Main fundraiser photo

Atheist Church and Apartment Building

Donation protected
THOMAS E. JUMP (YOUTUBE.COM/TJUMP)

THE GOAL
The purpose of the atheist church is to provide a social community for atheists that flourish to the same degrees as religious church institutions, by taking advantage of the business model and legal advantages which churches have used for decades in the United States.
If a large enough atheist-based organization takes advantage of the legal status of a church to the point where it leads Congress to make the church no longer tax-exempt, so be it.

THE RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE
Churches have a religious doctrine that offers a great opportunity to start conversations among their parishioners and proselytizers which is an extremely successful tool for growth that is underutilized by secular organizations. Also, it is required to qualify as a church for tax-exempt status. There are a few exceptions such as the Satanic Temple which has had great success with its seven fundamental tenants.
The doctrine of the Atheist Church will be a model of objective morality which has one fundamental tenant:
“The morally perfect world is one in which it is impossible to force anyone to do anything they do not consent to do.”
Concise, simple, easy to understand and relatable this principle can act as a sort of elevator pitch that can be used to start conversations similarly to quipped bible verses.
However, this is a utopian principle so how would we apply it pragmatically to the world in which we live? This leads to the fundamental goal of our organization, the best way we can minimize violations of consent in our world is:
“To lower the cost of living for as many people as possible, as much as possible.”
This simple principle conveys the ultimate goals and purpose of our organization. Though this principle will act as a guiding principle for the legal purpose of the organization, it is not important for anyone in the organization to agree with the doctrine, disagreement and debate are welcomed. The organization will, like religious churches, be open to anyone or any religious affiliation to be a part of and participate in church events.
Having this vision of the future is a compelling way to motivate and excite people about the organization. Such motivational ideals have been proven to have an effective advantage in building a group of dedicated individuals, both in a positive sense such as coop and also in a negative sense such as cults. Either way, having a motivational vision of the future is extremely effective at building communities.

THE HOW
Religious churches receive their funding primarily from donations, which is less reliable/substantial for secular organizations. In order to be sustainable, we will need a stable source of income to replace religious donations. To do this we will purchase an apartment building and offer tenants affordable rent prices that will still provide enough profit to fund a church facility. This not only provides the funding required to support church programs but also fits within the prevue of the fundamental goal of the Atheist Church: “To lower the cost of living for as many people, as much as possible.”
Initially, we will have a stringent credit score requirement for applicants to apply to live in the apartment building until we have a stable track record of success.
There are similar organizations filled as a non-profit 501c3 like the NOAH Impact Fund, as well as church organizations like Jubilee Housing with NewHope Baptist Churches. However, this program can also be filed as a for-profit under B-Corp Certification, depending upon the preference of those providing funding for the program and how they would like compensation.
B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is beholden to meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials, rather than profitability.

GROWING THE CHURCH/THE DRAW
Growing the parish will be the most important aspect of the atheist church. The primary means for growing the parish is by acting out our fundamental principle—doing all we can to lower the cost of living for our parishioners by providing services such as the apartment building/affordable housing. This will not exclusively be offered to our parish, not only because that would be illegal, but because those a part of our church will simply be those nearest to our organization whom we can provide said services. It will be open to all applicants however as vacancies arise we can inform our parish through newsletter and in-person at church events giving them a de facto advantage to apply faster than others, thus incentivizing participation in the church. This would also apply if we were able to expand into building a second apartment building.
Church events will also play a key role in growing the parish. We will put on events, targeted at younger audiences (25-45) such as debates, lectures, conversations between prominent social influencers, Ted Talks, volleyball, cookouts, volunteering community service events, etc. We also hope to host national secular conferences such as the American Atheist Conference.
There will also be broadcasts to social media platforms to provide a source of income and donation as well as advertising including the aforementioned events as well as online call-in shows, debates, interfaith conversations, and informative presentations. Thomas Jump already has extensive knowledge in this field as a full-time YouTuber for the past 5 years with a following of over 10,000 (yotube.com/tjump), he also has experience as a public speaker as he is regularly paid to fly around the county and give on-stage lectures or debates for many secular organizations.
Research shows that one of the biggest contributing factors to successful social organizations is providing childcare. Parents are more able to participate in social events when they have the option to have their children looked after at a nearby affiliated location. Our organization will provide daycare for parishioners so they can enjoy events at our church without having to worry about children at home. There are several secular organizations that have had success with providing this service such as the Ethical Society of Saint Louis.
Regarding Childcare, as a church you do not have the same level of stringent licensing requirements in many contexts such as homeschooling, homeless shelters, childcare support, etc. This offers a larger breadth of opportunities we can help the community without having to go through the red tape of a standard non-profit.
We will provide resources to the parish on how to earn income in unconventional yet easy ways, such as plasma donation and stool donation. As well as how to save money such as large sales and coupons.
We hope to also provide added community benefits akin to that church provide such as social support and community building which are an integral part of Christian churches. If you are in a church community and are in need, they usually have members who offer daycare, child support, coop homeschooling, temp housing, used cars, temp jobs, as well as opportunities to meet people such as youth groups and get-togethers to build a social network, make friends, relationships, and people to build a life with. These will not be direct forms of support provided by the church but rather indirect forms of support from the community.


