Our good friend “Dr.” Kent Hovind is in trouble with the law once again. Seems a judge has ordered his creationist theme park Dinosaur Adventure Land shuttered and locked for lack of proper building permits:
Escambia County authorities this week locked up a museum building at the theme park on North Palafox Street in Pensacola after Circuit Judge Michael Allen ruled the owners were in contempt of court.
Owners of the park, which shows how dinosaurs may have roamed the Earth just a few thousand years ago, did not obtain a building permit before constructing the building in 2002. They have argued in and out of court that it violates their “deeply held” religious beliefs, and that the church-run facility does not have to obtain permits.
After almost four years of litigation, the judge disagreed and said the county has the authority to close the building until the owners comply with regulations.
I have some “deeply held” beliefs that I should be able to legally put my foot up Hovind’s ass, but I don’t see him bending over in recognition of those beliefs. It gets better though:
The judge also fined two church leaders $500 each per day for every day the building is used or occupied. If church officials continue to refuse to comply with local ordinances, the judge may decide that the building can be razed, Allen’s ruling said.
If I were a praying man I’d be praying really hard right about now that the idiots running that park continue to refuse to comply.
County commissioners showed no sympathy to members of the Creation Science Evangelism ministry who spoke out Thursday night at a commission meeting about the county’s actions.
“Scripture also says ‘Render unto Caesar what Caesar demands.’ And right now, Caesar demands a building permit,” County Commission Chairman Mike Whitehead said.
What really cracks me up about all this is the simple fact that Hovind and his buddies could make this all go away by just getting the stupid building permits and then he’d be free to continue running his nonsense filled theme park to promote his creationist viewpoint, but he’s so arrogant and filled with a sense of overblown self-importance that he refuses to comply so he can screech about how he’s being persecuted:
Church leader Kent Hovind vowed to appeal the case.
“We will continue our legal fight,” Hovind said Thursday.
“This is pure religious persecution,” said Glen Stoll, who works closely with Hovind on legal issues.
Which may be the point in the long run as this certainly results in quite a bit of publicity for an otherwise forgettable theme park. How much do you want to bet we start hearing about ads for the park claiming it’s filled with WHAT THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW! Though I don’t know if these folks are that clever. Consider the following:
Legal questions are nothing new for Dinosaur Adventure Land and the leaders of the church group that operates it:
- In 2004, The Internal Revenue Service raided Hovind’s home and businesses. Agents said Hovind had failed to pay taxes. That case is pending, and federal attorneys declined to comment about it.
- While the building permit case was in court, the ownership of the theme park was transferred to Stoll, who resides in Washington State, according to court papers. Stoll has been investigated at least twice by federal authorities, court records show.
Last year, the U.S. attorney in Seattle filed a lawsuit against Stoll, charging him with promoting a scheme encouraging people to avoid paying taxes by claiming to be religious entities, according to news reports.
A federal judge ruled against Stoll, ordering him to stop the practices. Stoll said Thursday that he doesn’t recognize the ruling because he was never properly served with court papers.
Stoll sounds like he’s just begging for a trip to PMITA prison and, honestly, I wouldn’t be upset to see him get it.