Hovind Found Guilty Of Contempt Of Court

Kent Hovind, Independent Baptist minister and proponent of Young Earth Creationism, has been on trial in the federal district court in Pensacola. The charges relate to actions taken in response to government seizure of property. The seizure was a result of his conviction in 2006 for structuring, the systematic withdrawal of amounts somewhat less than $10,000 to avoid currency reporting requirements. His codefendant Paul John Hansen was the trustee of Creation Science Evangelism which held title to the seized property.

The indictment charged them with fraud and contempt of court for the filing of a lis pendens, a notice of pending litigation, to warn buyers of Hovind and CSE’s continuing claim on the seized property. Hovind was pursuing a lawsuit against prison official who he claimed had interfered with his appeal of the original conviction. Hovind hoped, probably still hopes, to have the original conviction reversed and the property returned to him….

I just heard from Jonathan Schwartz of Interlock Media and freelance journalist Ben Sheffler that the jury has reached a verdict. On the six count indictment, Hovind was found guilty on count three, which only applied to him – violating a court order in 2007 to not interfere with title to the property. Hansen was found guilty on counts five and six, which only related to him – violating a court order to Creation Science Evangelism to refrain from further filings in relation the property and resisting a grand jury subpoena. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the more serious fraud charges against Hovind and violating the court order against CSE. Hansen was found not guilty on one of the fraud charges (count two) with the jury splitting on the other fraud charge (count 1) and violating the order to CSE (count 4).

Sentencing is scheduled for June 12.

By Peter J. Reilly – Forbes –

Army Chaplain Wrongly Punished for Offering Bible Scriptures: 24 Members of Congress

U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. Joseph “Joe” Lawhorn has been wrongly disciplined for offering spiritual guidance, including biblical references, during a suicide prevention meeting, said 24 senators and representatives in a letter.

“We are concerned that this disciplinary action violated First Amendment free speech protection that are undergirded by state reflected in the FY2013 and FY2014 NDAAs, along with the accompanying DoD regulations,” states the letter from the senators, sent to Army Secretary John McHugh.

“In fulfilling his duties as chaplain, Captain Lawhorn shared both his personal struggle with depression as well as biblical references and materials in accordance with the views of his endorsing agency and complementary to personal convictions.”

The lawmakers said that they have not received any indication from the Army that Lawhorn’s religious freedom rights were protected, and asked for a review of the incident in relation to federal law and Army policy.

Back in December, Lawhorn received a “letter of concern” from a superior at Fort Benning for sharing his Christian faith during the training class. Colonel David G. Fivecoat argued that during the suicide prevention meeting, the chaplain “perceived to advocate Christianity and used Christian scripture and solutions.”

“You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” the letter read.

“This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”

Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, argued, however, that chaplains should not be punished for doing their jobs….

By Stoyan Zaimov – Christian Post –