Politics and the church
Under federal law, partisan political activity can cause a church to lose its tax exemption. Theoretically, it’s irrelevant which party the activity is for. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, worries that the reality may be different.

In the December issue of his organization’s monthly publication, “Church & State,” Lynn notes that the IRS declined to take action against the First Baptist Church of Springdale after a July 4, 2004, service during which the church’s pastor, Rev. Ronnie Floyd, praised President Bush for his “war on terrorism” and his stands against abortion and same-sex marriage, while lambasting U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, Bush’s opponent in the presidential race. But the IRS is now pursuing an investigation of All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, Calif., whose former rector, Rev. George F. Regas, delivered a sermon Oct. 31, 2004, that was sharply critical of Bush and his policies.

Lynn said that the IRS decision to investigate one church and not the other “gives the public the impression that IRS enforcement is at best arbitrary, or at worst, biased. … Any suggestion of partisan bias in enforcement damages the credibility of the tax agency and is absolutely unacceptable.”

The tale school enrollment tells
It’s no secret that Pulaski County has been relatively static in population the last couple of decades, increasing only modestly compared with booming Northwest Arkansas.

Public school enrollment, as recorded by the federal court’s Office of Desegregation Monitoring over the last 18 years, reflects that trend. It also reflects a changing racial demographic in Pulaski County that may be a factor in growth patterns – enrollment is declining and it is increasingly black. Public school enrollment, of course, doesn’t include the mostly white and growing population in private schools.

Little Rock 26,543 63 26,385 69
N. Little Rock 9,494 43 9,580 59
Pulaski 21,871 25 18,587 42
TOTAL 57,908 45 54,552 58

How to lure visitors: HS tries a Wurm
Sorry, the puns are irresistible after news that the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau has struck a deal with local pro fisherman Mike Wurm to be a part of the city’s national advertising campaign in 2006. Wurm, says advertising and promotion chief Steve Arrison, will use a Ranger bass boat on the pro bass fishing circuit. The boat will feature Hot Springs’ name and colors. His clothing also will bear Hot Springs logos and he’ll appear at trade shows for the city.

Said Arrison: “Whenever Mike is shown on television and in print publications at the tournaments in which he participates he will, in effect, be a living advertisement for our city and the excellent fishing that can be found all around us.”

Arrison notes that the 2005 FLW Championship brought 40,000 people to town for the bassing action and outdoors show. Wurm, who lives in Hot Springs, will receive $50,000 for the promotional tie-in.


From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.
  • Former state board of education chair Sam Ledbetter weighs in on Little Rock millage vote

    Ledbetter, the former state Board of Education chair who cast the decisive vote in 2015 to take over the LRSD, writes that Education Commissioner Johnny Key "has shown time and again that he is out of touch with our community and the needs of the district." However, Ledbetter supports the May 9 vote as a positive for the district's students and staff.

Latest in Smart Talk

  • Better than Texas

    Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Small-school champions

    Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Bipartisan race

    The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation