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Help Save Dinosaur Adventure Land

The authorities in Pensacola, Florida are trying to bulldoze Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land over a building permit dispute. The buildings are all up to code, inspected and found sound, and have stood since 2002 through some of the worst hurricanes Florida has seen in decades.

What is WRONG with everyone? I don’t believe people and dinosaurs lived together like the Flintstones but I sure as heck don’t think a theme park that purports that they did should be shut down because of how fashionalbe it is to bust chops on Christian young earth creationists. This really sucks. I can hardly believe this is the same country I defended in the Marine Corps 30 years ago. I’ve been to Disneyland many times and there’s sure a lot of as-authentic-as-can-be fantasy themes there. This is no different except the theme is young earth creation science and a famous young earth creationist owns the park.

Tell them how you feel. Click here to learn how to help.

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18 Responses to Help Save Dinosaur Adventure Land

  1. Perhaps it’s because, as you say, Hovind doesn’t have a business license nor did he obtain a building permit for the park, which would ensure the safety of the many dozens of visitors he gets. He violated the building code by not getting a permit. If he had bothered to get a permit, it wouldn’t have come to this. Of course, Hovind says that the park should be exempt from taxes, but he has no tax-exempt status. If he wants to change that, I presume he could have. Also:

    In Re Hovind, 197 B.R. 157 (Bankr. N.D. Fla. 1996) Debtor Kent E. Hovind was a tax protester who filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Petition after the IRS had seized three vehicles, a homemade trailer, and $54 in cash. Mr. Hovind had never filed a tax return (the IRS had filed them on his behalf), did not acknowledge that he was a citizen of the U.S. nor subject to its tax laws, and claimed that he was was “an evangelist employed by God”. On his bankruptcy schedules, he declared that he had no property, received no income, had no expenses, and had no creditors (except for the IRS, which filed a claim for $10,690 in unpaid taxes). In finding that Mr. Hovind had filed false schedules, the Court noted that he had a home with recently installed central air conditioning, and sent all three children to a private Christian school at a cost of $4,800 per year. Under these facts, the Court had no difficulty in holding that the petition was filed in bad faith, and that he was ineligible for Chapter 13 relief under 11 U.S.C. Section 109(e) because he had no income. “The evidence presented at the hearing paints a clear portrait of a tax protester whose sole purpose in seeking relief under Chapter 13 was to obtain the release of property seized by the IRS.”

    And, says IRS agent Scott Schneider, in a sworn statement in 2004 : “Since 1997, Hovind has engaged in financial transactions indicating sources of income and has made deposits to bank accounts well in excess of $1 million per year during some of these years, which would require the filing of federal income taxes” http://www.sptimes.com/2004/04.....rk_s.shtml

    While I can sympathize with Hovind’s dislike of paying taxes, the proper and legal recourse is to protest legally against them, encourage legislation that others vote for, and follow basic sensible precautions such as insurance and building permits that would protect people visiting his park.

    Furthermore, there are good reasons — in other areas — to believe that Hovind is not the good Christian that he purports to be. For instance, given that Jesus was born a Jew, spoke in the synagogue, held Passover and died a Jew, I find it dispicable that Hovind openly endorses claims of early Jewish persecution of a known forgery, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and a book called the Fourth Reich of the Rich, which charges that Jews are “trying to take over the world.” Yes, I know he has claimed not to be anti-Semetic, but, so what purpose is being served in dispersing those views?

    I could add more, but I’d rather ask honestly: Do you really want to associate this site with such a man?

    Oh, and I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Easter/Sunday/weekend in my last post, so, belated good wishes to all. JP

    Let me get this straight. 2 years ago the IRS raided his home and businesses seeking evidence of wrongdoing and no charges were ever filed. I’m not sure how it works in Australia but in the United States Hovind is innocent until proven guilty and so far there hasn’t even been any charges filed to say nothing of a conviction. Speaking of Australia, when a British friend of mine was going through customs the Australian customs officer asked him if he’d ever been convicted of a felony. With a stiff upper lip my friend replied, “I wasn’t aware that was still an entrance requirement.” :lol: -ds

  2. 2

    jpadilla has a point. Kent Hovind is really the worst of the worst. The arguments he uses are obsolete, wrong, completely offtopic, or outright lies and he knows it. We’re talking about a guy who has been discredited by Answers in Genesis for cying out loud. Hovind has negative credibility. He’s not a guy you want to have on your side.

