as 7 million viewers. Small by Christian media standards, but the new channel—debuting in July—will be broadcasting programming 24/7.
The Religious News Service reports: "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."
But they have to fill 24 hours a day, so past programs won't be enough. They'll also be searching out current atheist programming on YouTube and other sources as well.
Here's the question for Christian media professionals: Are you worried? Will this channel find an audience? Will it have an impact on the culture? Comment below with your thoughts.
Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is a filmmaker, media consultant and co-founder of Cooke Pictures in Los Angeles. Find out more at philcooke.com.