Monday, November 7, 2005

Bush Administration Uses the IRS to Attack Liberal Churches

I am not surprised by this story one bit. It is very Nixonian, and that is the usual M.O. of the Bush Administration.

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

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 Felch, 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."

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