Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Beating Into the Ground the Fable of the Church Supposedly Investigated by the IRS for an Antiwar Sermon

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:07 am

Remember the Fable of the Church Singled Out by the IRS for Its Antiwar Sermon? An L.A. Times story the other day elaborated on the fable by implausibly claiming that the sermon was critical of John Kerry. The article stated:

The IRS contends All Saints violated tax laws two days before the 2004 election by allowing Regas, who was a guest speaker, to deliver a sermon that was critical of Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry but heaped particular scorn on President Bush and the war in Iraq.

Ah, so the sermon was critical of Kerry, was it? Where is the evidence of that? I have three posts about the L.A. Times coverage of the sermon and the IRS investigation (here, here, and here), and I have never seen a shred of evidence that the sermon was in any way critical of Kerry.

Granted, I haven’t seen the whole text of the sermon. But Cathy Seipp has, and she says:

Although Regas called his sermon “If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush,” he didn’t imagine Jesus sitting there awkwardly on a third stool, like Ross Perot, but as a presence directly criticizing only Bush, never Kerry. . . .

Who are you going to trust, Cathy Seipp or some L.A. Times reporter — who writes for a newspaper that has consistently misrepresented the contents of the sermon from Day One?

I’ve made my decision. How about you?

6 Responses to “L.A. Times Beating Into the Ground the Fable of the Church Supposedly Investigated by the IRS for an Antiwar Sermon”

  1. Presbyterian minister Mark D. Roberts has a very in-depth dissection of the sermon on his blog.

    His conclusion:

    Though the sermon didn’t explicitly endorse John Kerry, it slammed George W. Bush at every turn. If you were to ask those who heard the sermon, “Whom does Rev. Regas want you to vote for on Tuesday?” I’m sure that every single person, no matter their political persuasion, would have answered, “John Kerry.” I continue to wonder if the Times reporters have bothered to read the sermon at all, or if they, like other pundits, have simply bought the spin that Regas’s sermon was merely an “antiwar sermon” that endorsed no candidate.

    Religious Zealot (7c7c58)

  2. I don’t like the idea of even this horrid sermon being studied by the IRS. They should have nothing whatsoever to do with sermons.

    Why not allow all political contributions to be tax deductible? Eliminate even the hint of constraint on freedom of speech. Ministers should not have to think about the IRS when they prepare a sermon. Let them say whatever they want. And it would encourage political donations, which are a form of free speech.

    I don’t want to pay bureaucrats and lawyers to decide what is political and what is not.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  3. You can read the sermon by going to this link (PDF File).

    Bottom line – you don’t need to be a bureaucrat or lawyer to figure out that the sermon was meant to influence the way the congregation voted.

    Which is a big no-no.

    Instead of trying to influence an election, the pastor should spend his time trying to influence his congregation to live Christian lives.

    Religious Zealot (7c7c58)

  4. How is it that the government (in the persona of political candidates) can, at their political peril, discuss their religon but,Rabbis, Pastors and Priests cannot discuss (again at their political peril)their politcal preference? It seems that only secular society has constitutional protection. Amphipolis nailed on the head as well.

    paul from fl (464e99)

  5. Rabbis, Pastors and priest CAN discuss their political preferences inlight of political/social issues.

    Every week anti-war sermons are preached around the nation.

    Every week sermons are preached on topics like taxes, welfare, racisim, sexism, etc. etc.

    Rabbis, Pastors and priests can even make it known to their congregation who they will vote for.

    They just CAN’T preach a sermon during the election cycle that attempts to influence how the congregation votes.

    The Times and the church itself are being disingenuous over this whole thing.

    Religious Zealot (3d1913)

  6. More of the liberal bias from the SMELL A TIMES

    krazy kagu (9baf51)

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