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Church refuses to turn over records
Episcopal News Service ^ | Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Pat McCaughan

Posted on 09/22/2006 12:35:54 AM PDT by demonrum --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pasadena Congregation to Challenge IRS Summons

Episcopal News Service Issue: Section:

By: Pat McCaughan Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2006

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."

All Saints Senior Warden Bob Long's announcement that the congregation's 26-member vestry voted unanimously to challenge the IRS brought more than a hundred parishioners and others gathered at the Pasadena church to their feet in hearty approval and sustained applause.

"All Saints has nothing to hide from the IRS," Long said. "We came to this decision because we believe that these summonses intolerably infringe upon our Constitutional rights and the IRS regulations that embody those principles-namely, the First Amendment rights of this church to speak and worship freely-rights that are indispensable to this church and to faith communities throughout our great country."

He cautioned that the decision does not mean that All Saints will not provide the government with the information it legitimately deserves, but that "we have a moral responsibility to ensure the IRS's request for information is, in fact, legitimate."

A way to help: 'solidarity membership'

Members of both Jewish and Muslim faith communities announced they have become "solidarity members" of the 3,500-member Pasadena parish and as such, will help contribute toward legal costs.

"The voice of this church is deep and rich, season by decades of speaking about the component of justice in our society or the lack of it. In the 1940s when Japanese Americans were interned, the voice of All Saints Church spoke out against it...and it is no different today," Rabbi Neil Commess-Daniels told the gathering.

He encouraged his members at Temple Beth Shir Shalom to contribute a minimum pledge of $18 to help defray legal costs.

Bacon, who said that telephone calls, emails and letters in support of the congregation have been overwhelming, added that the vestry had officially voted in the new "solidarity membership" status. "No matter what religions someone is or if they have any concerns about religion, they are welcome to become a solidarity member of All Saints Church and may contribute any amount that is meaningful to them."

How Would Jesus Vote? An Anti-War Sermon

The IRS had notified the church on June 9, 2005 of its investigation into whether or not the church had violated its tax-exempt status by engaging in political campaigning after Regas' preached Oct. 31, two days before the 2004 Presidential election.

Regas prefaced criticism about both Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush by saying: "I don't intend to tell you how to vote." He also criticized the Iraq War, and Bush economic, abortion and other social policies and urged parishioners, to vote "all your values. Bring a sensitive conscience to that ballot box."

Church attorneys had asked that the agency's request for parish documents be reissued as a summons. Last week, on Sept. 15, the IRS served the church with a summons requesting 17 requirements that information, documents and testimony regarding All Saints' relationship with Regas be made available by Sept. 29. The request included such 2004 documents as parish articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies regarding political campaign intervention, newsletters, vestry meeting minutes and financial and other information pertaining to Regas' association with the parish, including web pages if his sermon was posted prior to the Nov. 2 election date.

The summons also requested that Bacon appear before IRS investigators on Oct. 11.

After Bacon's refusal, the matter will probably be referred to the U.S. Department of Justice and then, perhaps to the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Bacon has called the audit politically-motivated and an intrusion into the church's right to the free exercise of religion. He questioned the IRS compliance with its own procedural safeguards to protect churches from unnecessary and intrusive audits.

"The timing of the renewed investigation also raises concerns that it may reflect an attempt to chill the Church's discussions of fundamental religious issues with policy implications before the mid-term elections, and in a way that intrudes into core religious practice," Bacon said.

He said that, nearly a year had passed without any communication from the IRS but with Nov. 7 mid-term elections approaching, the agency had suddenly renewed its investigation.

"We will persist in both teaching our core principles and expressing them in our actions," Bacon has said. "The sermon in question expressed without partisanship our values of peacemaking and of working for healing, human rights, and justice in solidarity with the poor, vulnerable and marginalized in our society. These values cannot and will not be abandoned solely because there is an election cycle."

Bacon, in a sermon preached Sunday, Sept. 18, told a standing room only congregation of about 900 that the church has "no choice about whether or not to be neutral in the face of dehumanization, injustice and violence. Our faith mandates that always stopping short of endorsing or opposing political candidates, the church neither be silent nor indifferent when there are public policies causing detriment to the least of these."

Free Speech, Religion Threatened?

Marcus S. Owens, lead counsel for All Saints Church, said fighting the audit is crucial to the future of nonprofit and church agencies because of the First Amendment implications of the government's examination. He cited the Aug. 31, 2006 judicial reversal of a similar IRS audit of the NAACP after chairman Julian Bond criticized Bush policies.

