Tuesday, November 15, 2005

IRS attacks churches critical of president

Letter to Baltimore Sun--Published 11/15/05

I was in total disbelief the first time I read the small news item "Anti-war sermon elicits IRS threat" (Nov. 8).

The article notes that the IRS has warned a liberal church in Los Angeles that it might lose its tax-exempt status because a reverend had articulated his opposition to the war in Iraq (and tax cuts) on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.

He did not, however, advocate the election of either candidate.

In this country, apparently, a church or any religious institution can run afoul of the government if it had the audacity to espouse peace instead of war. God forbid.

The hypocrisy of such a standard is blatant.

While the tax-exempt status of the church in question is in jeopardy for supposedly "intervening in political campaigns and elections," one must call into question the numerous churches that publicly endorsed President Bush and actively supported such divisive issues in the 2004 campaign as a ban on gay marriage to garner more turnout and votes.

It seems that the IRS selectively applies its regulations to those who oppose White House policies as a form of retribution.

Sound familiar?

Steve Charing
Clarksville

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