The Where
One of the most important aspects of this project is location. It must be in a location with a large active secular community. It must also be near an airport to better facilitate on-stage events and conferences. It would be helpful to be near a large university with a secular organization as they can host events in university lecture halls as well as have many added opportunities such as funding and access to prominent speakers. This will also act as a way to bring in a younger audience. One potential avenue is to mimic the on-campus success of Cru (Campus Crusaders for Christ) or the Anselm House, a Christian organization at the University of MN. Such organizations do an excellent job of operating in a campus setting even with the difficulties of a revolving door of student leadership. By coming to their business model secular organizations can improve at succeeding in the same environment.
Preferably this will be at or near a lake or beachside location or some other event-based location that can be utilized to host public social events like cookouts, volleyball, and other forms of entertainment to grow a connection with the surrounding community.

Candidate locations:
Austin
Minneapolis
Phoenix
Atlanta
Portland
San Francisco
Seattle
Denver
Boston
New York
Dallas
Houston
Orlando


FUTURE GOALS
2-5 years
The next 5 years will be focused on building interest and support among secular organizations while searching for large funding opportunities to procure the initial 4-10 million required to purchase the apartment building. Once that is accomplished, we can move into procuring a church space and hosting events building a website and social media presence. As well as advertising to local communities and news stations to promote our mission.
During this time, we will invite and host many secular conferences and debate/lecture-type events.

5-10 years
If this model proves successful the organization will plan to expand the model to multiple locations, to do this we can employ the methodology used up to this point. A curriculum of how to run the organization will be written by the director of operations, and this can be implemented by affiliated groups wishing to start something similar. As a Church or 501c3, we can also provide fiscal sponsorship for such organizations allowing them to operate as a non-profit even if they have not gotten approved non-profit status.
One possible avenue of expansion is a partnership with the Clergy Project which is an organization for ex-theist pastors who cannot expose that they lost their faith lest they lose their livelihoods. These pastors have an important skill set of relating moral doctrines to personal experiences and engaging parishioners with motivational speaking, which are invaluable skills for outreach and retention of members. The Clergy Project has a number of people with this skill set, which is non-transferable to other occupations and we can make use of employing them as pastors for atheist churches as we expand.

10-20 years
In line with the primary goal of the organization, if this program grows financially, it will be possible to expand into other areas or businesses to further attempt to alleviate the cost of living by reducing unfair practices typical of such institutions. For example, if we get to the point of 15-25 million in revenue it would be possible to expand into starting a banking institution where we can offer credit cards with half or even less APR as the industry standard and offer loans more fairly. Keeping in mind that it must still have the goal of being profitable.



INCOME
Rent payments, $1.5 million

Donations, $25,000

Merchandise sales, $10,000

Ad revenue from social media platforms, $5,000

Ticket sales to events, $5,000

Paid hosting events/conferences, $5,000

Renting access to our digital recording studio, $1,000

Paid church parking outside of church events, $1,000 (only after church is purchased, initially will be $0)

Childcare and homeschooling education groups, $10,000

Educational materials/ book sales, $2,000

Concession stand/coffee shop $5,000

Total Annual Revenue = $1,569,000

COSTS
The primary costs will come in the form of operating expenses for the apartment building and Church facility. This will include:
• Real Estate Taxes (not applicable to a church/non-profit)
• Paying off bank loans (if the purchase of the property is financed)
• Property Insurance
• Utilities
• Repairs and Maintenance
• Janitorial
• Management Fees
• General & Administrative
Chart showing estimated cost based on similar-sized apartment buildings in Texas:
(one of the top candidate locations for such a program in Austin, due to its large active atheist population)

Based on this model we have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to lowering rent while still being profitable. Also, this is a conservative estimate, the average vacancy in the US is 2.5%, not 10%. In addition, the management fee can be reduced due to the director of the Church acting as the Manager.
Acquiring a Church facility will only come after some period of success with the apartment building being the only expenditure, utilizing local secular spaces to host events at low cost, until the apartment building model has been demonstrated to be a consistent source of revenue. At this point, we can look into how large a church facility we can afford.

