All Saints 1, IRS 0

all_saints_church.jpg  Shortly before the 2004 presidential election, the Rev. George F. Regas, the former rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, told his congregation about his perspective on the president and the war in Iraq. Regas imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with Bush and Kerry and said that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either man.

He added, however, that he imagined Jesus telling 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.” The comments prompted the IRS to launch an aggressive investigation into the church’s alleged partisan conduct.

Last week, the investigation ended — and All Saints is in the clear.

The Internal Revenue Service has told a prominent Pasadena church that it has ended its lengthy investigation into a 2004 antiwar sermon, church leaders said Sunday.

The next question is whether the IRS went after the progressive church out of some kind of partisan vendetta.


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