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Freedom to Preach

My parish priest came to my office the other day. I said, "Father, this is a surprise! I haven't seen you for, what, 30 years?" He looked glum as he responded, "Yes, I should talk to you about that, but I'm here for another reason." I asked what was on his mind.

He took a breath, got down on his knees and intoned, "Bless me, counselor, for I have sinned?? 1/2 "

At that, an idea occurred to him. "I don't want to get 'political' either, but as a pastor I will not hesitate to urge my congregation to do their part to make this world a better place. Actually, I do that every Sunday. And if I think a candidate for office would be good for us all, then I am going to tell them so. That's not political activity. That's God's work."

How was I going to tell him the messy truth? "Father, I'm afraid the IRS thinks at least some of 'God's work' is political activity. But if you don't want to worry about IRS agents hounding you, all you have to do is drop your tax exemption. That would solve your problem."


Bruce D. Collins

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