Atheists Pay Clergy to quit! I am so very excited about this news!
The Clergy Project is proud to announce the addition of the Employment Transitional Assistance Grant, thanks to a generous grant from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation.
For a long time I have wanted to find a way to financially help clergy leave their job. I did my first post about it in January of 2010.
I had this idea of starting an organization that would help clergy leave religion behind. My working name is Shepherds Intervention Network (SIN). This foundation would solicit requests from church leaders that want to get out. Individuals are selected and enrolled in a job skills program and travel around the country telling their story to local groups and university students. The hope is after a year they would have found new skills to add the ones they already had and can transition to a new job. During the time of training they would receive some compensation to ease the transition.
My suggested title “Shepherds Intervention Network (SIN)” is clearly not practical and was intended to be provocative. Shortly after my post Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola published the now famous, “Preacher who are not Believers”. They detailed stories about preachers that were not believers but did not know how to get out.
Over the years I have mentioned this idea (of paying clergy to quit) to many people including Todd Stiefel. Now Mr. Stiefel has made it happen!
Todd Stiefel, founder and President of Stiefel Freethought Foundation said, “With this donation, my foundation hopes to help formerly-religious clergy find secular employment. These clergy men and women will no longer have to put the priority of feeding their family above their desire to stop preaching what they no longer believe.” Stiefel continued, “Additionally, this is an investment in the next great leaders of the freethought movement because of the incredible skills such as community building, support, and management that these clergypersons bring with them.”
I could not be more happy! This is one of the things that will help end religion. We have seen stories lately that churches are losing members and bringing in less money. There have also been stories about churches having a hard time finding new leaders. Now we can actively help them find new jobs!
The clergy project will now start helping clergy find new jobs!
The program, offered by RiseSmart will provide 6 months of assistance including, skills assessment, resume prep and connection with a recruiter in their area to help them to find sustainable employment.
The program is scheduled to officially begin in March 2013.
Dan Barker, President of the clergy Project board had this to say….
“I wish there had been a service like this when I left the ministry in the 1980s. I spent a long time floundering, searching for a way to make a meaningful living as a nonbeliever. Eventually, we all have to solve the problems of life on our own, but just knowing there are resources from sympathetic organizations can be immensely helpful.”
This should be on national news! When clergy members find a new job we save kids from indoctrination. Share this story so the national media will pick it up.