News

Church of the Sword in fresh court battle

Church of the Sword in fresh court battle

New Hampshire’s godless Church of the Sword (COTS) will soon learn whether its bid to be recognised as a ‘true’ religious entity has been successful.

The church – famous for its pies and playful sword fights – last week went to the New Hampshire Supreme Court to appeal an early court ruling that said COTS was  simply not a “real” religion because it doesn’t worship any supreme being.

Church founder Kevin Bloom is reported here as saying:

We disagree, naturally, and so do Taoists and Buddhists, among others.

The church had a pastor living in some property it had been gifted, and when they filed to remove it from property tax rolls as a parsonage, as church’s do, back in April 2014, their filing was denied. (The annual tax due would be around $3,200.)

The church reportedly has 263 church members, with an average of 25 showing up at any given weekly meeting, which happen at a variety of locations, both indoors and out.

Their hymns are called “jams” and they use cider for communion during a “Ritual of Disobedience”.

Also, at the end of each service, there’s “The Ritual of Pie”.

Other religions transform wine and grape juice and bread into flesh and blood, we transmute other baked products into pie.

But above all, there’s “The Ritual of Combat” – series of sword fights with foam-covered weapons. Everyone at the service participates in at least one bout, and if they don’t, they’re tagged anyway in the ceremonial “slaughter of the innocents”.

The most challenging feat on the way to becoming a pastor is to win six of 10 duels with fighters hand-selected by the pastors.

Said Bloom:

We only have one ritual that we borrowed from the established religious organizations, and we call it begging for money.

26 responses to “Church of the Sword in fresh court battle”

  1. Broga says:

    COTS, by these criteria, is as much a religion as any other. All they have done is tweaked a few religious observances to make them more contemporary. They can join the ecumenical movement.

  2. gedediah says:

    Looks a lot more fun than “real” religions and no less worthwhile. Good luck to ’em.

  3. Newspaniard says:

    If I ever became stupid enough to “get religion”, this would definitely be the one I would go for. Pies, especially steak & kidney, bring ’em on.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    If they raped children they’d have “real” religious status overnight.

  5. Cali Ron says:

    Trevor Blake: Ohhh. Feel the burn RCC.

    I’m in a quandary here, the Flying Spaghetti Monster Church or the church of the Sword. Pitting pasta against pie, how to know which is the true religion?
    Easy, there is none! But I do love pie so today it’s the church of the Sword.

  6. Vanity Unfair says:

    I have a bad feeling about this. Courts, being founded on the written word of legislation and precedent, are really the Church of the Pen.

  7. Lonbo says:

    Never fear Trevor,both churches permit dual membership. Pie and sauce be upon you.

  8. Lonbo says:

    Oh yeah, pastafarian pirates too, are masters of the foam covered sword.

  9. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Not a “real” religion? Just what is “real” about any religion?

  10. Cali Ron says:

    Apparently in the USA, you’re real if you can get a real tax exempt status. Apart from that it’s all unreal as usual for religion.

    To fellow Church of the Sword followers: Remember the pie and eat it wholly.

  11. jay says:

    Ah, it’s all fun and god until you come up against the tax authorities. Their concept of ‘freedom of religion’ is quite different from other legal definitions.

  12. L.Long says:

    As others have said…the COTS is as REAL as any other church. This one at least doesn’t yet have priest to rape kids, dogma to destroy a woman’s self worth, and so far hasn’t claimed they know what hell is!

  13. stewpidmonkey says:

    There is no conflict between the church of his noodlyness and that of the sword.

    “in the beginning there was the word and the word was arrrrgh.

    Pirates have swords. Pirates are the chosen of his saucieness. It is right to worship the sword.

    Say Ramen brothers and sisters

  14. Angela_K says:

    Fair play to these guys for showing the absurdity of religion, I bet the christians are fuming!

    Church of the sword-swallowers – sounds a bit rude.

  15. Cali Ron says:

    Angela K: So many sexual jokes coursed through my brain when I saw your comment I found myself frozen with indecision. Then I remembered Rob admonishing me for having no class for making a prison rape joke on this site.

    Would the Church of the Sword-swallowers be a support group for the Church of the Sword? I think I know the perfect pastor to lead them: Oral Roberts.

  16. Cali Ron says:

    I skipped the more randy jokes for the sake of class, even though I may not have any.

  17. 1859 says:

    It’s despicable! Really! To upstage the lunacy of religion with yet more lunacy! One could easily assume there was a hidden message here – and we all know where that can end! We’ve had a black President, we’re about to get a woman President.Next we’ll get a gay President! Perhaps even a gay, female black President! When religion becomes the realm of lunatics see what can happen.
    Yours sincerely, Twisted Knickers

  18. Angela_K says:

    Cali Ron. The religious incorrectly say that we are angry atheists so it is good to show we have a sense of humour. I couldn’t resist posting that double-entendre.

  19. Brian Jordan says:

    I see no mention of women: I hope they’re not relegated to fighting with foam-covered hat pins or knitting needles.
    COTS and Pastafarianism remind me of the (American) Church of the SubGenius, populular with sf fans in the 70’s. They were authorised to perform marriages and seem to be still on the go.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius

  20. barriejohn says:

    1859: You can’t seriously believe that there haven’t already been gay presidents!

    nga Beale, the Lloyd’s of London chief executive, has topped an annual power list of the top 100 LGBT executives.
    It is the first time a woman, and a bisexual, has been placed at the top of the list, compiled by networking group OUTstanding and the Financial Times.
    Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, is in second, with HSBC’s UK and European chief, Antonio Simoes, third.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34577438

  21. Maggie says:

    Angela K: “Fair play to these guys for showing the absurdity of religion,”

    Just what I was thinking. And by having groups like this classified as a ‘religion’ it can only add to the absurdity of all religion.

    Pies be upon you.

  22. Stephen Mynett says:

    There must be a high probability that Bill Clinton was bisexual, purely because he tried to shag anything that moved.
    Germany has a pretty good record of electing openly gay politicians, even if some have been complete plonkers as people, Guido Westerwelle went from vice-chancellor to helping the FDP drop below the 5% hurdle in an election.
    Klaus Wowereit was a pretty good Bürgermeister of Berlin until the mess of the new airport finished him and made the famous announcement “Ich bin schwul, und das ist auch gut so.” (I’m gay and that is a good thing) during his 2001 campaign, the year he was first elected.

  23. Stephen Mynett says:

    On the subject of swords and religion, more lunacy and bigotry from Pakistan: http://news.yahoo.com/pakistan-police-arrest-christian-healer-blasphemy-135018257.html

    One line interested me: Local police official Ameer Mukhtar told AFP “The arrest was made after residents complained that the Christian man used a sword for healing patients on which Islamic verses were inscribed and it was offending for their religious sentiments,”

    Now if Mukhtar had said “Some religious bampot and complete charlatan was conning people with crazy claims of a healing sword.” I would have agreed with the arrest.

    Perhaps this faith healer should move to America, he could join the idiots who help their children die by refusing medical treatment. After the prayers had failed he could use the sword to help conduct the autopsy.

  24. 1859 says:

    @arriejohn: Well no wonder the world is in a mess!! The power of same-sex attraction will start to make the world spin BACKWARDS! I’m convinced!
    Yours insincerely, T.Knickers.

  25. dennis says:

    All hail the COTS.