November 7, 2005
-- by Dave Johnson
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.
. . . 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."
[. . .] "We are so careful at our church never to endorse a candidate," Bacon said in a later interview.
"One of the strongest sermons I've ever given was against President Clinton's fraying of the social safety net."
How many "conservative" churches that DO tell parishioners how to vote have received similar letters? Has the Heritage Foundation, also a "501c3" charity, received a similar letter? Jerry Falwell? James Dobson? Of course not.
But a minister gives a sermon saying that Jesus would be against the war, and he gets a threat-letter from the government.
Watch your backs!
Update - The Mahablog is on it.
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» IRS Warns Church With Anti-War Rector from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
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Tracked on November 14, 2005 2:59 PM
During the weeks before the 2004 election, I went to my Catholic church and was distressed by the sermon from the local priest. He mentioned how no one should vote for a candidate that believes in legalized abortion. I also noticed flyers in the lobby area called "The Voting Guide". It contained various reasons for not voting for candidates.
It was very distressing not being able to report this to someone. Is there somewhere I can report it next time if it happens again? Thanks
Posted by: pintofale at November 7, 2005 12:34 PM
In the days before the election the Roman Catholic Church made statements that indicated that they supported the election of George W. Bush. In fact, a senior religious advisor to the White House told The Telegraph (UK Paper) that there was "no doubt" that the Pope preferred President Bush to Sen Kerry, even though the Vatican was strongly against the war in Iraq and the senator is a practising Catholic.
Seems to me that we should all be asking the IRS to revoke the Roman Catholic Churches tax-exempt status.
Here's the phone number for the IRS' national media office, since we are media and all:
Tell them you're looking forward to their investigating the Catholic Church's tax status, or do they only go after liberal churches
And here's the chief counsel's office:
Posted by: met00 at November 7, 2005 3:19 PM
I hope the Muslims kill all the stinking jews in Europe.
Posted by: Route Irish at November 7, 2005 6:19 PM
I grew up going to a Roman Catholic church and Sunday school, but I have switched over to Deism. Thomas Paine was right when he said:
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit."
And Israel is a racist country based on one religion. It appears that their religion, Judism, says that it's ok to steal land and kill Gentiles. And the U.S. is funding their hateful criminal activities.
Learn more about the dangers to our society on my website: http://fixco1.com
Posted by: Chris Fick at November 7, 2005 8:58 PM
Wow, now this site is attracting all the anti-semitic Islamofascist lovers, how... appropriate.
Posted by: Pericles at November 8, 2005 12:18 AM
The Baptist minister who conducted my baby sitter's funeral 1/05 spoke 3 minutes about her and spent the next 35 minutes praising our "wonderful president." My 18 yr old daughter (who was the baby-sittee?) was so furious that she left the service. She is now a TOTAL democrat. I had heard that some pastors were telling their parisioners who to vote for, so I guess it's true. Thanks for the phone numbers, I will use them.
Posted by: BluMarie/RedVA at November 8, 2005 7:19 AM
That comment about killing all the Jews was so grotesque and out of line that I wonder if it wasn't Pericles or one of his (?) buddies.
Posted by: grannyinsanity at November 8, 2005 5:11 PM
The hypocrisy in this country reeks. And you said it perfectly - James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and the rest of those nutjob fundamentalists tell people how to vote all the time and the IRS doesn't say squat.
Thanks for the phone numbers - I'm callin them tomorrow.
Posted by: jadie at November 8, 2005 10:03 PM
Why shouldn't a pastor be allowed to support political candidates or endorce/condemn social policy?
Posted by: Nathan at December 4, 2005 11:35 PM
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