Skip to comments.Dan Walters: IRS crackdown on church for anti-war sermon raises hackles
Posted on 09/22/2006 8:16:03 AM PDT by SmithL
A couple of days before the 2004 presidential election, an Episcopal clergyman named George Regas delivered a sermon to congregants in Pasadena in the form of a mock debate among Jesus, President Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry over the Iraq war.
Regas left no doubt about his anti-war sentiments, saying that Jesus would have told Bush that the war "has led to disaster," but did not specifically endorse anyone in the election. Eight months later, however, All Saints Episcopal Church received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service declaring "a reasonable belief ... that you may not be a tax-exempt church." And last week, the IRS issued a pair of summonses, one demanding all church documents relating to politics in 2004 and the other demanding that church Rector Ed Bacon appear before tax officials in October to justify the church's actions.
Once again, the relationship of tax-exempt churches to politics is under the official microscope -- and this time on what appear to be especially flimsy grounds.
Politics is one venue for people to express their personal philosophies, and religion is another. It's ludicrous to expect that the two will not become intertwined.
They were intertwined when Northern churches became stations on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape from their masters in the 19th century. They were intertwined when black ministers such as Martin Luther King Jr. led marches against segregation. They were intertwined when liberal theologians marched against the Vietnam War in the 1970s. They were intertwined when fundamentalist churches, galvanized by abortion and other issues, began organizing members to help the Republican Party take over Congress in the 1990s. And they're intertwined today all along the political spectrum, especially on hot-button issues such as war, abortion and gay rights that are philosophical as well as ideological.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
It would seem easier to go after any one of the dozens of churches that host the Clintons every campaign season
And with all the terrorist's laws passed after 9/11, Mrs. Clinton will have carte blanche to behead us without a peep of her actions covered by the MSM, YouTube, Mypace, blogs, etc.
Disaster how? Never in the annals in the history of warfare have we lost less military personal in 4 years of war verses the first 90 mins of 9/11! If this is a disaster, then there are no words in our lexicon to describe what we lost in WWII!
I don't mind if they are intertwined...BUT you are asking society and me to FUND them via a TAX break. It's ludicrous you want that.
Allowing someone to keep their own money is not funding them. Besides, when it comes to government assistance or aid in many cases, Churches are not even eligible. If Churches are truely going to be independant of the state, you can't allow the state to tax them.
Regulating money in politics is a pipedream. Just cancel all the rules and let people be free.
The day churches give up their tax exempt status and truly start speaking their faiths... is the day the left is driven out. The last thing the left wants it Churches to just give up their tax exempt status... as long as they have the club, they can keep them silent... minute its gone, they and their revisionism and relevatism will be demolished.
I agree with you one that. The question is: is this a church? If it doesn't walk like a duck, and it doesn't quack like a duck,.....
Uh huh. I wonder what this lefty would say about similar political discourse from the pulpits of ...say, Willow Creek (20,000 members) or Prestonwood Baptist (20,000 members) or any of the evangelical, conservative mega-churches across this country? I'll bet he would decry such a thing as violating the sanctity of the nonexistent separation between church and state.
It's just a matter of whose ox is being gored.
"They were intertwined when Northern churches became stations on the Underground Railroad"
How many 501c3 charities were there during the Civil War?
They were intertwined when Northern churches became stations on the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape from their masters in the 19th century. They were intertwined when black ministers such as Martin Luther King Jr. led marches against segregation.
AND they are intertwined when churchs stand in opposition to infanticide (abortion). But pro-life charities are hounded by the IRS.
I hope this church wins in court. This issue has to be decided someday. There should be no requirement at all that a church be politically deaf in order to function as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.
Have any other churches preaching 'anti-war' messages been targeted by the IRS in the last couple of years? The anti-war message has been obvious in several denominations, I'd just be curious if All Saints were doing something else that cause the IRS to look its way.
They have chose to pursue a political agenda.
That's something I hadn't seen before --- and it wasn't in the article. Can you give us a link?
Did you see this?