July-August 2021 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

A Florida creationist who sued the federal government for more than half a billion dollars won’t be getting a payout any time soon.

Kent Hovind, an independent Baptist minister who ran a creationist theme park in Pensacola, was accused of a variety of tax-related offenses in 2006. Hovind was convicted and spent nearly nine years in prison. Hovind, who created a new creationist ministry in Alabama after his release from prison, is working to overturn his conviction. In court, his attorney made a rather fanciful argument that the federal government had no jurisdiction over Hovind, invoking a variety of fringe legal theories.

Not surprisingly, the argument didn’t fare well in court. A magistrate judge recommended that the case be dismissed, and U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell II agreed last month, reported Forbes.

“[T]he Court agrees with the magistrate judge’s determination that this case is due to be dismissed for the reasons articulated in the Report and Recommendation,” Wetherell observed. “Indeed, the objections demonstrate the frivolous and delusional nature of this suit when, among other things, they assert that plaintiff Hovind and his ministry were beyond the jurisdiction of the United States and the obligation to pay income taxes is tantamount to being conscripted into involuntary servitude as a ‘tax collector for the United States.’” (Hovind v. United States of America)