For those who have been following the saga of the Shire Free Church: Monadnock, here’s the latest, much of which was well-covered by the Keene Sentinel’s Martha Shanahan last week. After bringing on liberty attorney Brandon Ross for our tax appeal case last year, the church board decided to dismiss the 2014 case in favor of re-filing in 2015. We’ve since filed the 2015 tax exemption with our attorney’s oversight.
Given the state’s rejection of multiple liberty churches’ tax exemptions in 2014 (including the Peaceful Assembly Church – also represented by Ross), the board wanted to make sure we were putting our best foot forward, legally.
There has been a misconception that this is all about money; it’s about religious freedom. We don’t believe that the Shire Free Church, or any other church, should owe taxes. However we have nonetheless continued to give voluntary contributions to the City of Keene’s operations we support, like road maintenance and fire protection.
Shire Free Church: Monadnock is established to promote peace and other divine virtues, and to promote the study of religion in freedom and fellowship. We believe there are many paths to God, one for each individual. We believe God is the source of all creation; and divinity is expressed through compassion, empathy, forgiveness, freedom, generosity, honesty, humility, kindness, mercy, patience, and peace.
This is not about keeping money. If it were, we’d not be hiring an attorney. In fact, Shire Free Church: Monadnock’s board decided to go ahead and pay the full amount demanded by the city for 2014 in order to forestall any violent acts by the city agents and start our 2015 appeal without any liens on the property. The state religion is a dangerous, aggressive religion and we will use their system to protect your right to choose a religion of peace instead of believing in the violent, morally-corrupt state.
Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,