    The 1st amendment protects even that which you most disagree with. I already stated I don’t share Hovind’s beliefs but he’s got a right to express them and he has a right for his church to be treated like a church. If people don’t like it they don’t have to go to it. It’s just that simple. -ds

  3. Black Hole Sun,
    Hovind hasn’t been discredited by AiG. AiG only thinks that SOME of his arguements are not, or should not, be used against Darwinian fundamentalism. However, that is a far cry from being “discredited”.

    Even if the the humanists suceed in bringing down this theme park, another one will start either this year or next year. The new coming park with have EXACLY the same message as Hovind’s Park.

  4. 4

    Mats: http://www.kent-hovind.com/aig_debunk.htm

    Even if AiG hasn’t expressly discredited him (which they did, see the third footnote in the link), it is clear that they do not approve of his activities. Outside of AiG, he has been called on his education numerous times. His “doctorate” was obtained through an unaccredited diploma mill. Every single one of his arguments has been debunked, most of them by other creationists. He has been thoroughly discredited.

    That said, I guess I misinterpreted what Dave said. Yes, he has the freedom to express his views, but you’d think he could at least obey laws regarding building permits. Instead, he claims that he is not a citizen of this country and is only subject to the laws of the Bible.

  5. Actually Hovind is due in tax court next week.

    On the “theme park” closure issue, he built the structures without going through the required permiting procedure. The county has indicated many times that all he has to do is file the appropriate permits and go through the process and they would leave him alone. He adamantly refuses to do so. See here:
    http://tinyurl.com/nhz8a

    This is part of his consistent pattern of denying government power when it would be inconvenient but he also is very willing to embrace government power as in when he pursued getting his “theme park” granted tax exempt status through a law in the Florida state legislature.

  6. “I already stated I don’t share Hovind’s beliefs but he’s got a right to express them and he has a right for his church to be treated like a church.”

    He is being treated like a church. Churches have to get building permits just like anyone else. When my father and I helped build a new wing on the church I grew up in, our minister wasn’t bothered by that fact.

    “Let me get this straight. 2 years ago the IRS raided his home and businesses seeking evidence of wrongdoing and no charges were ever filed.”

    His trial for tax evasion is scheduled for April 24th, 2006.

    That’s bunk about churches getting building permits. They’re entitled to waivers where secular building codes and religious requirements clash. I grew up near the Pennsylvania Dutch and they have their own traditional methods and materials. Nobody tells them they can’t build according to their religious doctrine. The reason people usually build to code when not compelled is because banks won’t finance structures that aren’t built to code (even if you don’t need a loan if you ever sell it the buyer might need a loan), insurers won’t insure it, and if there’s any possibility of selling a church building with a waiver to an owner that isn’t entitled to a waiver there’s no grandfathering. If Hovind wants all that baggage and his religious scripture doesn’t allow non-believers to tromp through the holy buildings inspecting things then he should get a waiver without a big hassle. -ds

  7. ‘Speaking of Australia, when a British friend of mine was going through customs the Australian customs officer asked him if he’d ever been convicted of a felony. With a stiff upper lip my friend replied, “I wasn’t aware that was still an entrance requirement.”’

    The Brits started transporting felons to Australia after the United States won its independence. Care to guess where they transported them to while we were still a set of British colonies?

    I’m going to make an educated guess and say “Yo mama’s house” -ds

  8. “His “doctorate” was obtained through an unaccredited diploma mill.”

    Just to point out, some well-respected doctoral programs are not accreditted. Even Harvard won’t say whether or not their graduate programs are accreditted:

    http://www.harvard.edu/siteguide/faqs/faq114.html

    Just to play devil’s advocate, have you personally examined the degree requirements from Hovind’s university? Are you certain that it isn’t up to par with other programs?

