Friday, October 16, 2015

Is Religion a Matter For the State To Define?

Or is the State the reason religious liberty is explicitly protected -- from the State -- in the first place? And yet, here we are, 10/15/2015, asking the State to rule on the State's authority. To quote a different favorite cultural reference (and seriously, nobody's isolated Jubal Early...?), "Does that seem right to you...?" As the Concord Monitor article starts out...
"A 5-year-old, nontheistic religion founded in New Hampshire – unusually characterized by its reverence for sword fighting and its meeting place, a Concord bar – argued its case for a property tax exemption before the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday.

The leaders of the Church of the Sword said they were treated unfairly when a Westmoreland home owned by the church and occupied by a pastor was denied tax-exempt status last year. They said it should qualify as a 'parsonage' under state law.

In March, their appeal to the Cheshire County Superior Court was dismissed. The court issued an opinion stating the Church of the Sword 'is neither religious nor a church,' but rather it 'is clearly a social organization that uses religious vocabulary to describe its practices' and that its doctrines 'are far more related to politics and self-improvement than to religion.'

By taking the case to the Supreme Court, the libertarian activists and Free State Project members who comprise church leadership brought themselves to the fore of a trend in the state. At least three newly created churches with Free State Project ties have sought tax exemption in varied court cases in 2014 and 2015. ..."
Sorry, Silas. To riff further on "The Big Lebowski," anarchism and nihilism are not the same thing (yet even the nihilists chose to belong to a group)...

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