What is the Atheopagan Society?
We’re coming up on three years since the nonprofit organization The Atheopagan Society (TAPS) was organized. For some in our community, its role is a bit unclear, so I thought I would write this post explaining it.
The Society is a religious organization recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a legitimate religious group and exempt from taxation. We received our letter of determination last summer, confirming this. The mission of TAPS is “To facilitate, support and enhance the spiritual practices and mutual engagement of Atheopagans throughout the world.“
TAPS was created so that Atheopaganism can carry on into the future, beyond me or any other individual. I have arranged to leave the publication rights to my book ATHEOPAGANISM: An Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science to the Society so the fundamentals of Atheopaganism and its beginning history are always available for its use. Being a registered nonprofit organization also allows our community to take advantage of certain benefits that only nonprofits can access, like discounted software and event insurance. Creating TAPS was a bunch of work, but it was a natural next step for our growing religious movement and gives us protections under US law (and probably in some other countries) for our religious activities.
The Society is the producer of our Atheopagan media such as THE WONDER podcast, the Atheopagan Voice monthly e-newsletter, and our YouTube channel content. It produces our events, such as the 2022 Suntree Retreat and the upcoming Atheopagan Web Weaving online conference. It provides support to our online communities on Facebook and Discord, and guidance for setting up and managing affinity groups.
In short, the Society is a facilitator and support system for our growing community. In the future, it will provide educational curricula, online or self-directed classes, and more.
The Atheopagan Society is young, and it doesn’t have much money. It is funded by donors who give once or make a monthly pledge, and operated entirely by volunteers. The Atheopagan Society Council (or board of directors) is made up of a diverse group of Atheopagans who volunteer their time to develop plans, goals and priorities for the Society, and then work to implement them. I’m a member of the Council, though not an officer; we meet quarterly.
The Society’s website is where I usually direct the curious to find out about Atheopaganism. It has a lot of explanatory information about our beliefs, values and practices. It is also where people can ordain themselves online as Atheopagan “clerics”. This online ordination is legally valid and there are downloadable resources for clerics on the site about how to carry out this role of service to the community*.
That’s pretty much it! If you have any questions, please comment and I’ll answer them.
*Note that being a cleric is not an elevation in status within Atheopaganism–it is a commitment to perform services in the world.