Tuesday, November 08, 2005

All Saint's Day (with the IRS)

The Bush administration has not been shy about using Evangelical Christian churches as a base of political power, campaigning heavily through churches in key states and pumping millions of federal dollars into churches’ charitable organizations as part of its faith-based initiatives program.

Yet it appears that even the Bush administration has a limit when it comes to mixing preaching and politics.

Seems that the Internal Revenue Service recently informed All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., that it might lose its tax-exempt status for its alleged political activities. Why?

A) For a sermon opposing abortion prior to the Nov. 8 California election in which an anti-abortion measure is on the ballot
B) For directing church funds into the Texas anti-gay marriage measure on the Nov. 8 ballot
C) For endorsing George Bush in the 2004 election
D) For performing six “gay marriages” last June
E) For a 2004 sermon that suggested that Jesus would have opposed the war in Iraq

E) Opposing the War in Iraq. Seems that All Saints Episcopal Church is not only one of the largest churches in California, it’s also one of the most liberal. And in the days before the 2004 election, the church’s pastor had told his flock that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either Bush or Kerry (who, after all, supported the war too), but that “I believe Jesus would say to Bush and Kerry: ‘War is itself the most extreme form of terrorism.”

No word yet from the Bush administration when all of those churches that supported the Bush re-election campaign, oppose abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage and the like will lose THEIR tax exempt status.


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