FROM Eric Stanley
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?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.