Kind Christmas Wishes To Those Behind Bars And The Tax Collectors Too

Dec 25 2013, 12:06pm CST | by

It appears that many of my readers have an interest in, if not a fondness, for Kent Hovind.  There is way more statistical data on my blog available than is good for someone as self absorbed as I am.  From it I learn that nearly 10% of my pageviews this year are due to posts about Doctor Dino, as he is known.  Kent Hovind is one of the most prominent proponents of “Young Earth Creationism”.

What Is Young Earth Creationism?

If you carefully study the Book of Genesis and assume that even before everything was up and running a day still was twenty four hours long, by summing up all the begats, you will conclude that the world is about 6,000 years old.  This view will make you unpopular in the biology department of almost all universities, since 6,000 years is not nearly long enough for evolution to work.  They won’t be too happy with you over in the geology and astronomy departments either.  Many people who accept scriptural inerrancy, allow for the days in Genesis to be very, very long days, which will at least keep them out of conflict with the geologists.  Devout Catholics, like my sister who is a both a nun and a high school science teacher can accept evolution.  Young Earth Creationists are made of sterner stuff and hence are determined to find scientific proof that supports the literal Genesis narrative.  Among the implications of YEC is the notion that humans and dinosaurs must have co-existed.  That is why former high school science teacher Kent Hovind started Dinosaur Adventureland and gained the title Doctor Dino.

Won’t You Come Home Doc Dino?

How Kent Hovind got in trouble is rather a long story.  It relates to the operation of Dinosaur Adventureland, which he viewed as a tax exempt ministry.  Suffice it to say, that he is currently in federal prison.  Many people who admire his work in the field of “creation science” wish that he would stop fighting the IRS and get back to focusing on creation science.  I received a nice note from Nick Lally of the Creation Science Hall of Fame

Dear Peter, I am sitting here at my desk thinking about you. I hope that you are enjoying the celebration of the Christmas Holiday Season. I shipped Kent a new packet of letters from supporters around the world who wrote the Creation Science Hall of Fame asking him to give up his tax fight with the IRS and get back into the Creation Science arena where he is needed the most. Sitting in a jail cell away from family on Christmas morning has to be one of the worst feelings one could experience. Our joy can only be secured in knowing that he has Christ supporting him. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Nick Lally, Chairman, Board of Directors, Creation Science Hall of Fame

One of the things that I like about Christianity is the special emphasis that it places on helping the unfortunate including the imprisoned.  Personally, I have a special concern for those prisoners who have been sexually assaulted while behind bars, an extra-judicial punishment that is one of our nation’s greatest human rights disgraces.  You can learn more about that here.


What About The Tax Collectors? />

As we send our kind thoughts to Kent Hovind and others incarcerated for similar or dissimilar reasons, we should note that it would be not consistent with the Christmas spirit to be having unkind thoughts about the IRS.  One of the birth narratives (Luke’s) teaches us that Christmas was very much a tax tale.

 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

So when you think about it, you realize that one of the reasons that Jesus was born in Bethlehem was that Joseph and Mary were tax compliant.  The translation they used at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Worcester where I took my sister for Midnight Mass last night said “enroll” rather than tax, but why would they be enrolling everybody other than to tax them?

In his public ministry Jesus had kind things to say about tax collectors, who were even more unpopular back then they are now.

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Something I Share With Kent Hovind

When I decide to consult the Bible, I have a preference for the King James Version. For me it is because the language is so majestic and, well, biblical I guess.  Kent Hovind and a small group of believers take it a step further and actually believe, as I understand it, that the King James translation is as inspired as the originals.  Here is his discussion on the issue.

I refer all matters concerning Evangelical Christianity to my blogging buddy, Reverend William Thronton.  I asked him what the general thinking on the King James issue is. He answered.

Southern Baptist seminaries teach that the Bible was inspired in the original languages, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. as written by the original authors rather than any English version. While the King James Version is respected and appreciated, I know of no SBC clergy who believe the Authorized Version, 1611 was itself inspired. I see an occasional church sign that says, “KJV only” but these are almost always independent Baptists, not SBC. The KJV only crowd is a very tiny subset of protestant Christianity. I have found discussions with KJV only folks to be markedly unproductive. Baptists would say to such folks, “Thou mayest, but as for me, no thanks.”

I didn’t say it earlier but there is disdain among educated Bible scholars for the KJV only crowd. My prof called it “willful ignorance.” But I’ve never had any KJVO folks in any of my churches. Did have a guy who needled me about not using the KJV in my preaching. I told him I would be glad to use it at his funeral…and I did.

So there might be some universities where Kent Hovind will be unpopular not just with the biologists, astronomers and geologists, but also the New Testament scholars. I should mention that his tax theories will not endear him to the accounting faculty.  I don’t care.  I still wish him well and hope for his speedy release and join with Nick Lally in encouraging him to move past his tax struggles.

Merry Christmas.

You can follow me on twitter@peterreillycpa.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

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