People clamoring to buy converted churches is nothing new. But a recent headline about a church trying to buy and convert a celebrity home into a community center caught our eye. And when it's all centered around our all-time favorite cured meat product, we really get interested. The United Church of Bacon, an atheist and decidedly savory ecclesial community started by friends of magicians Penn & Teller, is in the market to buy Penn Jillette's home.
The church's goal: raise $500,000 to buy the Las Vegas -- area home. The seven-bedroom, 10-bathroom home, nicknamed "The Slammer," comes with a movie theater, a hot tub, a 25-yard lap pool, a recording studio, and two kitchens.
The home was a refuge far from the hustle and bustle of Vegas, Jillette told the HuffPost. But now that his kids are older and want to be closer to their friends and their school, he needed a more appropriate home for his family. In June, he paid $3.3 million for a 7,808-square-foot home in The Ridges, a luxury community in Las Vegas.
The 10 acres of land on which his previous house sits may be worth more than the building itself. Rather than sell to developers who would "build cookie cutter homes on the site," the famous atheist hopes to preserve the estate by selling to the Church of Bacon, which shares his views.
"Yes, worshipping bacon is ridiculous, but at least bacon is real," head fryer John Whiteside told HuffPost. "Praise the lard."
In case the church's 12,000 worldwide members can't cough up the dough, they've started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo so they can open the Nevatican, which would be the largest atheist community center in the world. They've raised over $12,000 and have 52 days to go, but Jillette has summoned his spiritual patience.
"The landlord -- me -- isn't exactly twirling his mustache demanding they come up with the money," he said.
We can't really say it's the Lord's work, but Jillette likes the idea of creating community on the site of his old stomping grounds. Lack of community is the one drawback, he said, of being an atheist.