Atheist Radio Comes to Air America!

by Ryan on October 12, 2007

in Culture,Media Bias,Politics

If not to bend to the stereotype of the “godless liberal” even more, Air America seeks to increase its listenership by about 666 people by airing a new atheist hour every week out of Wisconsin from the folks at Freethought Radio.  (Please note that I’m joking) Part of the initial allure is supposed to be the presence of Ron Reagan, son of the 40th President who happens not to believe in God and argued with his family about the issue in the past.  That’ll show those evangelicals!

Air America’s targeting a small percentage of the American people (anywhere from 3-9%) who are full-fledged atheists or agnostics since that point of view is not represented on radio in any serious way, on any national market.  Talk about aiming for a niche market!  How many atheists listen to the radio regularly?  How many are now apt to?  Tricky questions, but worth the risk from their point of view.  I’ve always found that this kind of approach has been the problem with Air America:  their business approach was all wrong (like their view of government it was top-down, not grassroots up like conservative radio) and their niche targeting approach isn’t likely to cause advertisers to flood in. 

One of my arguments with atheist’s view on religion is that many seek to completely separate religion and politics.  If that were the case our Founders would not have had the philosophical justification for the Natural Rights argued for in the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and our Constitution, we wouldn’t have had an abolition movement, progressive reforms of the early 20th Century would have had no moral grounds with which to sway votes on key industrial reforms, and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. would never had been able to organize effectively for the cause of civil rights given the moral message in King’s drive to change politics. 

My atheist friends plead that without religion, one can still be moral.  I absolutely agree, but it sure helps!  Were these movements spontaneously rising up in history before the religious intercession?  Why did it take Christians in all the forementioned cases to spearhead social justice, when the absence of God would have worked just as well?  Totalitarianism itself derives its legitimacy from replacing ideology (like organized religion) with a cult of state, like Nazism and Stalinism for example, so a nation without healthy religious expression can be a seedbed for danger. 

Also, my atheist friends like to remind me, an avid historian, about how many wars religion has caused in our past, and there were many.  To which I kindly remind my friends about how many acts of justice and kindness have resulted solely because of a religious belief:  I think the scales of justice would show one highly outweighs the other.  So, I have no problem with the atheist show and might be inclined to listen to it just to see if it’s entertaining, but if I were them, I’d try to find a better outlet than Air America– how are you to convince anyone of your point of view if no one’s there to listen?

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