Apartment operating cost = 1,065,000 (-582,000 if church/non-profit)
Loan Payments, ???????
Merchandise operating cost, $6,000
social media platform operating costs, $0 (done by Tome Jump/volunteers)

Small Event Operating Cost, <$1,000 (meetup/Eventbrite)
Large Event operating Cost, $5000 (cost of equipment)

Digital recording studio cost, <$1,000 (mostly donated equipment by Thomas Jump)

Church facility, TBD (initially 0 until success with apartment building achieved)

Childcare and homeschooling education groups, $6,000

Educational materials/ book sales, $0 (print on demand by amazon)

Concession stand/coffee shop $5,000

Total Annual Cost = 1,089,000 (-582,000 if church/non-profit)


ORGANIZATION
Thomas Jump will act as the director of the church, as well as the operations manager of the apartment building. Hands-on experience in running the organization in detail will provide an opportunity to create a curriculum that can outline how to run a similar business when/if the church expands to other locations. This will also be cheaper than outsourcing the work.

About Thomas
Having had major depression for the first 30 years of his life, he tried many avenues to overcome his depression. One of these was researching many academic fields, including philosophy. During his time researching philosophy, he wanted to test his understanding by having conversations with local professors, inviting them out to coffee to have chats on various philosophical topics to which they graciously agreed. Having great success in such conversations Thomas decided to post them online and thus started a YouTube channel outlining his epistemology and model of morality which he used as the basis of his position in these conversations. Then he started inviting professors to have conversations on his YouTube channel which would turn into his full-time career. He now regularly has conversations with some of the most prominent philosophers, theologians, and scientists from around the world and is given the opportunity to fly around the country to give lectures and participate in debates. Thomas is extremely frugal but splurges in one area of his life–food. He is an avid foodie who loves to try new restaurants, which has the unfortunate side effect of significant weight gain so Thomas also does a significant amount of exercise. He at one point weighed in at an astounding 340 pounds and through the use of the infomercial program P90x along with 40 miles of bike riding and 8 miles of jogging per sunny day, lost nearly 100 pounds for two summers (Minnesota summers) to reach a weight of 160. During the winter he is an avid video game player as he used to be a video game tester for Activision, also during winter he enjoys anime, movies, and tv shows primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy genre. During summer he spends most of his free time going to active group events such as volleyball, tennis, spike ball, basketball, rock climbing, rollerblading, and biking.





Volunteers will be utilized as much as possible, in line with religious institutions and how they have parishioners willing to do much of the work for church-related purposes pro-bono. Secular organizations luckily have an abundance of volunteers willing to help with running and the organization said secular organizations.
Volunteers we are looking for:
• Apartment building Advisory Board, qualified people with experience and/or education in the industry related to apartment management
• Electrical
• HVAC
• Janitorial
• Church Event planners (debates, lectures, interfaith conversations)
• Online event planners
• Social media page management (twitter, Facebook, YouTube, twitch, LinkedIn)
• Community Event hosts (meetup/Eventbrite, meetups, volleyball, board games, networking)
• Website designers
• Talk show/call-in show hosts

THE ASK
This project is ready to go, it just needs the funding. As mentioned earlier the initial investment costs of such an apartment building average between $4-10 million, this can be financed to only require an initial investment of $2 million.
I currently have $30,000.
I have contacted several secular organizations that have a housing fund of approximately $100,000 each and were interested in supporting the project if it gets enough momentum.
The NOAH Impact fund and similar non-profits also offer grants to businesses offering affordable housing as well as financing assistance for the best rates.

Another avenue of funding is to partner with religious churches. Having partnerships with Christian organizations that are like-minded in a goal to benefit humanity and engage in goodwill interfaith conversations will be a significant benefit to our organization and they may be interested in offering funding to help build a joint community of this kind.
Undercutting private corporations will likely lead to many legal battles, for example, if we start selling electricity via solar/wind to local consumers at a lower rate than electricity companies said companies may seek legal action. We may be able to partner with the Freedom From Religion Foundation to gain legal support on such matters.
End

