Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
P.O. Box 589
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044-0589
How goes the number crunching, amigo. Say, just wanted to drop you a line about something I read recently about you folks at the IRS coming down hard on the former Rector George F. Regas of All Souls Episcopal Church in Pasadena, which just so happens to be one of Southern California's largest and most liberal churches. Hey, but don't hold that against us!
Ha-ha, we like to kid down here in SoCal. Anyhoots, the Rev. Rector, as the former Regas — excuse me — the Rev. Regas as the former Rector gave a guest sermon on Oct. 31, 2004, when, from the sacred pulpit, imagined Jesus participating in a political debate with then-presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry. And where would this debate take place? The Walk on Watergate Hotel??? Bwaaa-hah-hah. Mercy. I'm fulla beans today!
Speaking of fulla beans, Regas said that “good people of profound faith” could vote for either man, and did not tell parishioners whom to support, but he may as well have because he went on to criticize the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, “Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.”
Well, we know what happened next: Jesus made George W. Bush win the election!!!
But the worst was yet to come for that commie scum Regas, who also opposed the Vietnam and Gulf wars (Christ, ain't this Godboy ever met a war he DID like? Sheesh!) from that very same sacred pulpit. Yes, for on June 9 of this year, All Souls Episcopal Church received a letter from the IRS stating that “a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church. . .” The federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections.
BOO-YAH! DIRECT HIT!
Dissent The Blog
The Hollywood Happening
Now, we know you're probably backlogged with similar cases and it's just a quirk that we haven't heard about the letters you've obviously sent to the churches that distributed “Dems Will Ban the Bible” election fliers supplied by the Republican National Committee. Or Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson, who each have tax-exempt churches and/or Christian-based organizations and routinely blast not only Democratic candidates but moderate Republicans as well.
Betcha the press releases on those are in the mail — like my 1987 tax return! A hoot, I am!
Welps, since you're obviously looking hard at this kind of thing, let me explain something that happened in July 2004: I walked into St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Costa Mesa — and the walls came a-tumbling down! HAIL SATAN!!!
Hoo-hoo, like I said: we love to kid. But you should know a certain Father Vincent Gilmore was presiding and during his homily he mentioned that any Catholic political candidate who claims he or she is pro-choice should not take communion. This was obviously directed at Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry, because it had just been reported that then-Cardinal/now-Pope John Ratzinger's Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion — General Principles that said the exact same thing Gilmore did.
But Gilmore did not mention this. He called it an affront to him “personally” that the Catholic presidential candidate “would take communion when [he doesn't] take an anti-abortion position.” He claimed he was not being partisan, saying he'd give the exact same homily in reference to pro-choice Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger running for governor.
Of course, when Arnold Schwarzengger was running for governor, Gilmore never gave that homily at St. John's. But that's beside the point: I think you can see where I'm going here, because Gilmore was much more specific about the candidate he was singling out than this Regas fellow was.
Oh, and when you do go after Gilmore, as I'm sure you will, you should know that he has since moved from SJB to become principal at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano — you know, the private, exclusive, non-Diocesean (because they'd have to admit Mexicans, poor ones even!) high school started by hardline conservative, Orange County Republican insider and millionaire developer Timothy Busch.
Anyway, that's a lot of information to absorb. Please continue to fight the good fight! After all, you find yourself in good company: the last IRS officials to go after those who'd heaped sharp criticism on the president did so at the behest of Richard Nixon!
Have a bitchen summer,
A Clockwork Orange
P.S. Please don't audit us.
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OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.