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We get a news report of the following couple weeks ago !

Rev. Falwell Accused of Breaking Tax Rule


Associated Press Writer

July 16, 2004, 5:26 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. -- A religious watchdog group claims the Rev. Jerry Falwell has violated his church's tax-exempt status by endorsing President Bush and urging followers to donate to a conservative political action campaign.

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint Thursday with the Internal Revenue Service seeking an investigation.

"We want to demonstrate that even the most wealthy and powerful television preachers are not above the law," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the organization.

In a newsletter sent to supporters July 1, Falwell wrote:

"For conservative people of faith, voting for principle this year means voting for the re-election of George W. Bush. This is why I am utilizing this column to urge you to support the Campaign for Working Families, which is headed by Gary Bauer. It is the organization that I believe can have the greatest impact in re-electing Mr. Bush to the Oval Office."

The e-mail appears on the Jerry Falwell Ministries Web site and includes a link to the contribution Web site for the Campaign for Working Families.

Falwell said Friday he was expressing his personal opinion, and that his Web site carried the newsletter as an "op-ed piece." He said he frequently voices his political opinion from the pulpit but always qualifies it as a statement from a private citizen.

"It's a gray area for some people," Falwell said. "They feel that a religious man should neither be for or against anybody, but in reality, most are, and the only times there are complaints is when the person is a conservative like myself."

Jerry Falwell Jr., Falwell's son and church attorney, said the ministries' Web site is registered and paid for by a tax-exempt organization Liberty Alliance, which is legally permitted to do some political lobbying.

In a document sent to officials at the Republican and Democratic national committees last month, the director of the IRS's exempt organizations division, Steven T. Miller, said religious leaders are strictly prohibited from politicking as spokespeople for the church.

"Leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official organization functions, including official church publications and functions," Miller wrote.

The IRS is prevented by law from commenting on pending cases or investigations, said spokesman Anthony Burke.

Falwell has been the subject of such complaints before. In 1993, his television ministry, the Old Time Gospel Hour, agreed to pay $50,000 in tax penalties for political activity in 1986 and 1987.

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press


this would had been hughs in the past?

ask anyone that been around!

Cnn would had made it the top news of the weeks

Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings

this would had been 1st 2nd 3rd headline

all it got was a news items at the bottom

of the screen!

have they gone soft!

or are they waiting closer to the election to

give it hell?

me, i hope it the second choice

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Maybe no network, or anchor, wanted to give it the attention it DIDN'T deserve or for that matter, deserved. We all know that New Services tend to sensationalize things more than they need too.

Case in point, I saw a video on Real TV this year told about a roller coaster stopping with a train on the lift hill. To hear the commentator talk, it was stopped at the top of the lift hill when the video clearly showed the train stopped about 3/4's of the way to the top. No one was injured. This coasters lift hill is 200 feet tall.

On this particular day, the coaster had an electrial problem which shut the ride down for safety purposes. The riders on the train were released car by car and escorted back to the loading platform by park staff. Information would have been abtained from the riders and each person involved would have been given something from the park for the inconvience. As to what that was, I don't know.

Having been on a coaster in the same park that stopped suddenly on the brakes coming back into the station, I know a little bit about it. For the inconvience, I was given a coupon for a free drink on the park. I hope those other people got something a little better, like a free pass to visit the park on another day to try it again.


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