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'Creationist' says IRS is out to get him

“I’ve taken a vow of poverty, which any minister can do…And everything I have here, everything I’ve ever earned in my life, has gone straight into God’s work. So we’re not breaking any laws. We haven’t done anything wrong.”

— Florida fundie Dr. Kent “Dr. Dino,” Hovind of Creation Science Evangelism ministry

I don’t think I have a violin tiny enough for this fundamentalist blowhard. (AgapePress):

A Florida evangelist recently arrested on tax-evasion charges claims he’s been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service because he’s a creationist.

Last week a grand jury indicted Dr. Kent Hovind on 58 federal charges, including falsifying bankruptcy documents, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit and complaints against the IRS, destroying records, and threatening to harm IRS investigators. Twelve of the charges are for failing to pay employee-related taxes. The grand jury alleges Hovind failed to pay nearly half-a-million dollars in federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes on his employees at his Creation Science Evangelism ministry in Pensacola.

Hovind, who is known as “Dr. Dino,” says even though the 30 people who work for him are paid in cash, he is not a tax protestor and is not violating any laws. “Nobody’s an employee, and they all know that when they come. They come, they work,” Hovind offers as an explanation. “The laborer is worthy of his hire — we try to take the purely scriptural approach. We do the best we can with helping people with their family needs. There are no employees here.”

Hovind claims his ministry does not have to “render unto Caesar” because it is not working for the government.

According to Wikipedia, Hovind is an American Young Earth Creationist (YEC) who is offering $250K to anyone who can prove evolution “is the only possible way” that the universe and life arose. He also believes that “UFOs are apparitions of Satan.”

Hovind’s creationism theme park called Dinosaur Adventure Land (featuring exhibits that teach dinosaurs roamed the Earth just a few thousand years ago) ran aground back in April when Hovind refused to get the necessary permits, saying he didn’t have to because permits and paying fees violated his religious beliefs. (Pensacola Journal):

The judge also fined two church leaders $500 each per day for every day the building is used or occupied. If church officials continue to refuse to comply with local ordinances, the judge may decide that the building can be razed, Allen’s ruling said.

County commissioners showed no sympathy to members of the Creation Science Evangelism ministry who spoke out Thursday night at a commission meeting about the county’s actions.

Scripture also says ‘Render unto Caesar what Caesar demands.’ And right now, Caesar demands a building permit,” County Commission Chairman Mike Whitehead said. A building permit and inspection by county authorities is vital to ensuring the theme park is safe for the thousands of people who reportedly visit the park and museum every year, Whitehead said.

…”This is pure religious persecution,” said Glen Stoll, who works closely with Hovind on legal issues.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding