2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 21, 2006
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The Rev. Ed Bacon is photographed at All Saints
Church in Pasadena, Calif. yesterday. The liberal
church is locked in an escalating dispute with
the IRS over an anti-war sermon.
church for sermon
Probe, which may cost liberal
church its tax-exempt status, could
reverberate in political season
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - With the campaign
season in full swing, a liberal church is locked in an
escalating dispute with the IRS over an anti-war ser-
mon - delivered two days before the 2004 presidential
election - that could cost the congregation its tax-
Religious leaders on both the right and left are
watching closely, afraid the confrontation at All Saints
Church in this Los Angeles suburb will compromise
their ability to speak out on issues of moral importance
such as abortion and gay marriage during the midterm
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
ads against President Clinton in USA Today and The
Washington Times in 1992 during election season.
Before this fall's congressional races, the IRS warned
that it would be scrutinizing churches and charities
- important platforms, particularly for Republicans
- for unlawful political activity.
All Saints is an Episcopalian church of about 3,500
_ the largest west of the Mississippi - and has long
had a reputation for liberal social activism among its
largely affluent, Democratic-leaning membership. Dur-
ing World War II, its rector spoke out against the intern-
ment of Japanese Americans. The Rev. George Regas,
who headed the church for 28 years before retiring in
1995, was well known for opposing the Vietnam War,
championing female clergy and supporting gays in the
The dispute centers on a sermon titled "If Jesus
Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush" that Regas
delivered as a guest pastor. Though he did not endorse
a candidate, he said Jesus would condemn the Iraq war
and Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive war.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Space shuttle Atlantis free of damage
NASA gave space shuttle Atlantis the all-clear to come home yesterday after
a stem-to-stern inspection prompted by a mysterious flurry of orbital litter
found no damage to the ship.
NASA could not say for certain what the five floating pieces of junk were
- perhaps a plastic filler strip, maybe a garbage bag. But shuttle program man-
ager Wayne Hale said there was no reason to worry.
"We are cleared for entry. Nothing was found to be missing or damaged on
the thermal protection system, the heat shield of the space shuttle Atlantis or
in fact any other part of the space shuttle Atlantis," Hale said after two inspec-
tions lasting a total of 7 1/2 hours. "So we feel we're very confident that we're
in good shape for a landing opportunity."
Venezuelan leader calls Bush 'the devil'
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the United States to
the floor of the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, calling President Bush "the devil"
The impassioned speech by the leftist leader came a day after Bush and Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparred over Tehran's disputed nuclear program but
managed to avoid a personal encounter.
"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said, referring to Bush's address on Tues-
day and making the sign of the cross. "He came here talking as if he were the owner
of the world."
Standing at the podium, Chavez quipped that a day after Bush's appearance: "In this
very spot it smells like sulfur still."
Chavez held up a book by American leftist writer Noam Chomsky "Hegemony or
Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance" and recommended it to everyone in
the General Assembly.
Thai coup leader says no election for a year
Thailand's new military ruler, winning crucial royal backing for his bloodless coup.
announced yesterday that he would not call elections for another year.
The U.S. and other Western nations expressed disapproval and urged a swift resto-
ration of democracy.
Army commander Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, appearing relaxed and confident
in his military uniform at his first news conference since seizing power Tuesday night.
said he would serve as de facto prime minister for two weeks until the junta - which
calls itself the Council of Administrative Reform - chooses a civilian to replace hire
and drafts an interim constitution.
Fed strategy keeps interest rates steady
The Federal Reserve gave America's borrowers a break and held interest
rates steady for a second straight month, part of a strategy to put the economy
on an even keel.
In a 10-1 vote yesterday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues
decided to leave rates alone, suggesting that slowing economic activity even-
tually will lessen inflationary pressures.
- Compiledfrom Daily wire reporis
The table of contents on page 2B of yesterday's Statement said the National Insti-
tutes of Health has had its funding cut for the first time in its history. It should have
said it was the first cut in 30 years.
A caption on page 8B of yesterday's Statement said that Ron Koenig's department
was in danger of having its funding cut. The caption should have read, "Koenig, who
is director of the Medical Scientist Training School, said that if the current funding
crisis persists, it will take a serious toll on academic biomedical researchers."
H A caption accompanying a photo on page 9B of yesterday's Statement misidentified
the photographer. Daily photographer Ali Olsen took the photo.
Please report any error in the Daily to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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