Thanks to his spotlight on last Thursday’s Colbert Report, most of you will know Kent Hovind, creationist kingpin and tax fraud, whose “Dinosaur Adventure Land” creationist theme park is now facing seizure, for Hovind’s failure to pay back-taxes. As a last-ditch defense, Hovind mustered this stellar argument: he’s a direct employee of God, thus exempting him and all of his agents from federal taxes. Brilliant!
Sondheim fans and history buffs will recall the last time this argument was dramatically used — 1882, when Charlie Guiteau, after assassinating President Garfield, insisted that God had ordained the assassination and thus, logically, Guiteau couldn’t be convicted of merely doing God’s work. It didn’t go over well for Guiteau, as dramatized in Sondheim’s Assassins:
Charlie Guiteau drew a crowd to his trial; led them in prayer!
Said, “I killed Garfield, I’ll make no denial. I was just acting for someone up there! The Lord’s my employer, and now He’s my lawyer, so do what you dare.”
Charlie said, “Hell! If I am guilty, then God is as well.”
But God was aquitted and Charlie committed, until he should hang.
Still, he sang…
Now, I’m not sure if a corollary of Godwin’s Law applies to bar scurrilous comparisons to deranged presidential assassins. But, since it’s Hovind, nor do I really care.