FROM Edwin Bacon
IRS Closes Its Investigation of Pasadena Church But Says Speech Was Still Illegal On Sunday, two days before the 2004 presidential election, a former pastor told Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church that “good people of profound faith” could support either President Bush or Senator Kerry. But he also said that Jesus would have told Mr. Bush that the preemptive war in Iraq “has led to disaster.” Six months later, the IRS told All Saints that its tax-exempt status was in danger. Yesterday, the current pastor, Edwin Bacon, told the congregation the investigation is over .
IRS Challenges Churches that Preach Politics 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?
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