2006-09-25

CIVIL LIBS-CHURCH & STATE selective persecution

Beware when state oppresses church, even if it’s not your church; it soon will be.

 

Isn’t it interesting that a liberal, Episcopal church has run afoul of the IRS?

 

It is an outrageous use of government power to go after this particular church, as it represents the first action taken by the IRS, in this regard, since the Bush administration assumed office. This is the very same IRS that has studiously ignored some 100 cases – every one, save this one, involving a fundamentalist church – under investigation by the Clinton administration at the time they left office – guess they couldn’t put any of those cases together, eh?

 

Since 2000, there have been numerous and well-documented instances of fundamentalist churches becoming intimately involved in the election process; many to the point of handing out brochures, as parishioners exited the church after service, with the results of questionnaires and a not-subtle plea to vote for the candidates who “reflect our values.” Other records show clear use of church facilities and resources, on a consistent and sustained basis, for this or that political purpose. This IRS has failed to file against a single right-of-center church.

 

The record on this type of abuse by church, of state, is clear as a bell: one can count on the fingers of one hand the more liberal churches which have engaged in this unconstitutional behaviour over the past 30 years. In contrast, fundamentalist churches, since the mid 70s, have a rich history of separation-type transgressions; occasionally inadvertent, but mostly with plenty of proof of attempts to cover up their activities.

 

This action by the Bush IRS (they have politicized and cronyized all but a very few oversight agencies) is nothing less than police-state oppression of protected speech; and pretty damned obvious, at that.

 

NjW 09-23-06

 

 

 

Via MTA

Common Dreams News Center

Published on Friday, September 22, 2006 by the Los Angeles Times
All Saints Episcopal Church Won't Comply With IRS Probe
Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal parish board challenges a request to turn over documents in a case over a 2004 antiwar sermon.
by Louis Sahagun

A liberal Pasadena church on Thursday declared that it will refuse to comply with an IRS investigation into its tax-exemption status launched after a guest speaker was critical of President Bush in a sermon.

At a news conference attended by 50 cheering supporters gathered before the marble altar at All Saints Episcopal Church, the Rev. Ed Bacon said his 3,500-member congregation did not violate tax regulations barring tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates when a former rector, George F. Regas, criticized the Bush administration two days before the 2004 presidential election.

The Episcopal faith, the 58-year-old rector said, "calls us to speak to the issues of war and poverty, bigotry, torture, and all forms of terrorism … always stopping short of supporting or opposing political parties or candidates for public office."

Joined by members of other faiths, he added, "We are also not here for ourselves alone but to defend the freedom of pulpits in faith communities throughout our land."…

 

 

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“I think it would be a good idea.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  (when asked what he thought of Western civilization)

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Nigel J Watson  think@ij.net  727 822-9290 Real Estate Broker

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