Monday, November 07, 2005

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

According to the LA Times, the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena may lose its tax-exampt status for remarks a pastor made in 2004.

Apparently a guest sermon by former recttor on October 31, 2004, prompted the IRS letter. In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and the Gulf War, preached a sermon that criticised the Presidents doctrine of pre-emptive war. In the same sermon, the pastor affirmed that people of faith could vote for either candidate -- Bush or Kerry. So this was apparently not a political statement, but a theological statement about war.

Click here for the story.

The church's newsletter material was last posted the day before the letter's receipt was announced in church, but it will be interesting to see if they say anything on the Internet. Hopefully, they will post the sermon. To go to the church page, click here.

4 Comments:

Blogger Angelique said...

I really doubt that the IRS is being abused to punish people again and a government agency only wants the paperwork and money that they are owed in the end. My belief is that the church won't lose it's tax exempt status and at worst will only get a warning but would it be the end of the world it they did lose it? I don't know but I would admire a church that preached whatever they wanted and was not afraid of losing their hand out from the government because they weren't receiving one in the first place.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Classical Presbyterian said...

I do not agree with either the pacifists or the anti-Bush crowd, but isn't this action by the IRS rash? Why can't churches and pastors tell the congregation what we beleive about the course of human events?

What happened to freedeom of speech? Certainly the Jehovah's Witnesses speak out against ALL government actions in their meetings. Has their tax status been yanked?

Wasted resources yet again....our tax dollars at work!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Donna Grayson said...

I have attended churches that "suggested" political opinions on numerous occassions. Or they will leave flyers and pamphlets in the back for you to pick up on your way out. Especially around election time.
I guess I can understand if there is a rule that you can't preach politics if you want to keep your nonprofit status. But I think this church just got caught, because alot of churches do this.

3:48 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

I read this story online and I thought it was pretty ridiculous that the IRS is bullying this church. A case of the powers trying to snuff out the truth.

6:05 PM  

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