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.

via Can the Godless Market Evolve Beyond Bumper Stickers? – Businessweek.


Posted on September 10, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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