"Blessed are the Peace Makers?"

Right, RIGHT?

A liberal church in California under investigation for a sermon speaking out against the war. Apparently, this sermon, a few days before the 2004 sermon, is endangering the Church's non-profit status. From Gay.com:

Under federal tax law, church officials can legally discuss politics, but to retain tax-exempt status, they cannot endorse candidates or parties. Most who do so receive a warning.

According to the IRS, the only church ever to be stripped of its tax-exempt status for partisan politicking was the Church at Pierce Creek near Binghamton, N.Y., which was penalized in 1995 after running full-page newspaper ads against Bill Clinton during the 1992 election season.
It doesn't seemt to me that any specific candidate was endorsed. (Both candidates, Kerry and Bush, would have continued the War in Iraq.) On top of that, this doesn't seem to be a case where the church spoke out against something outside the scope of their theology. Matthew 5:9 is pretty clear.

I'm not in favor of increased politics in the pulpit (at least if I'm going to continue to subsidize the pulpit with tax exemptions) but I do think that some degree of fairness is needed. The Church, All Saints Church in Los Angeles, did not endorse a candidate, provide a membership list to a political party, encourage monetary donations, or allow political organizing within the church.

That said, if the only church that's threatened with loss of tax exempt status is a liberal one, I'm going to raise holy hell. Pun intended.

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