IRS Threatens to Revoke Exempt Status of Church for Antiwar Sermon

The Internal Revenue Service threatened to revoke the tax-exempt status of Pasadena’s All Saints Episcopal Church because of an antiwar sermon delivered two days before the 2004 presidential election.  On June 9, 2005, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church" because 501(c)(3) exempt organizations are prohibited from intervening in political campaigns.  What’s troubling is that the sermon delivered by Rev. George F. Regas did not advocate for a particular candidate and included the explicit statement that "good people of profound faith" could vote for either candidate, George W. Bush or John Kerry.  Rather, Regas criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, "Mr. President, your doctrine of preempitve war is a failed doctrine.  Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster."

Click here for the story in the L.A. Times.