  9. “That’s bunk about churches getting building permits. They’re entitled to waivers where secular building codes and religious requirements clash. I grew up near the Pennsylvania Dutch and they have their own traditional methods and materials.”

    No, it is not bunk. Religious institutions are subject to neutrally applicable regulations, and are not given an automatic waiver simply because they want one. Hovind might have been able to argue that he should be able to use nonstandard techniques or materials, but that is not his claim. He is arguing that he is not subject to secular regulations at all, which is clearly not the case. A church can’t exempt itself from the law simply because it doesn’t want to pay the fees associated with compulsory inspections or licensing.

    Hovind’s claims are frivolous and dishonest, and as other commentors have said, it reflects poorly on DaveScott to be leaping to his defense.

  10. This theme park is not a church and ought to be subject to building codes for its visitor’s saftey. There appears to be no valid reason for Mr. Hovind to refuse to follow proper procedures. It appears as though if he would simply follow those procedures there would not be an issue and Dinosaur Adventure Land would free from worry. If this tax business is true then I am angry. This guy is alledgedly pocketing large sums of cash and not paying his fair share back.Jesus said give unto Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar. He never said anything about being exempt from rules largely meant to ensure the saftey of our citizens. This case seems more like someone behaving badly and hiding behind a bogus banner of religious persecution then a vindictive local government going after a legitimate YEC business.

    I will agree with the post on principle. As much as it frustrates me seeing children being taught that kind of “science” there is nothing unconstitutional about it in a private park, and such a park has every right to exist. I will, however, disagree that the fantasies at Disney Land and at Dinosaur Adventure Land are comparable. Disney is understood fantasy while DAL purports to be telling scientific truths about Earth when it does quite the opposite.

    Disney is understood fantasy

    Not really. Their future themes are supposed to be plausible futures. Pirates of the Carribean – there really were pirates in the Carribean. The Haunted House – plenty of people believe in ghosts. Not Disney but Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are real for a lot of kids. If people want to believe these things (Dinosaur Land included) that’s their business and I don’t see any particular harm in it. Believing this stuff isn’t a cause of anything, it’s a symptom of something if you know what I mean. -ds

  11. Johnnyb, your characterization of the Harvard site is inaccurate and misleading. That page just says to look to each graduate school’s web site to get accreditation information, because the harvard.edu page just deals with Harvard College and/or the FAS. I imagine that it doesn’t bother to give information about the various graduate schools because each is subject to different accreditation standards from different academic and professional organizations.

    But some of the graduate schools don’t bother to list their accreditation status, because it’s just assumed that an Ivy League university will be accredited. My alma mater HLS, for instance, doesn’t bother to mention that it is ABA-accredited.* It’s sort of ridiculous that they wouldn’t be, and I suppose no one has ever bothered to mention it on the web site (at least that I can see).

    Can some schools be worthwhile but unaccredited? Sure. But Hovind is pretending to some sort of basic scientific understanding, and the idea that he got a serious scientific education from a school that can’t scrape up accreditation from a serious board is fairly silly.

    * It is, of course; see http://www.abanet.org/legaled/.....alpha.html

  12. 1. “That’s bunk about churches getting building permits. They’re entitled to waivers where secular building codes and religious requirements clash. I grew up near the Pennsylvania Dutch and they have their own traditional methods and materials. Nobody tells them they can’t build according to their religious doctrine.”

    States can provide waivers if they wish, but they’re not forced to as long as there’s a legitimate purpose served by the permitting process, etc. Building codes are enforced for churches in Oregon.

    2. The Brits started transporting felons to Australia after the United States won its independence. Care to guess where they transported them to while we were still a set of British colonies?

    I’m going to make an educated guess and say “Yo mama’s house” -ds

    Well, no. The South, primarily. The part of the future United States which eventually settled in the state you live in, Dave.

    Yeah, I was just kidding about yo mama. Even felons have standards. -ds

  13. Black Hole:

    AiG has some points of disagreement with Kent Hovind, but in the essencials they are in agreement:

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....alysis.asp

    I repeat, that is a far cry from being “discredited”.

