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Bush's IRS attacks a church, shades of Nixon hover.

by Ziks511 / November 16, 2005 3:59 PM PST

All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.

By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason *****, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers


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."

---------------------------------------------

What Regas did that was so terrible was to ask Bush to think what God would want him to do when he went into the polling booth. Apparently that is invoking God into the political process on one side or the other. By that logic, the IRS decided that if Bush had consulted God, he wouldn't have voted for himself, which made it an offence.

Rob

Just a piece of news that you probably won't see here (except for my post) or in any of the other "approved Media sources" favored by the benighted.

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Don't you mean "shades of Clinton?"
by EdH / November 16, 2005 6:59 PM PST

The IRS during his Administration did the same thing only more widespread. Did you forget?

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(NT) (NT) Don't remember any IRS audits of churches.
by Ziks511 / November 17, 2005 3:51 PM PST
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Looks like it's OK to support the President from the pulpit
by Diana Forum moderator / November 16, 2005 7:29 PM PST

but not to oppose him.

Diana

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(NT) (NT) Have you ever seen Jesse (the camera hog) Jackson ???
by duckman / November 16, 2005 9:10 PM PST
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It's not OK to take sides politically from the pulpit. I've
by Kiddpeat / November 16, 2005 11:50 PM PST

never heard that done. In the churches I've attended, the closest thing I've ever seen to political activity was a very quiet participation in voter registration. In one church, Bob Dole wanted to speak at one service, and was refused.

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I'm glad to see....
by Josh K / November 17, 2005 12:02 AM PST

....that you disapprove of the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who preach their politics from the pulpit all the time.

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Not to mention Jesse Jackson, the"Rev" Al Sharpton....
by EdH / November 17, 2005 12:16 AM PST
In reply to: I'm glad to see....

and tons of other African-American and left wing preachers who do it ALL the time.

And you know what? It's protected speech, allowed by the First Amendment, no matter what side it's coming from.

Now, the extent to which this is actually acting as a church and not a political organization is something else to think about. Some of these "churches" are little more than liberal propaganda outposts and money gathering operations. Whether this one is or not I don't know.

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And some are nothing more....
by Josh K / November 17, 2005 12:26 AM PST

....than conservative propaganda outposts and money gathering operations.

As long as you're looking at both sides, I have no argument.

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I don't listen to Falwell or Robertson. I don't have the
by Kiddpeat / November 17, 2005 2:37 AM PST
In reply to: I'm glad to see....

foggiest notion what they say. Thus, I am not in a position to comment. The few times that I have heard them, they didn't talk about candidates for political office. I guess you condemn the many black ministers who do talk about candidates from the pulpit. How about Jessie Jackson? Do you condemn him?

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I think one key difference.....
by Josh K / November 17, 2005 2:47 AM PST

...is that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton etal. don't state or insinuate that it is immoral or against their professed faith to have beliefs contrary to theirs. I also don't think I can recall either of them ever claiming to have an ''in'' with God that the rest of us don't have. Their rants tend to be about secular matters. What they do have in common with Falwell and Robertson is that they're blowhards with a love for media attention.

I went to a synagogue that was noted for its political activism so I don't oppose that outright. I was just hoping you were consistent since you had initially only mentioned liberal/Democratic politics, and it looks like you are. That's all I was curious about.

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I don't know about insinuating immorality, but I think both
by Kiddpeat / November 17, 2005 9:00 AM PST

Jackson and Sharpton do that. I'm certain that our very own Rob and DK do it. If you take conservative political positions, they are quick to say that you are acting against what God wants and approves of. I think Jessie and Al do not hesitate to suggest that God takes a dim view of their political opponents. Then, of course, there's Jackson's famous hymietown remark.

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Arent' you one of the loudest
by duckman / November 16, 2005 8:38 PM PST

squealers of "Seperation of church and state?"

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(NT) (NT) Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
by EdH / November 16, 2005 8:43 PM PST
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Looks to me like just another case of reporters
by Steven Haninger / November 16, 2005 9:22 PM PST

going fishing after, first, stocking the pond with the species of their own desire to net.;)

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Then every Catholic church in Texas should also be stripped!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 16, 2005 9:54 PM PST

As the Sunday before the vote on Proposition 2, they read a bishops' letter from the pulpit urging a vote for that despicable homophobic amendment. I wonder -- is that what Jesus would have done? While the Church's official position is "love the sinner, hate the sin," denying civil rights doesn't sound like an act of love to me!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Why are you part of the
by duckman / November 16, 2005 9:58 PM PST

Catholic church if they are so homophobic?

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(NT) (NT) hes in collage administration:)
by Mark5019 / November 16, 2005 11:20 PM PST
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No, Jesus would have called on the sinner to repent. Do
by Kiddpeat / November 16, 2005 11:55 PM PST

you, for one second, imagine that Jesus approves of homosexuality? Jesus condemned those who sought to 'amend' the Bible by ignoring passages that they did not like. He said that not one jot or tittle of scripture would ever pass away, and He was talking about our Old Testament.

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Jesus would have...
by Edward ODaniel / November 17, 2005 9:58 AM PST

PROBABLY hollered from behind the wheel of his SUV (he was a carpenter you know) that the amendment was not enough and suggested investing in salt futures.

Why is it that you CONSTANTLY want to deprive religious people of their First Amendment rights? Their position on the amendment had nothing to do with "homophobia", but everything to do with being against perversion and perverts and the AIDS epidemic so ably assisted through the homosexual lifestyle.

It had NOTHING to do with an election of representatives or officials which is where the Church in the article had run afoul of FEC regulations AND US Code law governing tax free organizations.

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News Flash Rob: The President does not set tax policy for
by Kiddpeat / November 16, 2005 11:46 PM PST

the IRS. This sort of thing is VERY old, and has nothing to do with President Bush. What you probably do not know is that the IRS is very lenient. The political activities that usually go on in black churches are WAY over the line, but the IRS has never taken action that I am aware of. However, newspaper coverage of the sermon is pretty dumb. The IRS can scarcely ignore it. That sermon must have been WAY OVER the line.

Of course, it was also WAY OVER the line theologically, but liberal ministers aren't usually very concerned about the theological basis for what they say.

You, of course, brimming with vitriol, do not hesitate to impugn a man's character with the flimsiest of excuses and a complete absence of truth. You are an excellent example of the liberal mindset in the church today.

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He's just assuming that Bush is as VINDICTIVE
by duckman / November 17, 2005 9:05 AM PST

as Slick Willie was when he was in office, criticize bill/hill, get an audit

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While agreeing somewhat, unfortunately repeated
by Roger NC / November 17, 2005 9:36 AM PST

accusations of harrassment from the IRS for political opponents seems to occur irregardless of which political party is in power in the White House.

In fact, I suspect such accusations have occurred even when the man in the White House would never knowingly sanction such misuse, but party officials work through career bureaucrats to get it done.


Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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SOP for the Clinton crew they invented and perfected,
by duckman / November 17, 2005 10:11 AM PST

the politics of personal destruction

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