IRS ASKED TO PROBE SAN FRANCISCO “SISTERS”
Catalyst December Issue 2001, Front Page
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The “Sisters” are a San Francisco-based gay group that dress as nuns, mock Catholicism and make small donations to AIDS-related charities. The league’s position is that the “Sisters” have long been in violation of the law that allows non-profits a tax-exempt status.
The Catholic League has legally acquired documents filed by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the IRS that nominally commit the “Sisters” to certain legitimate goals. The problem is not what the group proclaims to be doing—fundraising and education—but what it spends most of its time doing, namely Catholic bashing. It is ludicrous on the face of it for the “Sisters” to maintain that one of the major issues they address is “the role of religion in daily life.” Among their more disgusting habits is simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns, using a gas pump as a phallic symbol.
Over the past year, the league has compiled evidence of the group’s flagrantly anti-Catholic and patently indecent activities. Hence the decision to appeal to the IRS to strip the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence of its tax-exempt status.
William Donohue explained his reasoning to the media this way: “If a group of white anti-black bigots dressed up as Al Jolson and mocked African Americans, no one would excuse them because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to selective charities. If a group of anti-Semites were to dress as Shylock and mock Jews, no one would excuse them because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to selective charities. Similarly, we do not expect anyone—including the IRS—to excuse the Catholic-bashing the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence engage in because a small part of what they do is to contribute a pittance to AIDS-related charities.”
The evidence we have amassed is thorough and persuasive and that is why the time has come for the government to stop the public funding of bigotry under the guise of charitable giving.
The IRS has a policy of not telling the complainant (us in this instance) the status of its investigation. We can only hope that our complaint is treated seriously and that justice is done.