Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement in response to allegations that the IRS has engaged in the targeted scrutiny of certain tax-exempt 501(c)4 social welfare groups:
“The Internal Revenue Service must enforce the tax code in a neutral and nonpartisan way. Any politicization of tax enforcement is abhorrent and should be viewed as a grave offense. These allegations must be investigated to the fullest extent and dealt with appropriately.
“I first raised the issue of selective enforcement by the IRS during the Bush Administration, when the agency audited All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena based on the content of a particular church service. After a former pastor gave an anti-Iraq War sermon, All Saints became the target of an aggressive IRS investigation in which the church’s tax-exempt status was threatened. At the time, I could find only one Republican colleague, Rep. Walter Jones, that would join me in calling for an investigation. The IRS targeting of certain organizations on the basis of their ideology is anathema, deeply chilling to free speech and cannot be tolerated.
“The need to investigate these allegations thoroughly and to hold accountable those responsible, however, must not obscure the fact that many of the so-called “social welfare” organizations which have multiplied since Citizens United are a sham that should lose their tax exempt status. Some of these organizations are undeniably and overwhelmingly political, and merely seek to use the tax code to shelter their operations from scrutiny and to avoid disclosure of their donors. The IRS must enforce the law fairly and with no regard for ideology, but they must enforce the law.
“Congress should do what I called for back in 2005 – undertake a thorough review of how the IRS interprets and enforces the law when it comes to tax-exempt organizations, and examine whether existing laws and regulations need to be updated to draw a brighter line. Congress should also act to require disclosure of contributions to remove the incentive for partisan organizations to abuse the tax code for the sole purpose of avoiding transparency in the political process.”
The Chancel Choir of Burbank First United Methodist Church will present Dale Wood’s moving and well-known “Service of Darkness” on Good Friday.
The Service of Darkness commemorates the death of Christ, and is patterned after the ancient service of Tenebrae which represented the darkness that fell over the earth as the Son of God was crucified.
Seven choral meditations are based on the seven last words from the cross. With each meditation, candles in a darkened church are progressively extinguished until only a vigil candle sheds its glow as
a symbol of the coming Resurrection.
Performances of this dramatic choral work for Holy Week have become an annual tradition in countless churches throughout the United States and abroad. Published in 1962, it remains one of the most widely performed choral services each year during the Lenten season.
The chancel choir is directed by Roger Lamb and accompanied on organ by Dr. Euny Kim. Dr. Wayne Walters and the Rev. Heather Blackstone will serve as liturgists for the service.
Everyone is invited and welcome to “The Service of Darkness.” The Good Friday Tenebrae Service will be held in the church sanctuary. Burbank First United Methodist Church is located at 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd., across the street from Burbank High School. Child care will be available. For further information please call the church office at 818-845-1531.
The Friends of Music, at Burbank First United Methodist Church, proudly presents mezzo-soprano Katherine Trimble for an afternoon recital on Sunday, January 16 at 3:00 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary at 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank.
The performance will be the first local recital by Katherine Trimble who attended schools in Burbank (John Burroughs Vocal Music Assoc.) and recently graduated from Chapman University’s excellent music department. She is a student of acclaimed soprano Carol Neblett. In her first year of college she was awarded the Most Promising Freshman in the Vocal Performance department. She was the winner of the SAI Music Fraternity’s Scholarship in Voice in 2008 and recently she was a grant winner from Opera Buffs. While at Chapman, she appeared in roles in La Divina, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica and Albert Herring. This spring she will be seen in the opera La Traviata at the Pacific Coast Opera Company and performs regularly with the Chancel Choir at Burbank First United Methodist Church. Her recital performance will be filled with music style selections ranging from classical to romantic to modern. With sets in Italian, German, French, Spanish and English, it is sure to be a splendid musical afternoon.