Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Church loses tax-exempt status

Churches fall under the non-profit status, and therefore, qualifies for tax exemption.

However, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of its anti-war sermon by Rev. George F Regas. Rev. George F Regas has spoken out against war in general, against the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and now the Iraq War.

He criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, 'Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcible changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.'

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections. The IRS cited the sermon as a 'searing indictment of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq' and noted that the sermon described 'tax cuts as inimical to the values of Jesus'.

IRS said that if there was a confession of wrongdoing, they would not proceed to the exam stage. They would be willing not to revoke tax-exempt status if the church admitted intervening in an election.,0,6769876.story?coll=la-home-headlines,0,2552376.story?track=tothtml

The IRS may need to raise revenue, but this is not a good way.


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