All right, many Christians (and others) will declare that Kent was wrong, and because a government is wicked, abortion-promoting, homosexual-pandering does not justify circumvention of taxes. However, the Federal Government has often permitted sport or entertainment celebrities to walk away from huge tax payments with a very small slap on the wrists paying pennies on the dollar! Are we paranoid to suggest that Christians are always treated more severely than others?
Dr. Kent Hovind is my friend and he is sitting in jail at this time. His was found guilty of 58 federal counts including tax fraud. I think Kent chose to fight on the wrong hill. I resent paying taxes because of the incompetence, ineptness, and corruption in government; however, I don’t resist or refuse to pay taxes. He told me on Dec. 10 that he is “not a tax protester”; he simply insists on the Federal Government enforcing the laws as they are written. Some will say that he is trying to pin a nicer label on himself; however, I don’t think so. Even if that were true, that isn’t a crime! Assuming he is correct about the IRS code, I think he was unwise to risk his and his wife’s freedom as well as his ministry. However, there is a possibility he will be considered a hero in a few years for standing for proper enforcement of laws. I have heard him say two or three times that he pays all taxes that he owes. He does not recommend tax protesting.
In recent weeks, the hatred, anger, glee, sarcasm, and delight in Kent’s jailing is incredible. Would it be all right if I remind everyone that the catalyst for early Americans’ fighting the War for Independence was a disagreement on paying taxes? We are a nation because of tax protesters! A peek into our history would be helpful.
England passed the Stamp Act in 1765 that required all legal documents and commercial instruments to be writ-ten, and newspapers to be printed, on stamped paper. That tax of 1765 fanned the flames of resistance throughout the colonies. The colonial legis-latures met and passed resolutions, the most effec-tive being Virginia and Massachusetts. Two tax resisters came to the front in those colonies–Samuel Adams in Mas-sachusetts and Patrick Henry in Virginia. Yes, their major concern was taxation without representation, different from Dr. Hovind’s motives; however, the bottom line is that America’s founding fathers and Hovind disagreed with the government about paying taxes.
Following the Stamp Act there were riots in several cities, and boxes of stamped paper arriving in America by ship were seized and burned. Lawyers agreed with one another not to treat any document as invalid because of the absence of the required stamp. Editors published their newspapers decorated with a grinning skull and cross-bones in-stead of the stamp! One such paper wrote in its final edition: “The times are dreadful, doleful, dismal, dolorous, and dollarless.”
The tax was rescinded but a new bill for taxing Americans known as the Townshend Act followed that put a tax upon tea, glass, paints and paper, and a few other articles when they entered American ports. To force Americans to pay that tax the King, in the autumn of 1768, sent a couple of regiments of British regulars to Boston to assist in enforcing the new tax. This resulted in the “Boston Massacre.”
Americans refused to buy British imports and finally the tax was rescinded on everything except tea. That wasn’t good enough so about one hundred Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded the ship, ripped open the boxes of tea, and threw it into the harbor. Among them were some of Boston’s best citizens including John Hancock.
Question: How can a tax issue be so vile a crime today if our most revered founders did far worse? After all, Kent did not break and enter, destroy property, etc. Either fellow Christians should be a bit more understanding of Kent or far more critical of Hancock, Adams, Henry, and Co. Even Christians are praising Hancock and persecuting Hovind! Ah, yes, sweet consistency.
According to news reports Hovind was fingered by fellow Christian, Rebekah Horton, vice president of Pensacola Christian College, who testified that tax evasion is “against Scripture teaching.” She reported him to the IRS! She was asked if she had other problems with Hovind and she replied, “It’s not my place to judge him.” However, she did judge him; besides, “everyone” in Pensacola knows of the problems between the two. I have known about it for many years and I live in another state.
Then Attorney David Gibbs, III testified about a lengthy conversation he had in Kent’s home on Oct. 17, 2004 on the subject of taxes. He testified that Kent boasted “with a great deal of bravado” (Gibbs’ evaluation) about how he (Hovind) had “beat the tax system.” I would have told the judge that my conversation was confidential and would not divulge the contents—and gone to jail. Additionally, if Kent made the above statement, then it was dumb; however, there is no law against saying dumb things. If so, 95% of politicians would be in jail. However, what is wrong with “beating the tax system”? Isn’t that what legally approved tax shelters are all about? Only a fool pays more taxes than is legally required.
All right, many Christians (and others) will declare that Kent was wrong, and because a government is wicked, abortion-promoting, homosexual-pandering does not justify circumvention of taxes. However, the Federal Government has often permitted sport or entertainment celebrities to walk away from huge tax payments with a very small slap on the wrists paying pennies on the dollar! Are we paranoid to suggest that Christians are always treated more severely than others? Or could the different treatment be because Kent was incorrectly characterized as a “tax protester” while the celebrities are simply incompetent money managers? Whatever the reason, Kent went to jail and many celebrities go free with very small financial penalties and no jail time.
News reports reveal that Kent faces 288 years in prison and his wife 225 years! Am I missing something here? Rapists and killers have walked away with probation and the Hovinds face a lifetime in prison! Are loonies in charge of the judicial system in Pensacola? Furthermore the judge jailed him because Prosecutor Heldmyer affirmed Hovind was a flight risk and a “danger to the community.” Yes, the loonies are in charge of the legal system if anyone thinks Kent is a danger to anyone. I have another friend (former friend), a famous pastor, who has allegedly been French-kissing little girls all his life and he is out on bail sitting at home tonight!
We are told that Hovind’s wife circumvented banking laws by taking out less than $10,000 multiple times, so bank-reporting requirements would not kick in. First, it should be known that people of character always dealt in cash, at least that’s what my Dad taught me; yet because of drug dealers and money launderers, honest people become criminals if they remove their own money from their own bank account! Yes, Virginia, the loonies are in charge of the Federal Government and the banking system. Mrs. Hovind took out their own money that no one disputes was honestly earned.
Kent is also charged with filing suits against IRS agents and others and that is a crime? If one is being mistreated, he should file suits against the perpetrators. Are Federal agents sacrosanct? Do they have special status?
It is a Federal crime to lie to a Federal official; however, some courageous politician should introduce a bill making it a Federal crime for any Government official to lie to a private citizen who pays his salary. That will happen when pigs learn to fly and shrimp learn to whistle. Meanwhile, my friend sits in jail while an accused child molester sits in the comfort of his home.
America, the land of the free and the home of the brave where Lady Justice is not only blind but often stupid!