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-- welcome the reverently Edmund bacon he is the rector of the All Saints church in Pasadena California has been since 1995.
Founder of beyond inclusion.
And claiming the a blessing.
Which it what is answers that.
Where for marriage equality of inclusion of gay and lesbians in the lifeboat.
The deepest -- church.
Melissa the government isn't hearing -- right now on this.
So you're you're clearly you're there and you were not going to give -- -- back in -- 2005 but tell us what happened.
I invited my predecessor determined and preach -- facility prior to the election 2004.
And he preached about poverty and war.
And took to task both candidates.
And Senator Kerry and also George W.
And no it didn't that was reported -- -- and the LA times the six day.
And in 2005.
All of a sudden out of the blue we got a letter of inquiry.
From a line officer in de Moines Iowa actually.
Repeatedly they RS saying that we were probably in violation of the IRS regulations -- that we could not be involved in endorsing a political candidate.
Well they have.
-- -- -- Now will stop the investigation if you apologized.
Because there's nothing to -- us for we didn't go across that line we didn't endorse a candidate we simply.
Did -- in these.
Church that suggested peace and justice would do and that is call for the values of nonviolence.
And -- the importance of economic justice.
Is that correct that's correct and -- -- he's the certain.
Bull -- and we refused to apologize and -- that we hadn't done anything wrong.
And that we were within our rights they were gonna -- the persistent.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I'd just been adjudicated.
And -- Julian -- -- a wonderful guy and so we decided we had -- up.
And we did so and we hard the firm that direction NAACP.
These people really knew they were doing they let us through what.
Long story short was a two year process.
In which they kept ramping up and wanting to -- to an investigation.
Early on in the process.
And and the national newspapers.
Took an -- -- position in our paper it was really clear what was at stake.
Freedom of speech freedom of religion separation of church and state all of those constitutional values were steak and -- Long story short India and then in 2007 -- that.
But it took until 2007.
Coop and went to -- a lot of money and also when they folder they still said but there's still guilty.
Correct but they said that we don't need it to move this.
Which was I thought and we all -- a vindication of our position.
It made them get to that point.
I think -- follower of perseverance.
I hate the fact that -- we were bright talk.
Mitt -- the American voice.
Prove of these newspapers.
Were on our side.
And it was just clear.
That the First Amendment was in our favor and hand it also that they had misinterpreted their -- IRS regulations.
Do you think they came to that realization.
I don't know and I can't say that because.
All of their deliberations.
-- -- rulings are held -- confidential and protected.
And so we really didn't know -- weeks it helped us.
I'd -- really become clearer and help the nation understand that there's a difference between taking a political.
Position and taking a partisan political position.
And that was the main -- We tried to express.
What is the cost you not just in dollars but in terms of -- standing in the community.
Emotional stress so what will what was of -- the actual cost to you in the church.
You know in the end it was a greater benefit than it was a cost.
Because our people really -- rallied around us all of a sudden we had a Muslims Jews people of other denominations and other -- coming to us and saying.
We don't want just to be in solidarity with -- we want to actually be EU we want -- -- All Saints and so we had to develop a new.
Classification of membership hear.
Called solidarity membership and all the sudden we get 500 new members.
Of people from outside our rights including an atheist -- -- If I were not make you Serbian number -- Church.
At the bank's best endorsement you'd probably get totally it was actually.
Like come and inspiring.
Moment in an hour journey here -- -- What is your take on what's happening now with the Tea Party groups in the IRS focusing in that direction.
Well I'd like do you think it's very important to understand that these tax regulations.
Are to protect.
Political activity which is not partisan as soon as -- the -- -- -- three or -- once before.
Gets involved in partisan politics than they should be investigated.
If they persist.
Didn't detection job status should be -- and ours should have been called if we had.
Taken a partisan position -- we didn't.
And so I think it's fair game for the IRS to investigate.
Partisan political activity.
On that the part of -- on any nonprofit.
The lead there and it's and that's as far as I'm going to be -- -- go because I don't know exactly what happened I really -- supported an investigation.
I really do support that the president outrage about this.
And if there was partisan.
Then it should be.
Banished from life because the IRS needs to be a place that we respect our government -- -- the you know merit our respect and so if they need to do some internal cleaning up which.
I don't know if that's what happened yesterday with the resignation of the acting director or not.
That is very appropriate for the sake of democracy.
But I think this the focus on the right wing groups worries me as a liberal because obviously their -- for the grace of god go I.
And when happen to anyone group you know like they said first that first they came for the Jews so we have to be careful though we can be outspoken when this happens anyone of us in this country.
And that's -- -- supported.
Entirely be investigation and the president's outrage.
I'm curious because -- got a liberal church and you know we heard the word Christian and our society certainly in the media people to give evangelicals.
And so many people equate christianity with conservative with right wing or where the Republican Party think Jesus.
Was ahead of the GOP.
But what does that do for you or to you and how -- -- disabuse people of that notion that christianity and conservatism are somehow -- line.
We're all about turning up the volume here -- -- to complain.
But Jesus was always on the side of those people who are suffering and marginalized and vulnerable.
And that calls us to get involved again.
Political stances sometimes in what can we take a lot of them against torture against economic injustice -- -- time for marriage equality.
We have to do I'm always -- -- -- and the heat up don't.
Right leaning evangelicals are fundamentalists.
Called on as representatives of christianity -- know I don't know quite the contrary.
And so we try to raise our voices you know we try to -- we try to get on there and thank you very much for this opportunity to express were reduced.
They've come and and I'm or what is -- a problem with the the whole all laws surrounding the 501 C threes and fours.
And is -- a good idea for the for these laws to be in place and should churches be non profit and get exempt from those taxes.
I -- -- -- yes the answer is yes we should we should have protected status.
Because I think it is in the interest of the country to have non profits.
Who are contributing to the common good.
And who were trying to development the welfare of the entire country and so our poise is needed that.
But it's it's absolutely important and we have no moral authority if he doesn't get involved in partisanship.
So yes we are needed and we do need to -- non profits to do the work we're doing.
All right reverend I thank you so much for your time tonight in the work you're doing thank you for talking to our audience this evening.
Thanks so much reverend Ed bacon.
Who is director of All Saints church in Pasadena California we are.
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