Repent, IRS

first_imgTHE controversial sermon at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena shortly before the 2004 election was clearly intended to criticize President Bush. So what?The IRS has been investigating the church, claiming it violated its tax-exempt status by engaging in politicking. But that charge doesn’t seem to stick.While outright campaigning for or against politicians would be an obvious violation of the tax code, anything less ought to be fair game in how a church goes about its business.Preachers naturally talk about morality, and morality necessarily figures into every political decision we make — or at least it should. If religious leaders were to be kept from talking about issues such as war, abortion, the minimum wage or marriage just because these subjects also veer into the realm of politics, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs.And when the IRS gets in the business of deciding which sermons are acceptable and which aren’t, we risk the danger of political targeting and religious harassment. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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