So, um…Wanna Get Ordained?

Today, I learned something amazing: In the U.S., if your religious organization’s income is ordinarily expected to be $5,000 per year or less, YOU DON’T HAVE TO FILE FOR TAX EXEMPT STATUS!

What this means is that The Atheopagan Society is ALREADY a tax-exempt nonprofit. We have some steps we have to take, like formally convening the Society Council and filing some documents with the state, but we don’t have to mess with convincing IRS that we are a “real” religion until we have much higher income than is projected to be needed for the first year or two, at least.

And so–like any religious nonprofit, anywhere–we can ordain people.

Now, Atheopaganism doesn’t believe in religious hierarchy. We view “degrees” and “levels” and “priesthood” and other muckity-muckiting as creating the context for abuse, coercion, and dysfunction.

In our view, all people are naturally born equal and endowed with the right to control their own spiritual life, and thus that all those who feel so called should have access to ordination. Being an “Atheopagan cleric” isn’t about an elevated status: it’s just about claiming some of your power and rights.

And now you can be an Atheopagan cleric, just by affirming your support for the 13 Atheopagan Principles. Go to the Society homepage, click the button, and proceed from there.

Doing so will enter you into the database of Atheopagan clerics, and will also register you to receive occasional issues of The Atheopagan Voice, an e-newsletter for clerics with resources, articles, and useful links (you can always opt out of The Voice if you choose).

I’ve done a number of weddings, and I’ve officiated at an adoption ritual. But they were always using my Universal Life Church credential, and frankly, I’m looking forward to being able to say at the next wedding I do, “by the power vested in me as an Atheopagan cleric, I pronounce you (enter genders and numbers here)”. What a day that will be!

Over time, we will develop resources for clerics: guides to developing and officiating at the various rites of passage, and trainings in ritual skills. Hopefully, the pandemic will recede and we may be able to convene live convocations of clerics sometime in the future.

But for now, don’t let the government tell you that you have to have a funny hat or a tab collar to lead a wedding ritual. You have as much right to do so as anyone.

Sorry, we don’t have a funny hat. But you can pick one, if you like!

Funding the Startup of The Atheopagan Society (with updates)

Thanks to all our generous donors!

Here it is, folks! We’re getting close to being ready to file for legal and nonprofit status for The Atheopagan Society, and need to raise the money to pay the fees.

All donors (except those who wish to be anonymous) will be listed on the Society website as Patrons. The books of The Society will always be open to the community, showing where money has been spent.

To be transparent: this money will flow through me, as we can’t get a bank account for it until it is legally recognized. But I will retain thorough records of its expenditures and income, and transfer these to the Society when it has its own books.

Your support will make the Society a reality!

Please help with what you can:

Thank you!

EDIT: The goal for this campaign is $1,300, which will pay the state and federal fees for incorporation, a federal EIN and the application for tax exempt status. But if we exceed the goal, that money will be applied to additional expenses such as web hosting, a Zoom account, etc.

UPDATE 5:30 PM: We have reached 50% of our goal!

UPDATE MAY 29: We are over $800, and have less than $500 to go!

UPDATE MAY 30: We have only $175 left to go! Thank you, everyone!

UPDATE: The Atheopagan Society. Also, Please Stay Home.

Well, the new nonprofit has a name! The Working Group selected The Atheopagan Society (TAPS) as our monicker.

We hope to move relatively quickly in developing the documents we need to file for incorporation in California and federal tax exemption, but there are a lot of policies and details to be worked out. The Working Group is meeting by Zoom on Saturdays, though we may move around so members who haven’t been able to participate can attend.

Meanwhile, I have been working on stuff for the new Society. TAPS will need a website, so I am building one; I have bought the domain “” to ensure we have a good URL.

The trickiest part of this thus far is that I want people to be able to register on the website as Atheopagan “clergy”, giving them the right to perform weddings and so forth just as the Universal Life Church does. I believe I have solved the problem of creating a popup form on the proper page which is linked to a MailChimp account.

I think.

In other news, there’s this pandemic thingy going on and people are getting tired of it, so they’re rationalizing reopening businesses and ordinary activities. This is right in line with what happened in 1918, prompting a second and deadlier wave of that pandemic, and I’d just like to go on the record as saying that it is crashingly stupid and irresponsible.

Peoples’ lives are at stake, and that has to be the priority. And government should step up to help blah blah blah but we know damned well in the US that so long as the traitor Mitch McConnell runs the Senate, that ain’t gonna happen.

So please do for yourself, your loved ones and those who are most vulnerable among us what our institutions are too gutless to do: stay home, and stay safe. It’s getting old, for certain, and it doesn’t help that there is beautiful weather out there for many of us. But please: do it anyway.

For those of us working as first responders and in essential industries, take all precautions and be as safe as you can. I’m proud of you and grateful for your service. Thank you.