IRS Goes After Kent Hovind Again

For those who haven’t followed this case, Kent Hovind is a young Earth creationist who had a ministry dedicated to spreading his young Earth beliefs. Because he considered what he was doing a ministry, he didn’t believe that he had any income tax obligation.

First of all, I’m not a young Earth creationist, and I think young Earthers create unnecessary confusion within the ranks of Christianity. If you tell people that the reliability of the Bible rests of the literalness of the first few chapters of Genesis, then when they start to have doubts about the age of the earth they are liable to have doubts about the whole.

That said, the prosecution (persecution) of Kent Hovind and his ridiculous prison sentence should be decried by all traditionalist conservatives. From what I know of this case, Hovind’s belief that he had no tax obligation was sincere and not just a way to get out of paying taxes. If it was a way to avoid taxes, it was likely based on his belief that income taxes in general were illegitimate. (Apparently he made some statements to that effect in the past.) In other words, he wasn’t just a dead beat attempting to scam the government.

Sentencing non-violent people like Hovind to prison is ridiculous. Hovind is not a danger to society. Hovind is not a public menace. A sentence of restitution and community service or something like that would have been the appropriate response even if you agree with the Federal Government that what he did was a crime.

Now Hovind and his lawyer are facing new charges. Admittedly, Hovind has demonstrated bad judgment here. His lawyer is a sovereign citizen type, so Hovind’s experience should tell him that alternative explanations of the law are a path fraught with danger.

I am not a lawyer and I would make a very bad one if I was, because I don’t default accept the government’s declarations in cases like this. If Hovind claims he has no tax obligation because he is a ministry then that contention it seems to me should be part of what is at trial, not just the “facts” with the government’s take on the matter taken for granted. Same with these sovereign citizen types. If they make a claim, then the government should have to counter that claim.

While I have sympathy with these alternative explanations of the law types in their dealings with the government, I am very conflicted about how it all plays out in real life. If someone has an alternative understanding of the law, then if they act on that as an act of civil disobedience knowing they are likely to face legal consequences, then so be it. But when they drag others into it on the basis that what they are doing is legal when the law is properly understood and applied, then there can be a lot of civilian casualties, so to speak, in their war for justice as they perceive it. A lot of naïve people suffered because of the tax protestor movement, regardless of what you think of the tax protestors’ claims about the validity of the income tax.

But all that said, these new charges are piling on. Hovind should have never been sent to prison in the first place, but he has been punished enough. The Federal Government should leave him alone and go after some real criminals.

* As an aside that will be most meaningful to people familiar with the young Earth creationist milieu, one of the sorriest aspects of the whole Hovind affair is the role that Pensacola Christian College (the creators of the very popular ABeka home school curriculum) played in ratting out Hovind. Rebekah Horton, college VP and the Beka in ABeka, demonstrates a startlingly unnuanced take on the matter of paying taxes. But even if she is entirely right about what the Bible says re. taxes, there is no Biblical imperative to rat out your co-belligerent in the young Earth battles. What kind of a goodie-goodie busybody do you have to be to rat directly to the IRS?

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6 thoughts on “IRS Goes After Kent Hovind Again

  1. roho

    Filmer………..I lived in Pensacola through the ninties, and often had lunch at Ryan’s Buffet across the street from Pensacola Christian College. (PCC)…….They were well respected on a National Basis, with students from all over the US……But, to locals, they were extreme “Control Freaks” on their students. (Placing rules in every aspect of their life.)…..Students did not even go somewhere to eat unless in a group environment. Pensacola is a tiny, low income community, with a track record of Government/Religion controversy. The “Fathers Day Revival”, “Chuck Baldwin’s Ministry”, as well as this conflict.

    It’s as if Pensacola has always been on the front lines of Good vs Powers And Principalities.

    I loved my time there!

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  2. roho

    Just as the military has been often used to bring foreign nations in line with our monetary expectations, the IRS has been the police dog for domestic monetary manipulation and compliance. Just as food corporations have come into many state, county, and federal prison systems, rather than prepare food in house, entire prisons have been outsourced to Private Prison Corporations with investors and stock holders. (Scary Stuff.)………..In a declining economy, combining Private Military Contractors, the IRS, and Private Prisons, creates a huge opportunity for TYRANNY to flourish and grow. The one percenters have a million ways to steal from the serfs. Be it money, property, labor, or other assets? (Read how Judges are encouraged to create profits?)

    “Why Debtors Prisons Are Making An American Comeback”.
    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/10/the-shackles-return-why-debtors-prisons.html

    Cheap labor comes in many forms. I once had a manager in construction, that had actually supervised the manufacturing of office furniture in a California Prison Facility. Most have never noticed that only the serfs pay “minimum balance service charges” at banks?

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  3. Joel P.

    filmercht,

    I agree with your analysis vis-a-vis Hovind and his tax troubles. I don’t believe Hovind has conducted himself perfectly in this matter, but nevertheless he is certainly being persecuted by an ungodly, tyrannical government. I believe Rebekah Horton’s role in this was shameful and contrary to both the 9th commandment as well as 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.

    That said, I hope you don’t mind if I take issue with your following statement:

    “If you tell people that the reliability of the Bible rests of the literalness of the first few chapters of Genesis, then when they start to have doubts about the age of the earth they are liable to have doubts about the whole.”

    It’s a matter of authority. Most Westerners view “science” as the ultimate authority of truth and knowledge, not the word of God. As such, when they encounter what they perceive to be inconsistencies between popular science and the biblical record, they choose science over the Bible by either forcing an alternative (liberal) interpretation onto Scripture to make it compatible with the “science” they already believe is true, or they attack the inspiration of Scripture itself by saying certain parts of the Bible are just plain wrong.

    I think you have it completely backwards, filmercht. It is indeed a slippery slope but not one young earth creationists are guilty of creating. On the contrary, it is this slippery slope into liberalism and eventual disbelief that YECs are trying to remedy. Scientism is the god of the present age and it is the primary weapon being used by the world against the Bible to undermine its authority and credibility. It’s a clash of opposing worldviews. Why do you think they fought so hard for evolution to be taught in public schools and why they still fight to keep Biblical creationism out of them?

    We’re turning out kids by the millions who have been indoctrinated into the anti-Christian evolutionary view of the world. Given this reality, those doubts you describe are going to be there regardless. A straight forward reading of Genesis itself is enough to cause a lot of these young Christians to doubt their faith. The fact is, until Darwin came along, no one saw billions of years in the Genesis creation account.

    So I have to disagree with you that young earth creationists are creating unnecessary stumbling blocks. I think the efforts of YEC ministries are very necessary, even vital, in this day and age of rampant disbelief and apostasy. They are providing Christians with a much needed third option: one where the authority of Scripture is supreme and the scientific method is practiced in light of this supremacy, not in competition with it.

    **Just to be perfectly clear, I do not in any way believe a commitment to young earth creationism is a requirement for salvation. This post is not an attack on anyone’s standing in Christ.

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  4. weavercht

    Joel,

    And they believe science should be embraced without fear. Nothing could go wrong!

    The BBC had an article awhile back complaining how sci-fi themes are often about science-gone-wrong.

    I actually have the link saved somewhere – I wrote it down on paper when I wiped my old HDD.

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  5. Pingback: Charges Dismissed Against Kent Hovind! For Now? | Conservative Heritage Times

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