That young Earth creationist quack, the self-styled 'Dr. Dino', was sentenced yesterday to 10 years imprisonment. In addition, he is to pay restitution in the amount of $640,000, the prosecution's court costs ($7,078) and serve 3 years parole after release. When viewed against other similar crimes, such as Martha Stewart's insider trading gaffe, the sentence itself seems to be in line with the severity of the crime.
While not as spectacular as the actions of those fallen angels of the 80s, Swaggart, Roberts and Bakker, Kent Hovind is not without his own special charm: "If it's just money the IRS wants, there are thousands of people out there who will help pay the money they want so I can go back out there and preach," Hovind said.
He just doesn't get it. He was quite willing to reap the benefits that the state provides through taxation that he arbitrarily declared himself exempt from. In other words, he lived off everybody else like a parasite. Did anything change? Nope. He's still quite content to let everyone else pay for his indiscretions. Sentencing is not just about restitution; it's also about punishment for inappropriate actions relative to social norms.
The above quote suggests that he does not believe that he committed a crime. However, the actions of the Hovinds strongly suggest otherwise. His wife Jo was herself convicted of using various schemes to avoid triggering transactions requiring reporting to the IRS. She would visit the bank sometimes twice in a day to make withdrawals just shy of the $10,000 limit on transaction reporting. On the day of the IRS raid Kent withdrew $70,000. He must have realized that the jig was up and that he wasn't fooling anybody anymore. The raid resulted in finding $42,000 stashed in various locations of the house and several weapons! Are these the actions of someone that does not believe they are breaking the law? If he really believed he was following a higher calling, would the Hovinds go out of their way to avoid detection by the mere mortals of the IRS like sneaking thieves? A jury of 12 of his peers (I hope they were actually his betters. A jury of his peers might have come back with a verdict of kumquat.) didn't think so and raced to produce a verdict in a mere two and a half hours. That's barely time to read out the charges and vote on each one. In what I thought was an unusual step, Kent was held without bail till the sentencing as the judge was convinced he was a flight risk.
Michael Smith at the Pensacola New Journal writes: "The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that churches are not exempt from paying employment taxes, she (U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers) explained, and what happened was a result of Kent Hovind 'refusing to accept what the law is.'" It wouldn't actually matter if churches were totally exempt, since Hovind's claim of a ministry is arbitrary and he has never applied for special status to the IRS. The Creation Science Ministry is not even a non-profit organization and is therefor fully taxable just like any other business.
Religion allows believers to turn their backs on their fellow humans because they think they answer to a higher power. This makes possible the suspension of normal limitations on actions causing pain and suffering in others, or (in the case of Hovind) circumventing ethical boundaries. If he truly believed that he was doing God's work, what need did he have for money at all? Wouldn't God provide?
His son, Eric, is certainly in denial. "My father is not a man who is in love with money. He's in love with God," son Eric Hovind said. "He is a man who loves this country and loves others." Okay, but explain the $42,000 lying around the house. Talk about putting equity into your home. Then explain the guns.
How is this man considered by anyone to be moral? This man is scum! I've already dealt with his abysmal form of Creation Science in a previous blog. But not only is his 'Science' a joke, he is very dodgy about where his so-called PhD comes from and in what field it relates to. Since he is well aware that his 'Hovind Theory' has been thoroughly debunked but continues to spout his drivel I think it's safe to say that he is a liar. Now he has been publicly shown to be a cheat. But will his followers see him as such? History suggests not...
And even after all of this the sheep will still follow. Some will even believe that he is being persecuted for his beliefs, but I think it's quite clear that his actions were criminal. This man is not only financially bankrupt, but morally bankrupt as well. When will his followers stop being mindless sheep, put that antiquated book down and start thinking for themselves like human beings?