"The recent unilateral reversal of the IRS position in the NAACP case raises a serious question as to whether the IRS has any legal basis for continuing its review of All Saints," said Owens, of Caplin and Drysdale. "In the interest of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, it is imperative that the IRS complies with the Congressionally-mandated protections for religious institutions. We simply cannot accept any less in this case."

Raphael Tulino, an IRS spokesperson for Southern California, declined comment on the All Saints audit, because it is an ongoing investigation. But he cited a Feb. 24, 2006 report on the agency's website which indicated nearly 75 percent of 82 similar audits concluded that "tax-exempt organizations, including churches, had engaged in some level of prohibited campaign activity" during the 2004 elections.

IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said in the report that procedures were changed and investigations are up because of a "disturbing amount of political intervention in the 2004 electoral cycle. As the 2006 electoral season approaches, we are going to provide more and better guidance and move quickly to address prohibited activities."

It is against federal law for organizations with tax-exempt status to directly or indirectly participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for political office. The law went into effect with the Revenue Act of 1954 and has been upheld as constitutional.

All Saints' Senior Warden Bob Long said that the 125-year-old congregation's attorneys have been asked to inform the IRS of the congregation's intention to challenge the summons in court.

"This gives us the opportunity to seek the Court's help in protecting our First Amendent rights of free speech and religion, and to call the IRS to task for failing to comply with its own regulations," he said.

© 2004, The Episcopal Church, USA. Episcopal News Service content may be reprinted without permission as long as credit is given to ENS.

TOPICS: Activism; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
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1 posted on 09/22/2006 12:35:54 AM PDT by demonrum
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To: demonrum

There's a lot of words there--&, to judge from a lot of what I've read on this site, longer posts are kinda skipped over; so let me give you the jist:

A guest pastor gave a sermon that could've been viewed (although not by anyone present except maybe by one, who ran wee wee wee all the way to the IRS) as politically partisan.

I'm interested to see what sort of discussion this might provoke.

(If any. There are, after all, a LOT of words in that article.)

Bear in mind, though--no matter your denomination, your faith, your church--this has serious implications. I don't know how how else to say it.

2 posted on 09/22/2006 12:49:33 AM PDT by demonrum ("God doesn't take sides. What would be the point?")
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To: demonrum
You're right. It's too many words. I think I read enough of it to form an opinion.

I don't like the current IRS code regarding what can be spoken from the pulpit, even when it includes specific support for a political candidate. Parishioners can leave a church that handles this in a way they disagree. That said, the law is the law. Follow it or work to get it changed, which is where I think this is now heading.
3 posted on 09/22/2006 1:14:57 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly

But which law--the first amendment, or the tax code?

4 posted on 09/22/2006 1:38:45 AM PDT by demonrum ("God doesn't take sides. What would be the point?")
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To: demonrum

The tax code should be challenged on this issue, because I think it violates the first amendment.

5 posted on 09/22/2006 1:42:33 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly

Excerpts from:

On the Right To Rebel Against Governors
An Election Sermon preached to the Council and House Of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
(The complete text is contained in
The Pulpit of the American Revolution)

May 29, 1776
by: Rev. Samuel West, A.M. (1730-1807)
Pastor, Congregational Church of Dartmouth

“From hence it follows that tyranny and arbitrary power are utterly inconsistent with and subversive of the very end and design of civil government, and directly contrary to natural law, which is the true foundation of civil government and all politic law. Consequently, the authority of a tyrant is of itself null and void...”
from Rev. Samuel West's Election Sermon

Preface by Peter Kershaw: This election sermon preached by Rev. Samuel West has come to be known by the title of, "On The Right To Rebel Against Governors."

This is a most unfortunate title, and it is not a title that Samuel West himself used to describe his sermon. The terms "rebel" and "rebellion" were commonly used by the British king and parliament to characterize the actions of the American Colonists. However, many of the most noteworthy patriots were often quick to challenge "rebellion" as a complete mischaracterization:

"We are not exciting rebellion. Opposition, nay, open, avowed resistance by arms against usurpation and lawless violence, is not rebellion by the law of God or the land."
John Adams

Resistance to tyranny does not constitute rebellion. As John Adams noted, "Resistance to lawful authority makes rebellion."

