Wow.. I bet if creationists did something like this to Richard Dawkins the atheists would be in tears.
Okay, a few points of order here. First: Richard Dawkins is not an American citizen. I suppose he could get picked up for not paying taxes in Britain, but as far as I know, the completely wacky notion that you can live as a fairly affluent citizen in a first world country without paying your way is mostly local to the United States. Especially since the arguments I see all appear to hinge on misunderstood obscure points of American law, American history, and the US Constitution.
Second: if Richard Dawkins committed a felony, we would not be upset at the people who tried and convicted him. We would much more likely be pissed off at Richard Dawkins for doing something so stupid without thinking through the implications. Unlike religious figures, neither Dawkins nor any other atheist "celebrity" is considered infallible and beyond criticism.
Third: Where the hell is the analogy to "creationists doing something like this"? Atheists didn't put him in jail. Hovind was put in jail by a judge and jury of his peers by the laws of the country that you probably claim to love. All we've done is make fun of him for it. :)
As I was saying on the show yesterday: people like Andrew see the world in terms of absolute good and evil, regardless of facts and evidence. It rarely crosses their mind that someone they believe is "on the side of right" might actually deserve to go to jail due to crimes that they committed. In the Christian mythos, of course, everyone deserves nothing less than eternal torture, but they get to avoid it by saying an incantation about accepting Jesus in their hearts. Hovind, being a Christian, shouldn't be subject to any punishment, and therefore it must be wicked unjust infidels who are persecuting him.
Fact of the matter is that the tax code is too complex and unpredictable to avoid some error. Depending on how much money you've made, you could somehow be classified as much a criminal as a mugger on the street.
Oh yeah, it's true that people can and do get in trouble for honest mistakes in computing the taxes they owe. Here's something that doesn't fall in that category: refusing to pay taxes for years, flaunting your claim that you don't have to, and not bothering to run this obviously mistaken belief by a qualified lawyer who has a clue what the hell they're talking about. That's beyond stupid, it's criminally stupid.
Another point: If a prominent Darwinist were taken in for something like this (it's not possible since all these organizations are tax-funded in the first place) everybody would be screaming "The sky is falling! We're going back to the Dark Ages of science!"
I'm afraid I will need some evidence of this extraordinary claim that "everybody" would be doing this. When a prominent scientist is convicted for breaking the law, few people assume that it reflects in any way on science in general. Well, creationists probably do, because ad hominems are so much fun.
There is alot of corruption within our government and a few key organizations get all the benefits in the world. This hasn't changed since Obama rolmao. (WE WANT CHANGE!!) And those who supported McCAin were just as blind.
Right now we neither have a free market or socialist country. Right now we have a corporate and government alliance. It's because of mergers that the government forces or creates that true monopolies are born.
Creationist or not, Kent Hovind was just another blind victim of the IRS. An organization which we do not need. (They're not even productive.)
But just remember boys and girls,
"Don't Steal! The Government Hates Competition!"
Corruption within our government there certainly may be. Convicting and imprisoning a fraud is not an example of that; it is an example of the system doing what it is meant to do. While you do bring up legitimate concerns, not every conviction is a conspiracy. So far, you have yet to demonstrate that this one is.
Also, what's up with the weirdly sardonic tone of the sentence in quotes? Even assuming that we grant that the government is, by and large, a criminal organization, is Andrew saying that this means nobody should be convicted for stealing? Ah, the squishy nature of absolute morality...
Andrew then writes a second post, in which he starts trying to come to grips with the fact that maybe Hovind was convicted with good cause by a fair jury. Then he tries to rationalize it away. Needless to say, he finds another way to blame atheism.
Who knows. Maybe he's in jail because he started to become too self-absorbed or took his mind off of spiritual things. Next thing you know, Kent Hovind gets greedy and poof!
Eh? Eh? You see what Andrew just did there? Prominent Christian apologist Kent Hovind broke the law because he took his mind off of spiritual things. You see, his only real crime was acting too much like an atheist.
He's in jail! My advice to Hovind: Just go with it. Don't try to fight the system. If you want to spread your message as soon as possible just play by the rules.
Good advice. It would have been even more valuable before Kent decided not to play by the rules that pertain to US tax law. But still good, in general.
Kent Hovind has his flaws. He's a human being just like us all. Of course some people would say "Well does he desrve to go to Heaven?" Nope.
Neither would I. Neither would you. That is assuming, of course, that Heaven exists. Which I do every time.
Atheists, of course, would not bother asking whether Kent deserves to go to heaven, because we don't believe in your happy land. But you see, it's exactly how I was explaining it yesterday. Heaven never entered this question in the first place until you brought it up. We were discussing man-made laws and the evil conspiracy to enforce them.
Christians often claim that it must be a very dangerous thing to become an atheist, since true morality must come from God, and there is no other force preventing people from murdering and stealing. Yet in the fundamentalist mindset, there are no crimes other than angering God, and those crimes can be washed away by saying an incantation. Andrew was implying earlier that Kent Hovind deserves special dispensation to be forgiven for his crimes due to the fact that he said the words. Now he backs it up by invoking his belief that all humans have sinned equally, whether or not they made off with nearly half a million dollars in legally owed finances.
In other words, the moral check and balance of Christianity is phony. Christians and atheists alike may follow the law out of a sense of societal obligation or fear of earthly punishment. But becoming a Christian does not noticably improve the likelihood that you will do so, because it's a moral blank check.
Kent Hovind may very well have been in the wrong here. I currently see it as more than likely (considering our current, flawed laws.... laws nonetheless. However unconstitutional, invasive, counterproductive, or dumb they might be.)
Hey, admitting he has a problem is the first step to recovery. You should maybe drop Kent a line to let him know he should start thinking about what he done wrong.
Warning: Assumptions about Heaven and God being real coming ahead.
I thought you might appreciate that warning. God might have put him there so that he could learn some humility.
But, hey. That's the extent of my knowledge. Whatever God could have planned is beyond me :S.
Oh, and Kent Hovind's point all along has been: "Evolution is not science because it cannot be observed beyond changes within certain kinds of animals." It's a good theory and all and very well-thought out. And it can make alot of logical sense.
But it can be very illogical as well. I think Kent Hovind misses some points about evolution, but he does make SOME good cases in favor of creation and a Young Earth.
I believe in the Young Earth myself and I will continue to believe in it until God himself tells me I was wrong.
And now we observe the impact of fundamentalism on scientific discourse as well as legal and ethical standards. Andrew has a belief which is in no way informed by scientific research, observation, or evidence. How will this belief ever change to one that is more accurate? By learning more about reality? No, Andrew will only change his mind if his invisible friend personally notifies him that it is okay to do so.
And I just bet THAT'S going to happen.
And, please. I BEG you to set aside your flame-throwers and spare me from major flammage.
Everybody likes to play pin the tail of the creationist lol.
Your request was denied. But hey, that tail is very becoming.