Liberty Church Goes to NH Supreme Court – Video

Church of the Sword

Church of the Sword

Today in Concord, ministers and members from Church of the Sword (COTS), gathered at the NH supreme court for oral arguments in their appeal of the town of Westmoreland denying their request for tax exempt status. Ministers from the Shire Free Church were there in support. The question before the court was whether the Cheshire superior court should have thrown out the case in a decision earlier this year, which affirmed the town’s opinion that the COTS is not a church, claiming it’s not religious since the church doesn’t have a belief in god.

However, as COTS’ attorney Dan Hynes pointed out, and COTS ministers argue, there are traditional, long-running churches do not have a god, such as the Buddhists, Taoists, and many Unitarian Universalists.

Given the NH supremes are only judging whether the lower court erred in tossing the case, don’t expect their decision to include an opinion on whether or not COTS is a church. A decision in COTS’ favor would simply mean the lower court should not have dismissed the case, and that the case should move ahead (likely to jury trial) at the superior court.

Here’s the full hearing, plus short interviews with COTS founder Kirk McNeil and COTS attorney Dan Hynes:

A particularly ridiculous portion is where the attorney for Westmoreland argues that anarchists can’t have a religion. Don’t miss it!

Here’s an article about the controversy from Reason.com, which was written before today’s hearing.

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