Notes/other stuff

baby box, a pastor who saved 1600 babies and counseled single mothers


Addressing objections
Why call it a church?
Many atheists have negative connotations to the term church, and it can be done without that label.
1. The primary reason is that I have a doctrine which is the foundation of my organization which is my model of objective morality, promoting this doctrine is one of the major goals of the organization I'm trying to build, making it a church
2. Churches don’t need to file taxes saving a significant amount of time/money in logistical costs
3. The term church has a positive connotation for most of the general public. Churches offer a variety of very impactful social benefits which most of the general public associate with “churches”. So using the title of a “church” helps people to identify/relate to the goal of the organization making more.
4. The contrast of an “atheist church” will draw attention because it subverts expectations
5. One common criticism of atheists is that “atheism is a religion too!”, and I would like to own that criticism in a similar way the LGBT community took ownership of the term “gay” which was used as a derogatory term but the LGBT community adopted to promote their cause. I want to do something similar with the “atheism is a religion too!”, by adopting it and showing the religion of atheism is better than the religion of Christianity by having a better moral framework and doing more to help people than Christian churches such as the apartment building idea

More about “The Church of the Best Possible World”
The primary Tenants of “The Church of the Best Possible World” consist of an Objective Morality and Epistemology.

Our church is founded in the faith position that there is another fundamental force in nature which is the “Moral Force”. Our belief in this Moral Law is a faith-based position. There is no scientific evidence confirming the existence of objective morality to date.
We believe this force is a law of physics like any other. The Moral Force is weakly interacting and so is only felt by moral agents when they have sufficient intellectual development and sufficient resources, so their mind is free enough from other preoccupations to experience it. This is why as humanity has been progressing intellectually and has produced ever more resources, we have a clear pattern of moral progress through time. Ending slavery, women's rights, workers' rights, child labor laws, etc. we can see a clear pattern in how the morality of agents has progressed over time in the same particular direction. We believe this direction can be described by the moral principles which give us a definition of moral and immoral:

Morality
Objective Morality is defined as: Voluntary assistance of will.
Objective Immorality is defined as: Involuntary imposition of will.

“Your will” only applies to yourself and your property, “your will” does not apply to others or their property. E.g., it is not an involuntary imposition of will, i.e., your will, for you to be unable to harm another without their consent and therefore is not an example of an immorality.

A Justified Moral action is an action done that someone would most likely want assistance with, but you are unsure. If it turns out the person did not want assistance, then you have done an immoral action.

A Justified Immoral action is an action that is an involuntary imposition of will, i.e., immoral, but that is done to prevent a greater involuntary imposition of will. E.g., putting someone in prions to prevent them from harming others. Such actions are still immoral, and you should atone for the immoral action.

If someone is unable to give consent, e.g., a child or someone mentally impaired, their will is still morally valuable, but we may need to violate or ignore their will to prevent greater involuntary impositions. E.g., forcing children to get a vaccine or other shot which they may not consent to do.

Epistemology
Justification of any claim requires evidence proportional to its entailments, i.e.:
Conceptual claims require conceptual evidence,
Empirical claims require empirical evidence,
Metaphysical claims require metaphysical evidence.

Conceptual, refers to all things which exist as thoughts of a mind.
Empirical, refers to all things which can be demonstrated to exist via novel testable prediction.
Metaphysical, refers to the fundamental nature of reality and absolutes, e.g., knowledge of your own existence, “I think therefore I am”.

The primary goal of “The Church of the Best Possible World” is to move our world towards becoming a morally perfect world, also referred to as “The Best of all Possible Worlds” or Best possible world/BPW for short, i.e. a world where there is no involuntary imposition of will, and furthermore, involuntary impositions of will are impossible. In other words, the morally perfect world is—a world where is it impossible to force anyone to do anything they do not consent to doing.

In this context “Impossible” applies not only to other agents being unable to force you to do nonconsensual acts, but also nature/reality will also be unable to force you to do nonconsensual acts. This would also apply to a God—if such a being exists it will also be unable to force any other being to do anything they do not consent to doing, because if were to do such an act that would be objectively immoral.

Currently the most pragmatic way to move closer to such a world is by lowering the cost of living for as many as possible. This can be done in many ways such as providing affordable housing.

A Secondary goal of “The Church of the Best Possible World”, is educating people about the rational epistemology endorsed by “The Church of the Best Possible World”, in which claims made must be justified by evidence proportional to their entitlements:
1. Conceptual claims require conceptual evidence,
2. Empirical claims require empirical evidence,
3. Metaphysical claims require metaphysical evidence.


Donate

Donations 

  • Josiah Nicholas
    • $20 
    • 4 mos
  • Brian Chojnowski
    • $20 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Squid SuperHunk
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Jesper Svensson
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
Donate

Organizer

Tom Jump
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee