Friday, November 11

IRS bullies Church for political commentary

Ok, when you want to talk about Truth 2 Power (the subtitle of this blog), saying something that needs to be said to someone who doesn't want to hear it - I can't think of a better recent example than this story about All Saints Church in Pasadena.

Two days before George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, the Rev. George F. Regas, a retired rector, denounced the Iraq war from the pulpit of Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church.

While cautioning that he wasn't telling people how to vote, Regas delivered a scathing indictment of the war. ``Mr. President, your doctrine of pre-emptive war is a failed doctrine,'' Regas said, summarizing how Jesus would have seen it. ``Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.''

The Internal Revenue Service didn't like the sermon. The IRS is now threatening to take away the church's tax-exempt status, saying there's a ``reasonable belief'' that All Saints violated the rules against intervening in political campaigns.

Ok, so he didn't make a comment about how anyone should vote - he just gave his opinion on the War, which it seems to me the late Pope John Paul has also opposed the War.
Before the war, Pope John Paul II warned Bush that an invasion of Iraq would be viewed by the Vatican as a “criminal act.”
It seems clear that if All Saints Church is being investigated by the IRS for making political comments, then what about...

Pat Roberts calling for the Assasination of a Foreign Head of State by U.S. Forces?

Or his lying about comments that Sen Barbara Boxer never made about Judge John Roberts?

Or his comments that Democratic Judges are a greater threat to the U.S. than Al Qaeda, Nazi Germany of the Civil War.

And then there's Jerry Falwell whose said that the "Liberal" 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the "most overtuned" of all Federal Appellate Courts - which it is not.

Not that I'm accusing the IRS of a malicious and biased abused of power.

Ok, wait - yes I am. It's seem to me that Rev. Regas has a First Amendment Right to shout Water in the middle of a Fire and share his feeling that our course of action at that time was deeply misguided and dangerous, just as numerous Biblical passages can be used as referrence to back up this assertion. It has to be recalled that Jesus is known as the "Prince of Peace".

But, if Regas and his Church have to face the possibility of losing their tax exempt status for criticizing the War, I don't see any justification for Roberts, Falwell or many other Radical Evangelical preachers keeping their's considering the highly political comments they make on a regular basis.

Not that I have any hope of that ever happening, but one can always dream.


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