Can the Godless Market Evolve Beyond Bumper Stickers? – Businessweek
Religiosity has declined in the U.S. by 13 percent since 2005, according to a new poll PDF. The Millennial generation, born between 1981 and 2000, is the least religious yet, with one in four identifying themselves as religiously unaffiliated, atheist, or agnostic in a 2010 PewResearchCenter survey. That works out to about 15 million Americans who describe themselves as “convinced atheists,” more than many mainline Protestant denominations, Jews, or Muslims.
Is there a market for merchandise for the godless? Retailers who cater to evangelical Christians with items including books, apparel, gifts, and Bibles represent $4.63 billion annually, according to the Association for Christian Retail. Those who sell to nonbelievers tend to be small business owners who are true nonbelievers. While bumper stickers and T-shirts are obvious favorites, books about evolution, educational games for children, and science-themed jewelry also hold appeal, says Derek Colanduno, an Atlanta computer programmer who hosts a podcast for skeptics.
The relative newness of the modern freethought movement, a collection of secular-minded organizations and nontheistic individuals, is partly responsible for the immaturity of the business market. It was Internet message boards, blogs, and podcasts that brought together younger skeptical and science-minded individuals to establish communities and attend regular conferences, says Colanduno. “Before the Internet, it was the old guard, the old white-haired men meeting in peoples’ basements,” he says.
Posted on September 10, 2012, in Article and tagged Bloomberg Businessweek, Derek Colanduno, Evangelicalism, Internet forum, Jews, Mainline Protestant, Religiosity, United States. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.