Conservatives also irked by IRS probe of churches

Conservative evangelicals are also concerned by the IRS threat to revoke the tax-exempt status of a liberal church in Pasadena because a retired minister who is active in the peace movement gave an anti-war sermon. 

When Ted Haggard, head of the 30-million-member National Assn. of Evangelicals, heard about the All Saints case Monday, he told his staff to contact the National Council of Churches, a more liberal group.

Haggard said he personally supports the war in Iraq and probably would not agree with much in the Rev. George Regas’ 2004 sermon at All Saints, which was cited by the IRS as the basis for its investigation. But Haggard said he wants to work with the council of churches "in doing whatever it takes to get the IRS to stop" such actions.

Edgar, a United Methodist minister, former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania and ex-president of the Claremont School of Theology, said the IRS move against All Saints appeared to be "a political witch hunt on George Regas and progressive ideology. It’s got to stop." He stressed that Regas did not endorse a candidate in the sermon.

Regas is a frequent speaker at ANSWER LA anti-war rallies and founded Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace in L.A.

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