Monday, November 07, 2005


This is the most outrageous article I have read in a long long time (via Steve Clemons):
The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.

Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.

In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991's Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.

But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, "Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster."

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

The letter went on to say that "our concerns are based on a Nov. 1, 2004, newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times and a sermon presented at the All Saints Church discussed in the article.

The IRS cited The Times story's description of the sermon as a "searing indictment of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq" and noted that the sermon described "tax cuts as inimical to the values of Jesus.""
I can't even begin to start without going into apoplexy. If you ever had any doubt that the American government is moving in a fascists direction, this should solve that.

I won't go into it too much because it's such common knowledge. But the evangelicals and Falwell and Robertson and Bauer and and and...... have been nothing but involved in politics while maintaining their tax free status. The use of the IRS to pressure anti-government institutions harkens back to the bad old days of Nixon.



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