Pharyngula

Hovindfreude

In the ongoing Hovind trial, no new revelations except for more details about how rich the creationist con artist and tax evader is. He makes $50,000/year in speaking fees, and with his wife, sells $1.8 million/year in “Christian merchandise” (tell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?).

They still deny that they earn salaries, and claim that they have no income at all.

Comments

  1. #1 quork
    October 31, 2006

    As you sow, so shall you reap:
    Antichrist buzz brings Bachmann camp denials

    Michele Bachmann’s campaign says talk about her Lutheran synod’s linking the pope to the antichrist is just a hornet’s nest stirred up by the Patty Wetterling camp.

  2. #2 Mrs Tilton
    October 31, 2006

    tell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?

    A little bit? Deep down? No, not a little bit, and not deep down.

    (I’m not sure I’m ‘devout and faithful’, BTW, but I suppose that by Pharyngula standards I’m close enough.)

  3. #3 hoody
    October 31, 2006

    you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula

    Hell you talking about? ALL of your regular readers are “faithful and devout”. They pay obeisance at the Altar of Materialistic Reductionism, and pay homage to their priest, Fr. PZ.

    That said. . . I hold no brief for defending Hovind. There are snake oils salesmen of every stripe. Some of them claim to be atheist.

  4. #4 Russell
    October 31, 2006

    I agree with Mrs Tilton: why should I cringe at the phrase “Christian merchandise,” any more than the phrase “Islamic merchandise” or “Jewish merchandise” or “Minnesotan merchandise.” Someone has to sell those crosses, Korans, yarmulkes, and big foam cheese hats.

  5. #5 Mike
    October 31, 2006

    “He makes $50,000/year in speaking fees, and with his wife, sells $1.8 million/year in “Christian merchandise” (tell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?).”

    They make me cringe somewhat, though Hovind’s obvious dishonesty and grasping for wealth make me cringe much more considering how consistently Jesus spoke in favour of the poor (and not just ‘the deserving poor’ and he didn’t mention that other cop-out ‘child poverty’) and of the difficulty in being both righteous and rich. Heck, I feel guilty about how my comfortable public service salary compares to my charitable giving.

    And Hovind’s family availing itself of what I assume is the charity of the Baptist Health Care is the moral equivalent of robbing the church poor box. The moreso as his ilk support those dead set against comprehensive public health care.

  6. #6 Caledonian
    October 31, 2006

    I have vague memories of a temple and some moneychangers, but the story must be too esoteric for a mere unbeliever like me to recall. Perhaps one of the believers better-schooled in Christian theology than I could enlighten us…?

  7. #7 Occam's Electric Razor
    October 31, 2006

    Hey, nothing sells like dead messiah!

  8. #8 MAJeff
    October 31, 2006

    I agree with Mrs Tilton: why should I cringe at the phrase “… “Minnesotan merchandise.” Someone has to sell those … big foam cheese hats.

    Minnesota is not Wisconsin, thank you very much.

  9. #9 John Bode
    October 31, 2006

    Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I’ve wondered about “Christian” stores and merchandise for a while now; I know I’m just a know-nothing atheist, but it seems that a business based on selling Christian memorabilia is somehow…unChristian, or at least un-Christ-like. I’m not talking about books (including the Bible) or even crosses and fishies, but the kitschy knick-knackery, the stuff that’s obviously useless decoration and stamped “Made in China” (by Chinese believers, one would hope). It serves little to no devotional purpose AFAICT, but is quite effective at concentrating money into fewer bank accounts.

    I mean, I’m not going to pick on someone for buying a serving platter with Our Lord’s likeness painted on it (whatever floats your Ark, Bubba), but I just wonder how the whole enterpise jibes with what Jesus himself was actually, you know, saying.

    But then I’m reminded by the helpful folks that run the country that Jesus was indeed a true laissez-fare capitalist who saw nothing wrong with accumulating vast amounts of wealth, because after all that meant you were right with God.

  10. #10 llewelly
    October 31, 2006

    have vague memories of a temple and some moneychangers, but the story must be too esoteric for a mere unbeliever like me to recall. Perhaps one of the believers better-schooled in Christian theology than I could enlighten us…?

    Choose your poison, Caledonian:

    KJV

    Brick Testament

    (Disclaimer – I’m not a believer, but I grew up with this sort of thing.)

  11. #11 Stephen Erickson
    October 31, 2006

    “[T]ell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?”

    This sort of snide comment has been creeping into the blog more and more. I can not believe that PZ has never met Christians who also despise Ken Hovind and his huckster ilk.

  12. #12 Jon H
    October 31, 2006

    “Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I’ve wondered about “Christian” stores and merchandise for a while now; I know I’m just a know-nothing atheist, but it seems that a business based on selling Christian memorabilia is somehow…unChristian, or at least un-Christ-like.”

