Monday, November 07, 2005

If These Are the Headlines . . .

At the risk of being accused of being overdramatic, I just want to ask one question:

Where are we?

Antiwar Sermon Brings IRS Warning

• All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena risks losing its tax-exempt status because of a former rector's remarks in 2004.

By Patricia Ward Biederman and Jason Felch, Times Staff Writers

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.

Rector J. Edwin Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told many congregants during morning services Sunday that a guest sermon by the church's former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004, had prompted a letter from the IRS.
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."

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that "a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church … " The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.

read the rest

Cheney Pushes Senate for CIA Exemption

By DAVID ESPO and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers Fri Nov 4, 6:45 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.

Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

read the rest

with thanks to Bill Cork

6 Comments:

Blogger mamagiglio said...

Both of those articles are absurd, but the one that really gets me is the torture one. It's ridiculous to me that the United States of America would even consider torture as a means to an end. That's not what we're founded on and if we're going to expect other countries to treat our soldiers in accordance with the Geneva Convention, we ought o abide by it ourselves. Torture is absolutely un-American.

Will someone please impeach Dick Cheney?

2:53 PM  
Anonymous "Omis" said...

What's really getting me is that at the same time Bush is declaring that "We do not torture," Cheney is in Congress pushing for an exemption to the anti-torture legislation.

Gotta love these guys.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Hector said...

The reason why people like Ghandi and Mother Teresa were so succesful and had such credibility is because they showed complete integrity in their lives. Many times the USA dooes a good job pointing out injustices or wrongs in the world. We are losing the credibility to do anything about them.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Gashwin said...

I'm waiting to see if there is outrage from the often conservative Catholic corner of the blogosphere. Or are we all slaves to our political ideologies?

10:56 AM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

G-

There are already is some. Bill Cork at Tischreden is a good example. Though he is catching some flack for changing his position on the war. But, I suspect he's not the only one. I bet many are afraid to admit it. Don't want to be accused of being a "flip-flopper"! (as if never changing your opinion was a virtue--not!!)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Mark, thanks so much for posting the references to these articles. I have passed on the information to our Pax Christi group.

I recently discovered your blog (through Susan Rose who I found through Sister Anne) and hope to visit regularly. My blog is http://fromwhereiwrite.blogspot.com. I haven't been as faithful at posting there, but I am pretty faithful at reading my preferred bloggers regularly.

Peace,
Lisa

7:21 PM  

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