IRS Challenges Churches that Preach Politics

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The IRS has challenged a liberal church in Pasadena, California because of an anti-war sermon preached by a former rector two days before the 2004 presidential election. All Saints is the largest Episcopal church west of the Mississippi and a solid supporter of liberal causes. Rabbis, Muslim leaders and Christian evangelists are backing the church in its refusal to cooperate. It's all about politics and the tax exemption for religious institutions. Church involvement in politics is growing fast--especially on the religious right. Is the IRS discriminating against the religious left? How do churches know when they've crossed the line? Why do we have a religious tax exemption in the first place?

Credits

Guests:
Edwin Bacon - Director of All Saints Church, Eric Stanley - Chief Counsel for Liberty Counsel, Barry W. Lynn - Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Edward McCaffery - Dean of the USC Law School

Host:
Lawrence O'Donnell

Producers:
Frances Anderton, Katie Cooper, Vanessa Romo