  14. “I will agree with the post on principle. As much as it frustrates me seeing children being taught that kind of “science” there is nothing unconstitutional about it in a private park, and such a park has every right to exist.”

    If that were the issue, I’d agree with the post on principle, too. But of course, that’s not the issue. Hovind believes that his being a Christian means he can refuse to pay building permit fees and federal income tax. If he ponies up the building permit fee, Dinoland will live on in all its hilarious young-earth creationist glory.

  15. There are many problems with your stand…

    First, you claim that theme park is being persecuted for religious reasons. In order to make this claim, you’d have to produce counterexamples of profit making, public facilities, religious or otherwise, that are allowed to operate without proper building permits. Otherwise, all I see is Florida officials enforcing Florida law.

    Second, you seem to think that not falling down or catching fire for four years is ample evidence of a building’s safety. There are lots of places in the world that operate on this principle. I recommend you visit some of them and decide whether that’s really how you want the US to operate.

    As for your example of the Pennsylvania Dutch, there are three problems with your argument: (1) The Pennsylvania law is ridiculous to begin with. It’s the same reasoning that allows them to employ child labor in unsafe workplaces and has no place in the First World. (2) That aside, they actually *can* point to an aspect of their religious faith that dictates their building style; Hovind’s only “deeply held religious belief” is that he doesn’t believe in paying for things. (3) While the Pennsylvania law might grant waivers in the case of homes and places of worship, the *public* buildings where they sell there goods are absolutely subject to the law, and that’s closer to the mark, just as the public restaurants are subject to health codes.

    Are you really trying to claim that religion should be carte blanche for
    completely ignoring the law?

    -jc

    Are you really trying to claim that religion should be carte blanche for
    completely ignoring the law?

    No dear, in this case just building codes and income taxes. I would remind you (or instruct you as the case may be) that the United States got along just fine without building codes or income taxes for *anyone* for a very long time. I would be on Hovind’s side even if his claim had nothing to do with religion. The fact that he is a minister just adds insult to injury. I’m very much a libertarian and the best bit of advice I ever heard when it comes to gov’t is to make a rule that for every new law and new bureaucratic position made two old ones have to be unmade. -ds

  16. Wait a minute, Dave. You can’t be telling me that you would be going to bat for, say, Darwinists over an issue like this, due to your “libertarianism.” Also, I frankly doubt that you truly believe that people have the right to ignore building codes because it suits their ideological preference. On this one it might be best to just admit that you didn’t know the full facts of the case. You’re a good guy, and it’s a noble try, but give it up. Hovind didn’t follow the law, and is paying for it.

    No, I really do dislike big gov’t. It’s out of control. Hovind is taking a stand on principle. Good for him. You act like he’s trying to murder unborn babies without a license or something. He’s harming no one and minding his own business. -ds

  17. DaveScot,

    You can see Kent Hovind’s upcoming court case here:
    http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/Ustc.....o=05011894

    I just wanted to make sure you understood that charges *are* being filed after the IRS raid. You were wrong about that.

    Best regards

    In San Diego? It appears there’s a summary judgement pending. Do you know what this case is in regard to? -ds

  18. As a resident of Florida I say God Bless Kent Hovind! You people obviously have no idea just how intrusive the coding laws are in this state! Good Lord, in my city they shut down a kids lemonade stand because it violated local buliding codes. It is about time someone told these people to go to hell.

    I have spoken with Dr. Hovind on many occasions (and by the way, if his title of ‘Doctor’ bothers you so much, he just tells people to call him ‘Mister’ or ‘Kent.’) His son, Eric, has made yearly trips to the school where I currently work as a teacher to explain creation science to our students.

    I know them well enough to say that with this family what you see is what you get.

    Dr. Hovind is not some conniving tax dodger. He is someone sick of having the government push people around and is taking the stand he feels is right.

    I suppose one could argue that we must always work within the confines of acceptable law and jurisprudence, but when those behind the laws are also corrupt sometimes there isn’t much choice.

    I wish him well. Today was the big court day and as of yet I don’t know how things turned out. But I’m praying he still has his freedom. I’m also praying about a million Christian leaders develop his dino-sized back-bone.

