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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Free Kent Hovind!

Although it will do no practical good, I signed the petition. I think that this petition holds symbolic importance. I encourage all atheists and theists alike to sign the petition to free Kent Hovind. Let's not make political prisoners out of evangelists, whatever they are evangelizing.

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15 Comments:

At 5/22/2007 8:04 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Aaron, you just perjured yourself, since you do not believe that you "should pay taxes," as the petition says.

 
At 5/22/2007 11:22 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I'm also not sure if I can sign something that characterizes Hovind as an "honest man," nor that says he has an "important, truth-revealing message."

Maybe you could draft your own petition for Hovind that is consistent with an anarcho-capitalist and atheist position?

 
At 5/23/2007 1:09 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Franc,

Aaron, you just perjured yourself, since you do not believe that you "should pay taxes," as the petition says.

A technicality. Its the spirit of this thing that matters!

 
At 5/23/2007 1:14 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Zach,

I'm also not sure if I can sign something that characterizes Hovind as an "honest man," nor that says he has an "important, truth-revealing message."

Conceded. Although I would suggest that Hovind likely really believes what he says, so maybe to him he is an honest guy.

Maybe you could draft your own petition for Hovind that is consistent with an anarcho-capitalist and atheist position?

Not a bad idea, but I dont wanna fracture the free Hovind support base any more than it already is. Two petitions would split in half the already low free Hovind support.

Ive met lots of rejection at the Pharyngula comment section over my free Hovind sentiments. Although Im not surprised that most atheists support taxes, I am surprised that most atheists support jail for this guy. Its as if they just take pleasure in seeing him suffer in prison rather than see him embarrass himself on the stage. Thats a shame IMO. Atheists of all people should be sympathetic to his cause, but they let their disagreement with him over worldviews blind their ability to see the situation fairly.

Zach, wouldnt you agree that Hovinds tax evasion is not worthy of prison? Wouldnt you agree that Hovind isnt any real threat to society? Wouldnt you agree that Hovind is worth more to society as a free man, spouting his silly nonsense, than in a cell being fed and clothed by our tax money?

 
At 5/23/2007 9:00 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Well, on the one hand, of course taxes are immoral and so is imprisonment. But on the other hand, the only way one can hope to fulfill one's values in the context of that immoral situation is to placate the government (although Kent does seem to be enjoying the opportunity to evangelize his fellow prisoners). For example, I wouldn't have much sympathy for someone who, if confronted in a dark alley by a mugger, refused to turn over his wallet because "it belonged to God."

Someone like that has allowed an incoherent concept to trump all of his basic human values, and I just can't regard someone like that as moral either. I'm also not sure that a person like that isn't a threat to others, if he can get them to subsume their values for incoherence. But even for that, I wouldn't advocate putting a gun to his head and forcing him into a cage.

So, it's kind of a bind- if an immoral person is placed in an immoral situation, what's the best solution?

 
At 5/23/2007 10:22 AM, Blogger olly declaimed...

"So, it's kind of a bind- if an immoral person is placed in an immoral situation, what's the best solution?"

I'd make the argument that, immoral or not, it doesn't constitute what he's receiving. Murderers are immoral, but that doesn't justify the death penalty. Terrorists are immoral, but that doesn't justify torture.

Really, in the end, it's a bit of a value judgement, but I'd regard the Hovind's immorality as much less harmful than the State's immorality.

I will say that I'm surprised that we aren't being blasted for being anarchists on this post... seems to be a common thread that while Atheists can accept resisting the herd coercion of religion, they don't understand why we feel the same way about herd coercion in general (politics, society, religion, etc).

-olly

 
At 5/23/2007 10:26 AM, Blogger Carrie declaimed...

I'm torn here. Was he ever forced to repay the (if I'm not mistaken, millions of dollars of) back taxes? With interest? And penalties for having failed to pay in the first place? If so, I would think it appropriate to have a minimal prison sentence -- say, a month -- and let him out. But if not, then I'd think there needs to be some sort of accountability, and if prison is the only way to make that happen, then so be it.

 
At 5/23/2007 5:17 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Zach,

So, it's kind of a bind- if an immoral person is placed in an immoral situation, what's the best solution?

Tough one. In this case I would err on the side of freedom and let the man go I suppose.

Its funny you know, cause over at KTA I report lots of religious-inspired violence and murder, and THOSE people certainly deserve imprisonment. But Kent Hovind???? He isnt microwaving babies. And he sucks at winning souls anyway. Hes mostly just a running gag among the darwin debaters.

How immoral is Kent Hovind really? Certainly not deserving of jailtime even if we take for granted the crimes you allege. Maybe a public apology and a fine or something?

 
At 5/23/2007 5:20 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Hi Carrie,

I'm torn here. Was he ever forced to repay the (if I'm not mistaken, millions of dollars of) back taxes?

It was about $450K, not millions. And he probably cant afford to pay it. The government is repossessing all his shit in an attempt to recoup their "losses."

With interest? And penalties for having failed to pay in the first place? If so, I would think it appropriate to have a minimal prison sentence -- say, a month -- and let him out. But if not, then I'd think there needs to be some sort of accountability, and if prison is the only way to make that happen, then so be it.

The problem is that you are assuming that 1) he legitimately owed those taxes and 2) that tax evasion is deserving of incarceration alongside violent carreer criminals and sociopaths.

 
At 5/23/2007 6:52 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Pharyngula is a fucking liberal. Probably all of his readers are fucking liberals. They don't believe in justice, they just believe in "nicer punishment." And they also believe in punishing people who disagree with them (like Holocaust revisionists).

 
At 5/24/2007 7:22 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Pharyngula is responsible for the repeated hit spikes that this blog and my blog receive.

For example, today the sitemeter on GTA shows 1800 unique hits (as of 4:22pm pst).

 
At 5/24/2007 9:35 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

But he IS a liberal.

 
At 7/17/2007 11:03 PM, Blogger Robur declaimed...

Just wanted to let everyone know that there is another Free Hovind petition several times larger than the one mentioned here:


FreeHovind.com Petition to Free Kent Hovind

 
At 1/02/2008 11:21 PM, Blogger abraham declaimed...

Hey guys...Those of you who are not in support to free Kent hovind are probably not aware of the truth about
the tax code..I've researched it very carefully and he is innocent of the charges...Most charges were filed because he was not collecting E.I TAXES from his missionaries in which were working for him overseas...If you understand the tax laws properly
and the constitution you would know that E.I TAXES dont apply to churches or ministries but the goverment rarely knows the laws themselves and ON TOP OF THIS if you go online and watch a documentary called "America:Freedom to facism" you will see that even income tax itself does not apply to average citizen and only applies to coorporate business..A must see video documentary about taxes that will blow your mind!! If you dont know your rights you might as well not even have them!! GO SEE THE VIDEO!! You will not regret it!!!Thank you

 
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