"Rick Warren's Clout"
Rick Warren vs. The IRS
15 January 2009
Just how powerful is Rick Warren? Ask the IRS. When they tried to collect back taxes from the pastor, Warren used his mega-clout to campaign against them--and won. With the help of Congress, that is, which stepped in to preempt a court ruling on the Cold War law Warren appears to have twisted to his advantage. Jon Weiner reports. This small piece is in many ways the most revealing article we've read on Warren -- and church and state -- in awhile. That it's published in the left-liberal Nation shouldn't dissuade more conservative readers from considering the facts.
This item above comes from The Revealer.org, a website associated with Jeffrey Sharlett, who authored The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, which detailed his experiences and research into the secretive Washington Fellowship, which has been a hub of international church/state/marketplace (3-legged stool) activities for many decades.
The link takes the reader to a newly published article in The Nation by Jon Wiener entitled "Rick Warren's Clout" (1/15/09) which reminds readers of a series of controversial activities involving Rick Warren and the IRS back in the late 1990s that ended up in court, culminating in an unusual act of Congress. Weiner is bringing this matter up again now because of Rick Warren's scheduled appearance delivering the invocation at the inauguration.
For readers unfamiliar with this case, Weiner reviews the scenario. The full article is a MUST READ. Warren was challenged by the IRS for claiming an extraordinarily high exemption for his housing, and in May of 2000 he won in court. Weiner wrote: "The IRS appealed, and since Warren lives in California, the case went to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, known for its liberal judges." But what transpired next is quite interesting:
But before the three-judge panel could rule, either on the IRS effort to collect back taxes from Warren or on Chemerinsky's broader argument for declaring the entire exemption unconstitutional, Congress stepped in--and acted with "almost miraculous" speed, as Richard Hammar, editor of the Church Law & Tax Report newsletter, explained to the New York Times. The new law granted Warren his deductions (along with any other clergy who had done the same--although Warren was the only one to end up in court). Congress also put into law, from that time forward, the IRS's "fair rental value" rule.
This congressional act is "very rare" according to an expert quoted in the article. Not only that, but, "The Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act of 2002 was approved unanimously by Congress, then signed into law by George W. Bush on May 20, 2002, rendering the IRS case against Warren moot."
The author ponders the significance of both the political Left and the political Right in Congress siding unanimously with Warren. He finds "Obama's invitation to Warren is dismaying, but this history may make it more comprehensible."
It is not so incomprehensible. There is so much more to the history of the rise of the political Right and Left in evangelicaldom than meets the eye. This is probably why Jeffrey Sharlet linked to Weiner's article yesterday. Sharlet in his book The Family chronicles how the Left and Right have worked together at the highest echelons of power, interlocking the 3-legged stool for global power grabs, using secretive cultish methods, and all done under the cloak of "Christianity."
Rick Warren represents the emerging "new breed" of evangelical leaders who are working to create a Communitarian paradise on Earth, building a "kingdom" for a nebulous "God" utilizing state-of-the-art psycho-social manipulations and marketing techniques. These men in power are neither Left nor Right according to the old dialectic game played out for the past three decades in American politics. At the present time they are rapidly eschewing the social issues (abortion, e.g.) and have become refocused on pre-defined "social justice" issues that just happen to mesh completely with the goals for an international world order. They are intent on building a complex global governance SYSTEM based on networking structures. As Rick Warren explained in Forbes magazine (5/07/07, "The Power of Parishioners"), in describing how the 3-legged stool will operate via these networking structures,
"The network is a far older and more basic organizational pattern than the hierarchy. Our bodies, families and the environment are just a few examples. What's different now is that technology turns this organic paradigm of networking into a global force. It transforms every social structure that was previously organized by command and control. Whether in the war on terror, the presidential campaign or American Idol, the power and effectiveness of networking--for good or bad--is undeniable."
As the titular head of this emerging global peace networked system, it seems very appropriate that Rick Warren will give the invocation at the coming inaugural.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:" (Revelation 3:15a)
1. For more reading on this group, see Constance Cumbey's excellent on-going series entitled "The Family' and its Hijacking of Evangelicalism," archived at http://www.newswithviews.com/Cumbey/constanceA.htm .
2. For example, an Orange County Register article ("Visits by McCain, Obama to Orange County church underscore Pastor Rick Warren's prominence," 8/13/08) says that Rick Warren " is emblematic of a new breed of evangelicals who put social justice ahead of partisan politics. Some go so far as to call the plain-talking Warren, a bear of a man who prefers bluejeans to business suits, the Billy Graham of his era."