Persecuting Christians ...
November 07, 2005
From the LA Times (via the Chicago Trib):
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 Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.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 Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections. [Ã¢â‚¬Â¦]
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."
"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."There they go, persecuting those poor Christians.