Remember the old joke that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged? By way of Ed Brayton, I came across this post by Kent Hovind about his time in jail. Both the post and some of the responses are fascinating (in a ‘car wreck’ sort of way) because they illuminate the authoritarian mind so well. Hovind has reached an epiphany of sorts about the criminal justice system:
At lunch last week, one of the inmates said, “If I could, I would bomb the Christian Coalition. They are the reason we are here.” I was shocked by his statement! I love the Christian Coalition, but I understand the man’s point. For years, Christians have pushed judges and legislators to be “tough on crime.” Most are thinking about violent crimes when pushing for this type legislation. However, only about three percent of those incarcerated in the United States are incarcerated for violent crimes. The unreasonable sentences people are given have come from judges who have never spent even one day locked up and who brag that they will give out sentences totaling “a million years” during their time on the bench.
Having been here for nearly six months, I will forever be an advocate of closing most jails and prisons. What this type of punishment does to families and society is terrible. I believe that we as Christians are unwittingly funding and encouraging the very prisons that will house the Christians as the New World Order approaches!
Ok, the last sentence is Glenn Beck nuttiness. But his line about blaming the judges is a bullshit dodge: in many places, judges are elected, and a ‘weak-on-crime’ judge won’t be re-elected. The same argument applies for appointed judges: politicians don’t want to appoint ‘weak-on-crime’ judges. Then there’s the excuse of ignorance. When Hovind says, “Most are thinking about violent crimes when pushing for this type legislation”, he’s either lying by denying any racial prejudice underlying the ‘tough on crime’ policies or else just exposing his extreme ignorance. Regarding the cruelty of the penal system, it’s too bad that it took Hovind’s own incarceration to reach his epiphany. Maybe when he gets out of jail he could do something useful like advocate for prisoners’ rights, as opposed to building creationist theme parks.
The responses are truly insane. Overwhelmingly, most of them are of the “remember the nails” variety. His readers also seem to have completely ignored his point about the penal-system induced breakup of families. The inability to think in the abstract is just mind boggling; it was true cultist behavior. However, one person wasn’t putting up with the self-pitying bullshit (italics mine):
kdrose Said this at 1:53pm:
I am very shocked and very sorry to hear about your situation. I am also confused as to what was going through your head when you decided yourself not to be subject to the law. I have read from several different newspaper sources that you received many chances from the IRS to make restitution. It seems as though you were very intelligent in your schemes over the last decade to hide your income and only recently decided to claim ingnorance of it. You could have filed “not for profit” status for your business. You attempted to decieve the government, evaded paying taxes and, as the head of your household, BROUGHT YOUR WIFE INTO CONFLICT with the authorities. Then you brought God into it. He is the reason you couldn’t pay your taxes. You have made a mockery of God and of Christians. Mr. Hovind, the trial you are facing was brought on by you. God loves you and will forgive you, WHEN you repent. You are still paying the consequences of you sin. I hope that you truly do repent. Remember what Isiah 59:1-2 says, “Indeed, the Lord’s arm is not too short to save, nor His ear to deaf too hear. But your sin has built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” Hopefully, this time in prison will be short but will not be wasted. God does not recognize verying degrees of sin. Every sin is equal in His eyes. Please repent not only for the ways you broke mans laws, but for the breach of trust between fellow believers. You yourself proclaim to be a Man of God. You preach God’s Truth, you bring lost people to Christ and God holds you to a higher accountability because you know better. Please, truly repent so that you may once again be a respected man of God.
She’s still a little bonkers: “brought your wife into conflict”–perhaps Mrs. Hovind is too stupid to be a responsible moral agent, but until proven otherwise, I’m not buying that. But there was a truly telling response:
To kdrose: I agree with Gene Schelings post concerning your opinion. Just as I find the slavery practiced in the u.S. before the civil war to be morally wrong, taxation is a form of slavery. It is just as repugnant.
No, taxation is a way to pay for things that society has deemed necessary. But if he really does think taxation is slavery, then I don’t ever want this guy to drive on any federally-funded highway. We shouldn’t tolerate the wages of sin and all of that. But this moron continues (italics mine):
To Samphire: I want you to know that I enjoy you. You said : Could not the physical reality of the Risen Jesus be an invention of St Paul just as Allah is the invention of Mohammed?
Well, I am not impressed with “Allah”‘ or Moe. BUT, ( I know, you’re not supposed to start a sentence with a conjuction) I think that the physical reality of the Risen Jesus has merit. Josh McDowell has written several excellent books. One of them, MORE THAN A CARPENTER (ISBN 0-8423-4550-7) deals with this very issue. On page 60, chapter 5 “Who would die for a lie?” Josh goes into how the disciples gave their lives because they were convinced that Jesus was resurrected. If they perpetrated a lie that Christ was resurrected when they knew that He wasn’t, they died for their lie. I don’t think so. I don’t have enough faith to believe that someone would knowingly die for a hoax. I think that you’d very much enjoy Josh Mc Dowells books MORE THAN A CARPENTER, EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, and MORE EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT. I am convinced that the evidence of Christs resurrection is overwhelming.
Calling Mohamed “Moe.” Nice touch. “I enjoy you”? That sounds like bad porn spam. What is astonishing is how “sonofjapheth” slides right past the question. It’s remarkable that he doesn’t seem to recognize that the gospels by their own admission were not written by contemporaries of the disciples. If one assumes that the gospels are literal, then sonofjapheth’s reasoning is valid, but the concept that the Gospels might not be a literal historical account doesn’t appear to exist in his ‘reality.’
The followers of Hovind dwell in a parallel universe to the rest of us, the Coalition of the Sane. This little exchange illustrates the strain of authoritarianism combined with a pathological inability to engage in abstraction running through this ‘movement.’ And I do mean pathological. How did the Lizard Brain People ever gain political power?
Related post: I think these guys could be called the Religious Right in the true sense of phrase.