    You should check out the upscale yuppie materialism in Buddhist magazines. I decided not to buy any more copies when UBS, the Swiss investment bank that bought Dean Witter, started taking out ads.

  13. #13 Steve LaBonne
    October 31, 2006

    Stephen- Christians, yes (liberal types like UCCers.) Evangelicals? Good luck. (Who do you think sells and buys all that “Christian merchandise”?) And there are a lot of conservative Catholics who are no better than the evangelicals.

  14. #14 thisgeneration386sx
    October 31, 2006

    This sort of snide comment has been creeping into the blog more and more. I can not believe that PZ has never met Christians who also despise Ken Hovind and his huckster ilk.

    Yeah, but I think the point was that Jesus wants us to sell the merchandise, and then after that, give away all the money. And then hate our families. And then go pray in the closet. And then bingo we’re in there. And then in “this generation” the end is near. One might argue that Jesus was talking to specific people at a specific time about specific things that only pertain to them specifically, but then one might ask: When wasn’t he?
    So it all just boils down to this: Jesus says whatever we feel like we want him to say. That’s my kinda religion. Oh yeah.

  15. #15 Jonathan Badger
    October 31, 2006

    You should check out the upscale yuppie materialism in Buddhist magazines. I decided not to buy any more copies when UBS, the Swiss investment bank that bought Dean Witter, started taking out ads.

    Hey, even those followers of Abrahamic religions that see no contradiction in amassing worldly wealth don’t believe they can take it with them — but financial planning for future reincarnations — that’s different. What if a stockbrocker is a yak herder in his next life? Starting out with some cash could really help.

  16. #16 JD
    October 31, 2006

    I think I’m going to develop a habit in malls of taking one step into christian stores, yelling “MONEYCHANGERS!” and walking out.

    Mainly because I like to giggle.

  17. #17 afterthought
    October 31, 2006

    “(tell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?).”

    Well, one would have to accept the idea of hypocrisy in yourself to feel that cring, yes? I have seen little evidence of hypocrisy awareness in a good number of the devote or especially the right-wing. That sort of thinking gets in the way of attack ads, profits, and materialism so out it goes.

  18. #18 j.t.delaney
    October 31, 2006

    Ah, but isn’t it all part of Our Heavenly Father’s multi-level marketing business plan? You see, you sell a certain amount of the merchandise, then people see how well it works, they become return customers, and then you set them up with a franchise. After awhile, they recruit more people, and the merchandise practically sells itself! If you stick with the program, you can retire in only a couple of years…

  19. #19 George
    October 31, 2006

    The whole religion thing is a vast con artist money making operation – prey on people’s vulnerabilities and fears to extort money from them.

    The priests, rabbis, ministers, etc. call themselves spiritual, but at bottom it’s just a glorified fleecing operation.

    Sickening, really.

  20. #20 Russell
    October 31, 2006

    MAJeff rebukes me, “Minnesota is not Wisconsin, thank you very much.”

    Yeah, yeah. And Maronites aren’t Roman Catholic, even if they seem pretty much two peas in a pod to outsiders. Two midwest states with lots of lakes and snowy, frigid winters. Do people ice fish in Wisconsin? Then how was I to know they didn’t wear big cheese hats?

    🙂

  21. #21 Stephen Erickson
    October 31, 2006

    Purely hypothetical aside: Why do equations done in MS-Word look so f*@%ing sh!tty?

  22. #22 Stogoe
    October 31, 2006

    Anyone who has taken more than a glance at ‘flyover country’ should know that Wisconsin has cheese, and Minnesota has pro football stripper party yachts. Oh, and that huge mall somewhere.

    Otherwise, not that much different.

  23. #23 Russell
    October 31, 2006

    Stripper party yachts!?

    Obviously, I haven’t been paying attention. My apologies to Minnesotans everywhere.

    And I expect a guided tour when I next visit. =:-)

  24. #24 Turcano
    October 31, 2006

    “Tell me, you devout and faithful believers who also read Pharyngula: do those two words in conjunction make you cringe a little bit, deep down?”.

    What do mean, “a little bit, deep down”? I detest such hucksterism; I can’t even walk into a Christian bookstore anymore, it seems. I think that started when I wanted to buy a book by Calvin (I think–it was a while ago) and discovered that it would have taken up shelf space that was apparently better filled by Left Behind and Veggietales.

    And don’t get me started on those stupid T-shirts with the Christianized logo parodies.

    Anyway, it’s nice to see that moron finally getting his comeuppance (Hovindfreude, indeed).

  25. #25 Mrs Tilton
    October 31, 2006

    I agree with Mrs Tilton

    Russell, I fear you may have misunderstood Mrs Tilton.

  26. #26 RavenT
    October 31, 2006

    Why do equations done in MS-Word look so f*@%ing sh!tty?

