LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Revealing that you’re an atheist generally is a actual dialog starter, however these conversations not often transcend the query of your beliefs, or lack thereof. A brand new podcast community for secularist thinkers, Atheists United Studios, makes an attempt to point out that there’s extra to atheism than a easy denial of God’s existence.
Evan Clark, the manager director for the nonprofit Atheists United, which is spearheading the brand new community of podcasts, mentioned the thought behind it’s to make clear the “experiences that come after you’ve turn out to be an atheist,” versus specializing in theology or on debating theism. Atheists United Studios goals to function a hub for atheist and humanist podcast followers.
“We’re making an attempt to speak concerning the moral questions that you just cope with in your day-to-day life, not merely whether or not a God exists or not,” mentioned Clark.
The launch comes as latest surveys present an explosion of People who’re religiously unaffiliated, rising to 29% of the U.S. inhabitants in 2021, up from 19% in 2011. Many of those are younger individuals: Some 35% of younger millennials are unaffiliated.
Generally known as “nones” (for his or her “not one of the above” reply to questions on their connections to religion communities), religiously unaffiliated individuals cowl a variety of beliefs, comprising atheists, agnostics, humanists and secularists. These teams have established a number of service and advocacy organizations to assist coordinate their service to others and to talk as a single voice on social and political points.
Now this sector is broadening its organizing into media, with the younger, secular and largely untapped demographic as its key viewers. Earlier this yr, OnlySky Media launched to assist information an “exploration of a post-religious world.” Atheists United Studios launched Sept. 14.
The five-episode first season of “Nomadic Humanist,” the primary unique present produced in-house by Atheists United Studios, debuted its first episodes on the identical day the community launched. The present will “discover how people and not using a single mounted house or neighborhood dwell out humanist values.” It’s hosted by Anya Overmann, who started dwelling a nomadic life-style after the pandemic and runs her content material advertising enterprise from her touring workplace. Overmann writes and speaks internationally about humanism.
The community has additionally recruited two established reveals, “Beyond Atheism,” hosted by Nathan Alexander and Todd Tavares, and “The Humanist Experience,” hosted by Evan Clark and Sérah Blain. These two will anchor the community whereas they produce new unique content material.
The host of his personal podcast, “Humanist Expertise,” Clark, who based the Secular Scholar Alliance at California Lutheran College, has been Atheists United’s govt director since 2019.
He sees the 40-year-old group’s mission as constructing neighborhood for atheists. The group, headquartered in Los Angeles, has hosted a “recovering from faith” assist group and an habit restoration program that’s an alternative choice to Alcoholics Nameless. It runs a month-to-month meals financial institution and has taken stargazing journeys to Dying Valley.
Atheists United boasts greater than 5,000 individuals on its electronic mail lists, over 16,000 followers on Fb and greater than 8,000 on YouTube. They’ve chapters in San Luis Obispo, which is situated in California’s Central Coast, and Santa Clarita, a metropolis north of Los Angeles, and are recruiting in Orange County in Southern California and San Jose within the Bay Space.
Clark has spent a lot of the final yr constructing out the podcast platform as a house for probably the most outstanding atheist podcasts. He has structured contracts for the community’s content material creators, designed logos and crafted manufacturers for every of the reveals.
“The purpose of the community is to assist these content material creators, who could be producing nice stuff on their very own, be extra profitable as a result of they’re working with others,” Clark mentioned.
“We hope that we will leverage the abilities and expertise of the individuals who dwell right here, and capitalize on the wonderful audio system, storytellers and intellectuals that come via Los Angeles regularly,” Clark added.
Nationwide reporter Yonat Shimron contributed to this report.