By Daniel Burke, Religion News Service
REPORT: A church-state watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., violated tax laws by denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama's support of abortion rights.
In a column posted on the Diocese of Paterson's website and published in its weekly newspaper, Serratelli also compared Obama to King Herod, the biblical monarch who ordered the death of John the Baptist.
The bishop did not refer to Obama by name but only as "the present democratic (sic) candidate."
Under federal tax law, nonprofit groups — including religious organizations — are prohibited from intervening in campaigns for public office by endorsing or opposing candidates.
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