    Because Word isn’t a type-setting program, it’s a word-processor, and EquationEditor is a half-assed later add-in. The equations in my thesis were what convinced me to switch to LaTeX, and I never went back–after getting through the pain-in-the-ass LaTeX learning curve, all my papers look much more professional than they used to.

  27. #27 Stephen Erickson
    October 31, 2006

    I use Latex for my own docs, but when you work with other people, you don’t always get to choose.

    I guess to be more specific, Why doesn’t Word have a better-looking, more user-friendly interface for equations?

  28. #28 Jim Wynne
    October 31, 2006

    Russell, I fear you may have misunderstood Mrs Tilton.

    Mrs. Tilton, I think you may need to check the batteries in your irony meter, if you have one.

  29. #29 Andrew Wade
    October 31, 2006

    Because Word isn’t a type-setting program, it’s a word-processor, and EquationEditor is a half-assed later add-in.
    … That wasn’t even written by Microsoft in the first place. I remember the early days of OLE, and they were painful. Objects taking it into their heads to resize to five pages wide, objects spontaneously degenerating into mere images, objects changing their scale spontaneously, and no user interface to change the scale back, Word refusing to save because “the disk was full”, never mind the crashes. “half-assed” is a big step up.

  30. #30 Susannah
    October 31, 2006

    “…with his wife, sells $1.8 million/year in “Christian merchandise””

    That’s the humble “piano teacher”, isn’t it?

  31. #31 RavenT
    October 31, 2006

    I use Latex for my own docs, but when you work with other people, you don’t always get to choose.

    I’ve seen other people do this, with some success–it seems like a lot of effort to me, but it may possibly be useful in collaborating: typeset the equations in LaTeX, then do a screenshot of the typeset equation, then insert it in Word as a graphic.

    “half-assed” is a big step up.

    So true, Andrew, so true.

  32. #32 Inquisitor
    October 31, 2006

    The good news for people forced into using Word for scientific documents is that after decades of complaining there’s a new equation editor in Word 2007 and it doesn’t suck nearly as much – there’s no OLE involved, it does smart symbol replacement (e.g. \theta or e^(2x+1) or whatever gets transformed into the correct symbol on the push of a spacebar), the new standard equation font is much nicer than Times New Roman, you can add to a gallery of predefined equations to drop in quickly…

    It won’t exactly attract LaTeX converts (and for free plus learning curve, there’s nothing better), but it is a step in the right direction. Which isn’t something you can often say about Office upgrades, that’s for sure.

  33. #33 MikeQ
    November 1, 2006

    Kent Hovind and Al Capone–both brought down by the IRS.

    Now all we need to do is get Sean Connery to make a cameo in the trial and start talking about the Untouchables and the Chicago Way:

    “…They put one of your’s in the hospital, you put one of their’s in the morgue…” or white collar prison. Wherever tax evades go.

  34. #34 mndean
    November 1, 2006

    Well, I’d rather use LaTeX and keep my money. But then, I’ve been known to use vi and even Emacs for most of my simple text editing. Learning curve? I used to write FORTRAN and APL programs for fun. Everything else is a mere bagatelle.

  35. #35 Loren Petrich
    November 1, 2006

    Here’s that Temple temper tantrum that Caledonian was likely talking about:

    Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'” (Matthew 21:12-13)

    On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Mark 11:15-17)

    Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” (Luke 19:45-46)

    When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:13-16)

    (all these are NIV)

  36. #36 Rienk
    November 1, 2006

    He makes $50,000/year in speaking fees …

    Heck, he should pay his audience $50,000 /hour just for listening to his drivel!

    … and with his wife, sells $1.8 million/year in “Christian merchandise”

    That’s a lot of execution-device necklaces!
    It’s so funny to see how HovindGate unfolds. Maybe Hovind can publicly say “I’m not a crook!” just for my kicks.

  37. #37 J-Dog
    November 1, 2006

    Maybe Hovind can publicly say “I’m not a crook!” just for my kicks.

    Rienk – So, you want Hovind to lie, just so you can get your kicks!

    Just read the latest story from P-Cola – The judge is all over Hovind’s attorney for being an idiot. Cool!

  38. #38 No one really important.
    November 7, 2006

    I don’t much care for Hovind. I think he’s a complete hack.

    But then…don’t Atheists, and plenty of pro-evolutionary scientists do this shit too? I don’t understand it. You people would (and have) ignore it if a self-professed ‘Godless Liberal’ were to evade taxes or commit some other crime, but act like the explosion of the sun is drawing nigh when a Christian does it. Chalk it up to the moral superiority so many Christians exhibit if you like, but then, you naturalists sure do seemed quite concerend with moral superiority and inferiority for a group of people who don’t believe in such nonsense.

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