Who Betrayed Kent Hovind?
Christian College leader says taxes are part of religion
Recounted from articles originally appearing the Trumpet in 2006
Pensacola News Journal, Oct. 20, 2006
A local Christian leader on Thursday [October 2006] testified against Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind, explaining the Bible does not condone tax evasion.
Rebekah Horton, Pensacola Christian College's longtime senior vice president, took the stand during the second day of testimony at the federal trial.
But Horton said whether Hovind works for God is irrelevant and the Bible does not exempt anyone from paying taxes.
"We know the Scriptures do not promote (tax evasion)," she said. "It's against Scripture teaching."
Horton believed it was the college's duty to report the misleading doctrine. Administration called the Internal Revenue Service and gave the tape to officials, she said.
We only have room for a part of this court room drama. But it is obvious that Dr. Horton has little understanding of Baptist soul liberty. She is willing to use the sword of government to enforce her scriptural belief concerning taxation, but isn't willing to allow Bro. Hovind to practice what he believes God would have him to do in this area. This is the difference between the Catholic/ Protestant and Baptist position on church and state. She wants the freedom to practice her faith to pay taxes, but denies his freedom to not pay what he believes to be an immoral and unconstitutional tax. But it is the hypocrisy of Dr. Horton that is astounding. It is surely the sounding brass and tinkling silver that the Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians about.
On cross examination by Hovind's attorney, Alan Richey, Dr. Horton said that she doesn't want to judge Bro. Hovind and then makes two incredible statements. First she says that Scripture is against "tax evasion." Mrs. Horton doesn't have a clue as to the fact that the First Amendment was put in place to protect us from religious bigots like Horton. The Hovinds are charged with violating certain tax laws of the U.S., not the scriptures. Besides, what does Horton know about the tax laws that the IRS agents who testified against the Hovind's didn't know? When asked by Hovind's attorney, they pleaded ignorance and were upheld Judge Rodgers, who said that they didn't have to answer questions concerning the IRC because they were not experts on the tax laws, but that she would tell them what the law was.
And now Dr. Horton gives the court the zinger. She says, "The Bible doesn't exempt anyone from paying taxes." Then why is she the Senior Vice-President, and her husband the President, of a tax-exempt organization known as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization that is exempt from federal income taxes? This also means that gifts to Pensacola Christian College are deductible from the donor's taxable income. The College is also exempt from county property taxes and from state sales taxes. In other words, Dr. Horton is out of jail for getting a license to operate their ministry by filing for every tax exemption that they can file for, which is exactly what an exemption is, but Bro. Hovind is in jail because he refused to file for an exemption, get a license to conduct his ministry, but demanded his God-ordained right to minister without taxation as guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Neither did the Hovinds receive tax deductible gifts for their ministry nor did they charge an admission fee for Dinosaur Land. However PCC charges tuition and for everything else that they can think of and a few things that they haven't. In fact, most are not aware that they are probably the first Mark of the Beast College in America in that some years ago they went totally cashless.
Eye Witness Account of David Gibbs, III Testimony at the Kent and Jo Hovind Trial
I listened to David Gibbs, III testify and I watched him when he arrived at the trial. He walked up to Asst. U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer, out in the hall and said "Hey girl, how is it going" as if they had known each other for some time. They laughed and joked with each other for a minute or so. Mr. Gibbs testified about taxes and that not paying taxes was a sin. His testimony proved the case against Kent and Jo Hovind was not about taxes but about religion. How could it be about taxes when the Government could not show that what the Hovinds were doing violated any law or regulation let alone that they thought they were violating some law or regulation? This case was about sending a message to people of faith. Keep quiet or we will get ya.
David Gibbs was asked questions about Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) to which he replied that he was fully aware of this section and how it operated. He said that he gives free legal advice to over 10,000 churches nation wide. He was then asked about Internal Revenue Code section 102 which says that "gifts" are "excluded from the calculation of gross income" no matter what amount; to which he appeared as if he had seen the Holy Ghost. He was very combative with Hovind's Attorney Alan Richey during cross examination and at all times clearly was not testifying neutrally but only about the Government's case. He clearly was working to help Mrs. Heldmyer silence Kent Hovind.
Mr. Gibbs testified that he met with Kent Hovind at his home. They spoke about the problem in the attempt to have the U.S. Congress take over every day life of people in each State of the Union. At no time did Mr. Gibbs ever inform Kent Hovind of section 7202, 7212 or any other relevant issue in the case which were the chief sections presented by the Government.
After watching this battle for 16 years and viewing many criminal trials, when I heard Attorney David Gibbs say not paying taxes was a sin I thought to myself "let him who is without sin cast the first stone." David Gibbs, the protector of the church and over 10,000 he said, had hurled one large stone at the church.
I thought right then and there isn't the motive of all churches to receive as many tax free dollars as possible? What about giving tax deductible receipts? Is that not a sin? If Congress can make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion then why is the Internal Revenue Code being relied upon by purely local churches regarding their activity in receiving gifts from parishioners?
I have an audio tape on my web page from a Saturday Conference Call I did on November 11, 2006 where for 90 minutes or so I explain what happened to the Hovinds. You can download it at www.penaltyprotestor.org. and listen to it whenever you are led.
Lindsey Springer's poignant question must be faced by the preachers of America either here or at the Judgment Seat of Christ. No nation on earth ever guaranteed churches the liberty that our nation has, and what have we done with this liberty? We have squandered it away and traded the Holy Word of God for the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). We have said that the tithes and offerings aren't enough, but we must have support from the State through tax-exempt gifts, and we even have our own law associations like CLA and lawyers like Gibbs to help us to continue riding on the gravy train. And when someone like a Kent Hovind comes along and says that they're getting off of the train, they must be persecuted and treated like trash by the lawyers and preachers.
The Lord Jesus said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous" (Matt. 23:29) He also said, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.". (Luke 11:52)
We extol men such as the Apostles Peter, John and Paul and then later the great Christian resisters like William Tyndale, John Bunyan, Isaac Bacchus and others and yet when a Kent Hovind comes along and refuses to take a license to preach in our generation, his contemporaries hold him up to ridicule and scorn, for his faith in what is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
By God's grace and His giving me breath, I will be in that court room. Every God fearing preacher in America should descend on Pensacola, Florida on January 19 and march in the streets to make America know that this is the last preacher that should ever go to jail. But we won't hold our breath to see any of the so called "pillars" of fundamentalism or leaders of "The Christian Right" anywhere near Western Florida on that day because they might just jeopardize their precious tax-exempt status.
One thing for sure, it is one thing to remain silent as most do, but to come out in a scathing denunciation of them even before their sentencing as Shelton Smith, Editor of the Sword of the Lord did in the December 1 issue is unconscionable. Every day that goes by we see more and more the reality of those words come to pass that the Lord Jesus said to that church long ago through His beloved Apostle of Love.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 3:13-22)