The Internal Revenue Service has warned one of Southern California’s largest and most liberal churches that it is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of an antiwar sermon two days before the 2004 presidential election.
. . . In his sermon, Regas, who from the pulpit opposed both the Vietnam War and 1991’s Gulf War, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. Regas said that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support.
But he criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, “Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.”
[. . .] “We are so careful at our church never to endorse a candidate,” Bacon said in a later interview.
“One of the strongest sermons I’ve ever given was against President Clinton’s fraying of the social safety net.”
How many “conservative” churches that DO tell parishioners how to vote have received similar letters? Has the Heritage Foundation, also a “501c3” charity, received a similar letter? Jerry Falwell? James Dobson? Of course not.
But a minister gives a sermon saying that Jesus would be against the war, and he gets a threat-letter from the government.
Watch your backs!
Update – The Mahablog is on it.