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Thread: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    Nov 07 9:09 PM US/Eastern
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    LOS ANGELES


    The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church that it could lose it's tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon a guest preacher gave on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, according to church officials.

    The Rev. George F. Regas did not urge parishioners at All Saints Episcopal Church to support either President Bush or John Kerry, but he was critical of the Iraq war and Bush's tax cuts.

    The IRS warned the church in June that its tax-exempt status was in jeopardy because such organizations are prohibited from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

    The church's rector, J. Edwin Bacon, told his congregation about the problem Sunday.

    "It's important for everyone to understand that the IRS concerns are not supported by the facts," Bacon said.

    Bacon later said he chose Sunday to inform the congregation because Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu was in attendance and because he believes a decision from the IRS is imminent. He called the IRS threat "a direct assault on freedom of speech and freedom of religion."

    An IRS spokesman in Washington declined to comment Monday, saying he could not discuss particular cases.

    Some All Saints members said they feared the 3,500-member church was being singled out for its political views.

    All Saints has long been vocal about its positions. Its Web site mentions the upcoming special election in California and says three Republican-backed propositions would "alter the very fabric of our lives as a democracy by limiting the right to representation and the right to express a political point of view." Regas, who gave the 2004 sermon, retired 10 years ago as the church's rector.

    Marcus Owens, the church's tax attorney and a former head of the IRS tax-exempt section, said the agency offered to drop the proceedings if the church admitted wrongdoing. The church declined the offer, he said.

    The IRS has revoked a church's charitable designation at least once. A church in Binghamton, N.Y., lost its status after running advertisements against Bill Clinton's candidacy before the 1992 presidential election.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    I don't understand. All kinds of ministers publicly supported Bush in their sermons and nothing happened to them. Presumably they're still getting funded. One minister even told parishioners who didn't vote for Bush not to come back, remember?

    I guess it's OK to be partisan in church, as long as you're pro-Bush. Then your funding will probably be increased. Hypocrites.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Welcome to faith based initiatives. If your religion doesn't tow the party line, you get fucked over.

    Sieg Heil.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    Oh, for the love of Christ. Hasn't el Shrubbo spent half his term trying to get the church involved in the state? I suppose that's only an attractive option if it means supporting him and his policies. This is the fucking limit.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    That's really messed up. This church is getting their funds cut beause they don't follow Bush?

    This really pisses me off because A) there are many churches that publicy supported Bush and kicked out members of their congregation that did'nt support Bush, and B) These churches are not getting any sort of punishment for Part A. It's like the Republican party is trying to morph Christianity with their "values". God this shit makes me mad.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Welcome to faith based initiatives. If your religion doesn't tow the party line, you get fucked over.

    Sieg Heil.

    Puh-leeze. Churches in the United States are not allowed to participate in politics and keep their tax-free status. Conservative churches get busted all the time for it, and there are watchdog groups all over Bush country (even in Texas) where people attend services, take notes, and even take copies of any 'voter guides' that are distributed. Believe me, the right-wing churches get busted more often than the left-wing churches. But hey...why would you believe me...I'm not telling you what you clearly want to hear.

    And it's 'toe the line.' Not 'tow the line.' I keep seeing that and it's driving me nuts.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    I find it hard to believe that a faith-based administration like the current one is actively persecuting churches who preach their party line. I mean, this is a government that refuses aid to countries who want to mention birth control or the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. It's pretty clear that this type of initiative starts in the U.S. where the current president has clearly demonstrated in any number of ways that he believes church and state should NOT be separated. I'd do the research and come up with lots of examples but I'm too tired right now. Any issue of the NY Times will probably have something to say about it.

    Don't get your back up over this DH -- this is a comment on policies and not you.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    I'm sorry, I've never heard of a Bush supporting church getting busted for anything. Actually, lots of them use the pulpit to exhort their congregations to vote for Bush, even handing out pamphlets and not one single thing happens as a consequence.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Default Re: Liberal church may lose funds over anti-war sermon

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    I'm sorry, I've never heard of a Bush supporting church getting busted for anything. Actually, lots of them use the pulpit to exhort their congregations to vote for Bush, even handing out pamphlets and not one single thing happens as a consequence.

    Someone has to report them to the IRS. That's why watchdog groups exist, but they can't be everywhere at once. If they tell their congregation to vote for Bush, that is a clear violation and they could lose their tax-free status IF SOMEONE REPORTS THEM. If nobody does, then OBVIOUSLY nothing happens.

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