When I read this article in the LA Times I wasn't surprised at all.
Antiwar remarks at All Saints in Pasadena were made two days before the 2004 election. The church is ordered to hand over records. The IRS investigation was triggered by an antiwar sermon delivered by its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, at the church two days before the 2004 presidential election.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), who unsuccessfully tried to launch a Government Accountability Office investigation into the IRS' probes of churches nationwide last year, called the summons "a very disturbing escalation" of the agency's scrutiny of All Saints. "I don't want religious organizations to become arms of campaigns," he said. "But they should be able to talk about issues of war and peace without fear of losing tax-exempt status. If they can't, they'll have little to say from the pulpit."
The extreme Christian Right pulled out all the stops during the '04 election and right now are planning a massive drive to elect Republicans in November,
Conservative Christian radio host James C. Dobson's national organization, Focus on the Family, said yesterday that it will work with affiliated groups in eight battleground states to mobilize evangelical voters in the November elections. In targeting individual churches the way political organizers traditionally pinpointed certain wards, Focus on the Family is filling a void left by the near-collapse of the Christian Coalition and stepping into an area where recent Republican Party efforts have created resentment among evangelicals....read on
Why isn't Dobson's group getting a little call from the IRS? Instead they're investigating liberal organizations--anyone have any idea why? This is an unbelievable intimidation tactic by this administration to stifle Liberal voices in religion. We've all heard repeatedly that Karl Rove's master plan for the '04 election was to turn out the religious vote and he did that by creating vile wedge issues like gay marriage. He knows that there are many Democrats who attend Church so now he's sicking the IRS on them to once again keep Democratic voters silenced.
Any man of God would be against war in almost every form and for an anti war sermon to trigger this investigation is ridiculous. Of course, the psychotic ranting of Jerry Falwell who bellowed ” blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” was not met with any scrutiny except from the blogs and he's supposed to represent the beliefs of a true Chrisitan leader?
Another red flag might have been raised for the IRS's Political Activity Compliance Initiative when Karl Rove called James Dobson to assure him that Harriet Miers was the right choice for him.
He then admitted "It was leaked to the media that I've had conversations with Karl Rove and the White House, which is true." He said "There is so much in the balance [with this nominee], there is no way to put it into words . . . Because of that, Dobson is begging the Lord: "If this is not the person you want on that Supreme Court, all you have to do is tell me so, and do it through any means you want to." He finally then discussed why he is supporting Miers, saying "I can't reveal it all, because I do know things that I'm privy to that I can't describe, because of confidentiality."
Arlen Specter had hinted at calling him as a witness before his committee until the extreme right forced Miers to bow out, That destroyed their pleas of an up or down vote for any candidate to the courts that George Bush nominated. It seems like forever when Bill Frist threatened to push a ban on filibusters because of this issue.
I hope the Church and Rev. George F. Regas doesn't back down and fights this atrocity. Meanwhile, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative should be looking into the tax status of groups like Focus on the Family who really do endorse poltical parties if they are really serious about their venture. Oh...and remember when Pastor Chan Chandler asked nine members to leave his Church if they didn't support George Bush over John Kerry? georgia10 had more on that story.