None of the Colonies had violated their charters with the king of England. However, the king had repeatedly violated his charters with the American Colonies. Furthermore, the king permitted to British Parliament to impose laws and collect taxes on the Colonies when they had no lawful jurisdiction to do so. As such, it was the king who became a law unto himself (rex lex) and, thusly, who became the real rebel.

Patriot pastors, such as Samuel West, served the Colonies in courageous fashion by articulating from the Word of God their duty to obey all lawful authority and to resist any and all tyrannical rulers, even to the point of taking up arms to defend their God-given rights and duties.

As was typical of election sermons, Rev. West's election sermon was published by the Massachusetts Assembly and widely distributed throughout the Colonies. Copies of it were even sent to King George III and the British Parliament to serve as a remonstrance against their tyrannies. Samual West was, thusly, marked out as a member of the "Black Regiment" by King George and a bounty put on his head.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.

The great Creator, having designed the human race for society, has made us dependent on one another for happiness. He has so constituted us that it becomes both our duty and interest to seek the public good; and that we may be the more firmly engaged to promote each others welfare, the Deity has endowed us with tender and social affection, with generous and benevolent principles. . .

The Deity has also invested us with moral powers and faculties, by which we are enabled to discern the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil. . .

This proves that , in what is commonly called a state of nature, we are the subjects of the divine law and government, that the Deity is our supreme magistrate, who has written his law in our hearts, and will reward or punish us according as we obey or disobey his commands. Had the human race uniformly persevered in a state of moral rectitude, there would have been little or no need of any other law besides that which is written in the heart,-for every one in such a state would be a law unto himself.

The necessity of forming ourselves into politic bodies, and granting to our rulers a power to enact laws for the public safety, and to enforce them by proper penalties, arises from our being in a fallen and degenerate state.

It is certainly a matter of the utmost importance to us all to be thoroughly acquainted with the nature and extent of our duty, that we may yield the obedience required; for it is impossible that we should properly discharge a duty when we are strangers to the nature and extent of it.

In order, therefore, that we may form a right judgment of the duty enjoined to our text, I shall consider the nature and design of civil government, and shall show that the same principles which oblige us to submit to government do equally oblige us to resist tyranny; or that tyranny and magistracy are so opposed to each other that where the one begins, the other ends.

The law of nature gives men no right to do anything that is immoral, or contrary to the will of God, and injurious to their fellow-creatures; for a state of nature is properly a state of law and government, even a government founded upon the unchangeable nature of the Deity, and a law resulting form the eternal fitness of things.

It is our duty to endeavor always to promote the general good; to do to all as we would be willing to be done by were we in their circumstances; to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. These are some of the laws of nature which every man in the world is bound to observe, and which whoever violates exposes himself to the resentment of mankind, the lashes of his own conscience, and the judgment of Heaven. This plainly shows that the highest state of liberty subjects us to the law of nature and the government of God. The most perfect freedom consists of obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law.

Men of unbridled lusts, were they not restrained by the power of the civil magistrate, would spread horror and desolation all around them. This makes it absolutely necessary that societies should form themselves into politic bodies, that they may enact laws for the public safety, and appoint particular penalties for the violation of their laws, and invest a suitable number of persons with authority to put in execution and enforce the laws of the state, in order that wicked men may be restrained from doing mischief to their fellow-creatures, that the injured may have their rights restored to them, and that the virtuous may be encouraged in doing good, and that every member of society may be protected and secured in the peaceable , quiet possession and enjoyment of all those liberties and privileges which the Deity has bestowed upon him. This shows that the end and design of civil government cannot be to deprive men of their liberty or take away their freedom; but on the contrary, the true design of civil gover

As magistrates have no authority but what they derive from the people, whenever they act contrary to the public good, and pursue measures destructive of the peace and safety of the community, they forfeit their right to govern the people.

Though magistrates are to consider themselves as the servants of the people, seeing from them it is that they derive their authority, yet they may also be considered as the ministers of God ordained by Him for the good of mankind.

When a people have by their free consent conferred upon a number of men a power to rule and govern them, they are bound to obey them. Hence, disobedience becomes a breach of faith.

Such conduct discovers so base and disingenuous a temper of mind, that it must expose them to contempt in the judgment of all the sober, thinking part of mankind.