    I would like to share Dr. Hovind’s Travel update:

    “It is 5 am Feb. 12, 06 (Darwin’s Birthday) and I just finished reading some of my huge pile of letters and articles that get sent to me every day. I often sleep hard for 4-5 hours then wake up in the night to work a few hours, read and pray before going back to sleep for another hour or so. I know it is a strange schedule but the phone never rings and I never get interrupted so I get lots done! I’m staying in a beautiful home in the snow covered country in Tennessee where I have been preaching for the last two days. I head home this afternoon. Yea! Then on to Texas Wednesday to tape with Dr. Baugh on TBN.

    Three days ago was my 37th spiritual birthday. As I was talking with the Lord tonight about all the great needs in the world I said, “Lord, there is only one of me! And sometimes that is too many!” I know that I often get in the way of God doing His work. At the seminar earlier today (or yesterday-what do you call it in the middle of the night?) I was talking with one of the dozens of kids that always swarm about me before and after each service. I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. I wonder how many times I have asked kids that question.

    Then I thought, what do I want to be when I grow up? Many years ago I asked one of my science students what I should be when I grow up. She said, “You don’t need to worry about that Mr. Hovind. That will never happen to you!”

    I will probable always be a kid but what should I be if I ever grow up? I could easily spend my life reading and learning. I love to read! I could also spend my life teaching and preaching. I do that over 900 times every year now. I could spend my life building and developing Dinosaur Adventure Land. I love to build and think up new ways to teach spiritual truths using science and God’s creation. I could spend my life answering letters, calls and questions. I love to help people understand God’s Word and appreciate His creation! I could spend my life debating evolutionists at universities. I have done that 100 times now and really love it! The more hostile the environment (like at Berkeley twice now) the better I like it! Well over 3,000 professors have refused to debate me. I can understand there reluctance. Would you want to defend the idea that we all came from a rock? I love debating evolutionists to help the poor students they try to brainwash!

    I could easily spend my life with my family. My three children and their spouses all live around me and work in our ministry. We love each other and get along marvelously. My four grandchildren (ages 3 and under) are even more fun than their parents! I really love reading them books, taking naps with them, teaching them things, watching their excited faces as we go “feed the critters” every night that I am home. We have lots of “critters” like turtles, snakes, hamsters, chinchillas, peacocks, a dove, lizards etc at DAL. I wish I had grown up in a place like DAL! You should come visit this amazing place!

    I could spend my life touring the world. I love to travel and see new places. I have been to all 50 states and 37 counties with 4 more coming this year! (Come join me for the 9 day Holy Land cruise this November- see the web site for details) I could also spend my life riding my Suzuki 650 scooter. Of the 80 plus motorcycles I have owned since I was 12 this one is the best! If you have never had motorcycle fever you will not understand!

    I could spend my life complaining. My back hurts nearly every moment of my life from 3 whiplash accidents 30 years ago. My son in law has very serious cancer and is in pain every day as well. My wife has had debilitating pain every day for 6 years now from her bruised tail bone. There is always an endless list of things to fix in one of the 20 buildings our ministry owns or one of the many vehicles and machines we use. There is never enough money to do all the things we want to do to expand our outreach for the Lord. There are now nearly 2,000 anti-Hovind web sites where dozens of lies circulate about me. Even a few fellow creationists misrepresent me on their sites. I could spend my life defending myself against their lies.

    I could spend my life thinking of the past and regretting all the missed opportunities. If only I had …… I could spend my life worrying about the future. The New World Order is fast approaching and “perilous times” (2 Timothy 3:1) are coming soon for the world.

    It is now 6 am and I think I will go back to sleep for an hour. Then I will get up to go preach about creation on Darwin’s birthday, make airplanes for the kids, tell corny jokes, make some child feel important, build the faith of some college student struggling with evolution and win someone to Christ. I think I will just keep doing what I have been doing for 37 years now- try to be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and obey Him day by day. I think I will spend my life doing that. It is really rewarding! You should try it.”

    Kent Hovind

    Yup, that’s Dr. Hovind: just wants to bring people to Christ.

    No wonder they want him locked up.

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