Friday, September 22, 2006

More on the IRS @ All Saints

Some "news round up" on the All Saints/IRS story:

New York Times:
A California church under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for possible violations of laws against political activities by churches has denied the agency’s request for documents.
The decision forces the I.R.S. either to drop the case or to ask the Justice Department to take the church, All Saints Episcopal Church, in Pasadena, to court. The agency could also revoke the church’s tax exemption, but legal experts said that was unlikely. read it all here

Los Angeles Times:
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." read it all here

Episcopal News Service:
The Rev. J. Edwin Bacon, rector of All Saints Church, announced September 21 that he will not turn over parish records to Internal Revenue Service auditors, paving the way for a court hearing on allegations the church engaged in political campaigning.

"We are here not for ourselves alone but to defend the freedom of pulpits in faith communities throughout our land," said Bacon, who was flanked by a sea of Muslim, Jewish and Christian supporters, parishioners and Los Angeles-area clergy, among them the Rev. George Regas, whose anti-war sermon sparked the IRS' audit of the 3,500-member congregation.

"American pulpits in mosques, synagogues, temples and churches must not cower from the responsibility to speak truth to power, include any and every expression of American exceptionalism that through policy and practice values American life above other life," Bacon told the gathering. "All life is sacred to God. We are called by God's vision to turn the human race into the human family." read it all here

And CBS News:
Has a story, a video and a chance to vote on whether the church or the IRS is "out of line" ... check it out here

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