Having watched, enjoyed and appreciated many of Kent Hovind’s Creation Science YouTube videos, I was alarmed by an email from a friend, a fellow Creation enthusiast, discussing how Kent Hovind has been in prison for nearly 10 years. As the shock and dismay subsided, I followed a link in the email directing me to a YouTube video discussing 20 reasons why Kent Hovind has been treated unjustly.
The reasons were compelling, at least without further background information. You can find the reasons here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwsDA-qivok&feature=youtu.be
However, having reviewed the transcript of Mr. Hovind’s case, it seems to me that Mr. Hovind did conspire to avoid paying taxes and encouraged employees to do the same.
Mr. Hovind is passionate in the belief that this country is heading downhill. Honestly, I’m not too surprised that this passion translated into tax evasion. Many Americans are dissatisfied with American government and would prefer to see their tax dollars used in other ways. However, such an orientation doesn’t justify avoiding taxes. After all, we can be certain of two things in this world with respect to a natural order: Death and Taxes.
As bad as things may be here, there are many good services that all citizens benefit from through paying taxes. Furthermore, the alternative is unrealistic –a form of anarchy that increases the vulnerability of this sovereign land to foreign attack. In this respect, Mr. Hovind was rightly treated in a criminal fashion. Hopefully more American executives who avoid taxes by funneling income through offshore accounts will be treated similarly.
The transcript, which can be found at FreeKentHovind.com, points in favor of the U.S. –Kent was out of line. Moreover, we should pay our taxes, even if we live under unjust policies and practices. Thankfully, our freedom of religion and speech allow us to attempt to correct those practices and to persuade others to do the same. Avoiding taxes is sort of like throwing your hands in the air and giving up on all the good because you can’t help but focus on the bad.
This is a common condition, commonly known as pessimism. Thankfully, there is a solution for this tendency. It is called prayer. Yes, thank goodness for prayer! Indeed, trusting the eyewitness testimony of numerous people alive at the time of Christ Jesus, and in acknowledging the reality of His Church, living and breathing today, alive because He continues to reveal Himself in special ways to each of us, He did rise from the dead! Anyone who contemplates that reality for awhile, maybe reads Scripture and says a rosary while meditating on the Glorious Mysteries, can’t help but be uplifted in spirit, can’t help but think about the good parts of creation and not be overly consumed with the bad aspects associated with “The Fall of Man.” Perhaps a preponderance towards pessimism is one of the spiritual repercussions of The Fall, one that must be fought against through prayer and meditation on His Word.
“Pray as though everything depends on God. Work as though everything depends on you.” –St. Augustine (354-430)
Given Mr. Hovind’s passionate beliefs concerning the presence of bias in our public education system, one that leans incessantly on evolutionary theory at the exclusion of Creationism or Intelligent Design, the court could have been more lenient in its sentencing. And, how much more so in an American court, a court upheld in a country with a lavish history encompassing the positive influence of religious belief, a history wrought with blood in the preservation of religious freedom?
Are not crimes of passion capable of influencing a court’s decision? If evolutionary theory is incomplete or unsatisfactory vis-a-vis evidence found in Creation science, shouldn’t Mr. Hovind’s passion receive more respect, especially with the undertones that connect such a science with religious freedom and a country headed the wrong direction? Moreover, presenting truth is a public service; the nature of Mr. Hovind’s work, which led to his passionate refusal to pay taxes and cooperate with the IRS, should have factored into a lenient sentence.
Sadly, if a judge is biased in favoring evolutionary theory, or is prone towards animosity when judging issues involving religious freedom, leaning towards the harshest penalties and strictest enforcement of competing liberties, shouldn’t a citizen have a right for a retrial from another judge who may have a different viewpoint and be prone towards a more lenient sentence? Is it possible that a judge with a biased orientation would allow feelings of animosity to hinder the jury and appeal processes?
Accordingly, if eight witnesses signed an affidavit indicating that information was removed from the court transcript, and that the transcript was withheld for 16 months when Mr. Hovind had only 12 months for an appeal, Congress, or a superior judicial or legislative body should step in and potentially take criminal action against the court for withholding information from the public. Such intervention would help to preserve public trust in our judicial system, exposing bias where it exists, and potentially providing a just penalty for negligence or illicit activity in the jury and appeal processes.
In light of these allegations against the court, I believe that non-biased judicial oversight is necessary for Mr. Hovind’s situation. Moreover, 100 years in jail for attempting to preserve the public service ministry he worked so hard to establish, which has the support of many creation-minded Americans, is outlandish.
If he was able to appeal his case, and potentially find a more lenient judge, which in this case seems most appropriate given the alleged failures of the court, failures which would lend credence to the claim that he was unjustly treated, that his case was processed in an illegal and unprofessional manner, the lis pendens mailing would not be seen as a further violation of a criminal case, but a reasonable act well within the rights of any religious citizen who is seeking justice and mercy in the preservation of his or her ministry, a citizen potentially overwhelmed by pessimism vis-a-vis a failing, “scientifically oriented” education system, a system supported by a significant portion of every tax dollar.