U.S. District Court Judge Henry Morgan Jr. ordered the Internal Revenue Service to refund $169.26 the Christian Coalition paid in taxes in 1990 after the IRS said that the group was tax-exempt that year after all. The debate continues over whether or not political activity by the group in other years warrants denial of the organizations' tax-exempt status (the American Center for Law and Justice's press release is also available).
"I think the purpose of this is not secular, but I think it is religious,'' said U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood of the massive 6-foot-2-inch icon. The monument, donated to the state by the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1971, hasn't been on display since 1988, when it was removed for construction. No word yet if Kentucky will appeal. (see more coverage from the Lexington Herald-Leader and The [Louisville] Courier-Journal.)
"As new information about the events that morning [Michael Carneal shot a prayer group at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky] is starting to emerge because of a civil lawsuit, some people here are openly challenging the portrait of [Ben] Strong as a hero who rushed up to a killer as he was firing and persuaded him to drop the gun he had used to kill three girls and injure five other students," writes William Glaberson in a New York Times article that's received coverage elsewhere. "In a brief interview recently, even Mr. Strong acknowledged for the first time to a reporter that the heroic picture of him might have been inaccurate." For the first time? Even in a November/December 1998 Campus Life article (Campus Life is a Christianity ...1
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