It is also necessary that the minor part should submit to the major; e.g. when legislators have enacted a set of laws which are highly approved by a large number of the community as tending to promote the public good, in this case if a small number of persons are so unhappy as to view the matter in a very different point of light from the public, though they have an undoubted right to show the reasons of their dissent from the judgment of the public, and may lawfully use all proper arguments to convince the public of what they judge to be an error, yet, if they fail in their attempt, and the majority still continue to approve of the laws that are enacted, it is the duty of those few that dissent peaceably and for consciences’ sake to submit to the public judgment, unless something is required of them which they would judge to be sinful to comply with; for in that case they ought to obey the dictates of their own consciences rather than any human authority whatever.

The only difficulty remaining is to determine when a people may claim a right of forming themselves into a body politic, and assume the powers of a legislation.

. . . [H]ence comes the necessity of appointing delegates to represent the people in a general assembly. And this ought to be looked upon as a sacred and inalienable right, of which a people cannot justly divest themselves, and which no human authority can in equity ever take from, viz., that no one be obliged to submit to any law except such as are made either by himself or by his representative.

A wise and good man would be very much loth to undermine a constitution that was once fixed and established, although he might discover many imperfections in it; and nothing short of the most urgent necessity would ever induce him to consent to it.

. . . [T]he same principles that oblige us to submit to civil government do also equally oblige us to , where we have power and ability, to resist and oppose tyranny; and that where tyranny begins government ends. For, if magistrates have no authority but what they derive from the people; if they are properly of human creation; if the whole end and design of their institution is to promote the general good, and to secure to men their just rights, it will follow, that when they act contrary to the end and design of their creation they cease being magistrates, and the people which gave them their authority have the right to take it from them again.

As our duty of obedience to the magistrate is founded upon our obligation to promote the general good, our readiness to obey lawful authority will always arise in proportion to the love and regard that we have for the welfare of the public; and the same love and regard for the public will inspire us with as strong a zeal to oppose tyranny as we have to obey the magistracy. Our obligation to promote the public good extends as much to the opposing every exertion of arbitrary power that is injurious to the state as it does to the submitting to good and wholesome laws. No man, therefore, can be a good member of the community that is not as zealous to oppose tyranny as he is ready to obey the magistracy.

If magistrates are ministers of God only because the law of God and reason points out the necessity of such an institution for the good of mankind, it follows, that whenever they pursue measures directly destructive to the public good they cease being God’s ministers, for forfeit their right to obedience from the subject, they become the pests of society, and the community is under the strongest obligation of duty, both to God and to its own members, to resist and oppose them which will be so far resisting the ordinance of God that it will be strictly obeying his commands. To suppose otherwise will imply that the Deity requires of us and obedience that is self-contradictory and absurd; e.g., while He commands us to pursue virtue and the general good, He does , at the same time require us to persecute virtue, and betray the general good, by enjoining us obedience to the wicked commands of tyrannical oppressors. Can any one not lost to the principles of humanity undertake to defend such absurd sentiments a

If men have at any time wickedly and foolishly given up their just rights into the hands of the magistrate, such acts are null and void, of course.

And as nothing tends like religion and the fear of God to make men good members of the commonwealth, it is the duty of magistrates to become the patrons and promoters of religion and piety, and to make suitable laws for the maintaining public worship, and decently supporting the teachers of religion.

But for the civil authority to pretend to establish particular modes of faith and forms of worship, and to punish all that deviate from the standard which our superiors have set up, is attended with the most pernicious consequences to society. It cramps all free and rational inquiry, fills the world with hypocrites and superstitious bigots - nay, with infidels and skeptics; it exposes men of religion and conscience to the rage and malice of fiery, blind zealots, and dissolves every tender tie of human nature; in short, it intrduces confusion and every evil work.

From this account of civil government we learn that the businesss of magistrates is weighty and important. It requires both wisdom and integrity. When either are wanting, government will be poorly administered; more especially if our governors are men of loose morals and abandoned principles; for is a man is not faithful to God and his own soul, how can we expect that he will be faithful to the public?

But though I would recommend to all Christians, as a part of the duty that we owe the magistrates, to treat them with proper honor and respect, none can reasonably suppose that I mean that they ought to be flattered in their vices, or honored and caressed while they are seeking to undermine and ruin the state; for this would be wickedly betraying our just rights, and we should be guilty of our own destruction. We ought ever to persevere with firmness and fortitude in maintaining and contending for all that liberty that the Deity has granted us.

To save our country from the hands of our oppressors ought to be dearer to us even than our own lives, and, next the eternal salvation of our own souls, is the thing of the greatest importance, - a duty so sacred that it cannot justly be dispensed with for the sake of our secular concerns.

My reverend fathers and brethren in the ministry will remember that, according to our text, it is part of the work and business of a gospel minister to teach his hearers the duty they owe to magistrates. Let us, then, endeavor to explain the nature of their duty faithfully, and show them the difference between liberty and licentiousness; and, while we are animating them to oppose tyranny and arbitrary power, let us inculcate upon them the duty of yielding due obedience to lawful authority. In order to the right and faithful discharge of this part of our ministry, it is necessary that we should thoroughly study the law of nature, the rights of mankind, and the reciprocal duties of governors and governed. By this means we shall be able to guard them against the extremes of slavish submission to tyrants on one hand, and of sedition and licentiousness on the other. We may, I apprehend, attain a thorough acquaintance with the law of nature and the rights of mankind, while we remain ignorant of many technical terms of law, and are utterly unacquainted with the obscure and barbarous Latin that was so much used in the ages of popish darkness and Superstition.

To conclude: While we are fighting for liberty, and striving against tyranny, let us remember to fight the good fight of faith, and earnestly seek to be delivered from that bondage of corruption which we are brought into by sin, and that we may be made partakers of the glorious liberty of the sons and children of God: which may the Father of Mercies grant us all, through Jesus Christ. AMEN.

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6 posted on 09/22/2006 2:34:44 AM PDT by knarf (Muslims kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
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To: demonrum

There is no doubt in my mind that the IRS has no business telling any church what a pastor can or cannot preach. Also, in my opinion there is no "tax exemption" that the IRS "gives" to churches. They must not be taxed because it curtails their independence and it impedes free worship.

I am a very conservative pastor, yet I fully support this liberal church on the issue of freedom of expression in churches.

In fact, I support freedom of expression in every election. I STRONGLY oppose McCain/Feingold that strips average Americans of their right to speak during election cycles, while permitting media groups and political parties to speak all they want.

7 posted on 09/22/2006 5:08:32 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troo This means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: demonrum

It is time to redefine what is meant by politicking by tax exempt organizations. I think some religious organizations have abused the privilege for a long time, especially in the so-called "black churches" where political candidates appear and give "sermons" which are little more than campaign speeches dressed up with biblical quotes. In addition, a lot of "liberal" churches are defining true religion as the quest for "social justice" which is highly reminiscent of a certain failed political ideology.

So should the IRS look into this? To the extent the law is vague, I support an attempt to clarify it. Now this reverend thinks it is intimidation in the shadow of mid-term elections but this is a cyclical issue so it will almost always be near election times when the definition of a sermon becomes relevant. And it seems to me that the IRS has selected a "white" congregation probably to pursue this rather than going after the black congregations where one hears a lot of questionable sermons and "guest preachers" like Clinton, Kerry, Chavez, Castro, etc.

Should the IRS be able to dictate content of sermons? It seems like a pretty difficult issue. What constitutes campaigning for a political candidate? Mentioning him or her by name or preaching sermons and campaigning for the issues that define his or her campaign? Like the pastor online, I support the ability to speak out plainly and let the chips fall where they may but at the same time I believe many religious sects has become so empty of true religion that they have become little more than political action committees: anything to keep from mentioning unpopular things like sin, redemption, morality.

In fact I support getting rid of all these "crimes by mouth" that plague the country (except fire in the theater). We're only fooling ourselves to believe that changing the words people can speak is somehow changing their character also. Truth will out and if a church or other gagged party wants to support a particular cause,it will find a way anyway.

I say this as one who has been at the forefront of a fight with the IRS with my faith. The IRS can clearly abuse its privileges also. In our case, a scam resulted in the donation to my church of parcels in land in Nevada which had been fraudulently valued by the scammer and sold to various parties with the idea that they could donate the worthless land to charitable organizations and claim the inflated valuations on their tax returns. It was not just our church that was involved. It included the Boy Scouts, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc etc. At any rate, the IRS caught onto the scam and subpoenaed the records of those who donated to our church and school. We cooperated fully with that subpoena. But then the IRS decided that the scam gave it the right to subpoena information about any and all in-kind (i.e., non-cash) donations and this we resisted. As a legal representative of the school, I can well recall an IRS agent's advice to me to pack a toothbrush because I was going to be jailed if I continued to refuse their demands. (No, I didn't end up in jail.) So abuse is definitely a hallmark of the IRS but maybe we need a better definition of this law or a repeal of the law for everyone's sake. If the church wants to put together a coalitian to fight this, more power to it.

