All right, you guys know the rest of the saying about absence: Does not make the heart grow fonder. And I’ll bet you’ve already guessed that I’m not talking about intimate relationships. No, I’m referring to the lack of public presence for people who think freely outside the dictates of religion. Fox TV is a prime example. And where are the counterparts to Contemporary Christian radio? Even Sirius has a Catholic channel. Damn!
Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe there is something good and great and ungodly that I am not aware of. I hope so. But for now, my question is: Where are the Atheist radio stations? Where is the media that speaks for the atheist or skeptic or agnostic or freethinker?
It’s no wonder people fear us. They don’t know who the hell we are, so we trigger the ancient reptile section of the brain that says look out! There’s a monster hiding under the bed. Hey, we know we’re not monsters. We know we’re nice, normal, law abiding people. We know we don’t eat babies for brunch. The trouble is, they don’t.
I used to be in radio (before engineering, before writing, before art) and had what most people would consider my own show. But it wasn’t a show of my own choosing. I hosted a show based on the Program Director’s ideas, and while I came up with my own interview questions, and chose who to invite to be on the air, the theme of the program was outside my control. OK then, not OK now.
How does a new show get started? How do people convince hostile or reluctant station owners to give them a chance? This is the great unknown, and I’m hoping someone out there will have answers. If I have faith in anything, it is the brilliance, resourcefulness, skill, and talent of the members of this group and similar groups.
So here’s my thought for the day: We need to establish a media presence, in concert with the wonderful books being written by our atheist stars (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) and the sooner the better. Any ideas?