Good for All Saints Pasadena: Fighting the IRS
IRS Reviews Church's Status: "The Internal Revenue Service is examining the tax-exempt status of a liberal church in Southern California because its former pastor delivered a fiery antiwar sermon that criticized President Bush by name on the Sunday before the 2004 presidential election.
But All Saints Church in Pasadena is more than just standing its ground. The 3,500-member Episcopal congregation has hired a heavy-hitting Washington law firm, unleashed a torrent of publicity and received support from religious groups across the political spectrum, from the National Council of Churches to the National Association of Evangelicals.
In effect, the church and its allies have turned the tables on the IRS, forcing the agency to defend itself against accusations of crossing the line into politics, essentially the same complaint the IRS originally brought against the church in June.
'I'm very interested to know whether the IRS is taking a look only at churches that are critical of the war in Iraq, or also at the churches that are supportive of the war and the president,' said the Rev. J. Edwin Bacon Jr., rector of All Saints. 'I have no evidence that the investigation is politically motivated, but I do wonder whether it is.'"