8 posted on 09/22/2006 6:12:42 AM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: demonrum

I actually went to this "church" until I was "silenced" for criticizing Clinton/Lewinsky. Secularism is god there. On the other hand though, the IRS can go to Hell.

9 posted on 09/22/2006 10:40:31 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: knarf

Good read, good resource.

10 posted on 09/22/2006 11:37:46 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly
I found that about 4 or 5 years ago when there was some controversy about a church and pastor having IRS troubles for speaking politics from the pulpit.
I always suspected our nation was motivated as much from the pulpit as from the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers and et-cetera's.

I never forgot Samuel West.

11 posted on 09/22/2006 11:46:53 AM PDT by knarf (Muslims kill each other ... News wall-to-wall, 24/7 .. don't touch that dial.)
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To: caseinpoint
In fact I support getting rid of all these "crimes by mouth" that plague the country (except fire in the theater).

I think we need to keep fire in the theater & incitement to riot. Beyond that, I agree.

We're only fooling ourselves to believe that changing the words people can speak is somehow changing their character also.

If you haven't read, "Political Correctness — The Revenge of Marxism", IMHO, it is well worth reading.

Theodore Dalrymple: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

12 posted on 09/22/2006 11:57:58 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: knarf
While my thinking goes back further to "The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude" by Étienne de la Boétie & the Huguenot pamphleteers who printed & distributed his work.

The Protestant "uprising" begun by Luther had far reaching consequences.
13 posted on 09/22/2006 12:10:56 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly

Thank you for that post and link. I obviously had not thoroughly thought out the deleterious effects on character of silence or acquiescence in the face of a blatant lie. It makes it even more imperative that good people challenge political correctness whenever possible. As I am approaching genuine curmudgeonhood age, I guess I should strap on my sword and flail away, though I look more like Pancho Sanchez than Don Quixote. ;o)

14 posted on 09/22/2006 12:28:07 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: caseinpoint

That link is from an article at FR. Our nation was forged in open dialog, much of it unsettling & radical for its time.

When IRS code is used to control or regulate one kind of opinion spoken in our churches, it's not difficult to see our government reaching in even further. Yes, many churches have devolved into little more than secular clubs, empowering government to define what is secular or religious is dangerous, especially when it is done from the Federal level.

In my younger days my job was located in the inner city. I've watched the destructive nature of political correctness in action. I have to remind myself that good people are stuck living in neighborhoods I won't go into anymore. In some of my windmill tilting moments I'm tempted to go to a church in one of those neighborhoods. There's challenge & then there's incitement to riot. lol

15 posted on 09/22/2006 1:32:37 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: GoLightly

Would want you burned (in effigy) at one of those churches. Keep your wits and let your heart and spirit guide your actions. Sometimes we have to be satisfied with being little steps on the way to a grand result. Forgot to say I really enjoy reading Dalrymple. The sane continental mindset is fascinating and instructive.

16 posted on 09/22/2006 1:55:35 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: caseinpoint

Meanta to say would NOT want you burned in effigy or otherwise. Sugar low, I guess.

17 posted on 09/22/2006 6:19:38 PM PDT by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things.)
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To: GoLightly
...IRS code regarding what can be spoken from the pulpit...

I must admit, I have always accepted, agreed, that churches should not be venues for political opinions. I based this on the fact that they enjoy a tax-exempt position.

On the other hand, I believe that governments do not have the right to withhold any portion of an employer's income.

In essence, the IRS should be abolished. This country needs to adopt another, more equitable way, of supporting it's governing bodies, both federal and state. If churches are included in this support, so be it. They are free then, without question, to comment on the political scene.

18 posted on 09/23/2006 12:45:43 AM PDT by IIntense
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To: demonrum

Related posts about this liberal church that received the treatment that liberals hoped the IRS would give instead to conservative churches:

19 posted on 09/23/2006 11:45:23 AM PDT by polymuser (There is one war and one enemy.)
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To: ahadams2; cf_river_rat; fgoodwin; secret garden; MountainMenace; SICSEMPERTYRANNUS; kaibabbob; ...
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
More Anglican articles here.

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

20 posted on 09/23/2006 5:43:10 PM PDT by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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