Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tax Evasion

Should those dioceses whose Bishops more or less endorsed George Bush in the last presidential election lose their tax exempt status? If you follow the logic of the recent IRS investigation, which I spoke of in a previous post, maybe so (look out Denver). Today's New York Times editorial on the matter is right on the money, so to speak.

Taxing an Unfriendly Church

Shortly before the last election, a former rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., gave a fiery antipoverty and antiwar sermon. He did not endorse a presidential candidate, but he criticized President Bush's policies in Iraq and at home. Now the Internal Revenue Service has challenged the church's tax-exempt status . . .

I.R.S. officials have said about 20 churches are being investigated for activities across the political spectrum that could jeopardize their tax status . . .

That should mean that the 2004 presidential campaign would be an extremely fertile field. While some churches allowed Democrats to speak from the pulpit, the conservative Christians last year mounted an especially intense - and successful - drive to keep President Bush in office. Some issued voter guides that pointedly showed how their own religion was allied with Mr. Bush's views. Several Roman Catholic bishops even suggested that a vote for John Kerry would be a mortal sin . . .

Read the whole thing here.


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