Janet Yang is a free-lance journalist who will be covering the Kent Hovind trial. Here is her account of events at Red Roof Inn in Pensacola last night as Hovindicaotors were gathering and planning. Reverend Wiley Drake favors the Red Roof Inn as it symbolizes to him that he and other who are saved are living under the Blood of Jesus. As it happen the Hovind supporters are tag teaming a comic book convention Pensacon which finished the day before the trial began.
By Janet Yang
Jo Scott drove with her husband, Ken, and their dog from Colorado. She cautiously asks about leash laws in Florida, holding her fluffy, white dog in her arms. Scott is no stranger to interactions with the police, and her kind demeanor is quickly replaced as she begins to talk about her passion – the pro-life movement. She and her husband Kenhave been arrested for violating Planned Parenthood’s Bubble Law and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994. She talks of arrests and lawsuits, but is quick to state that all of her charges have been dropped by filing up to 50 motions per case to defend herself.
“We’ve all been in jail. My first mistake was hiring a Christian lawyer, because they said not to judge.”
Jim Harrison quit his full time job in the pharmaceutical industry handling escalated customer service calls. He left , stating that his wife knew that he wanted to follow his passion. Harrison admits that his job was boring, except for when he had the opportunity to turn “lions into lambs.” He came from Ohio, leaving his wife to be the breadwinner for the family. “We have to live on 50% of our income now. We’ll be okay, but just not as comfortable as we were.” He hands me a brochure and tells me he hopes I will also consider becoming a Minute Man.
Harrison and Scott both affirm that Kent Hovind committed a victimless crime. “There are no victims, no drugs, no speeding… No one is coming to talk to them. The government can’t be a victim,” said Harrison. They are upset that the church is not supporting them, and have been told that Hovind should “give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”. Harrison says that they are targeted and stopped by police “because they are effective.”
Neither have met Kent Hovind, and were unsure of the location of Dinosaur Adventure Land. Both say that he is being targeted because of his religion and his message. “If there is evolution, there is no Bible,” Scott said wistfully as she walked to join the small group that formed near two trucks covered with pro-life, anti-homosexual, anti-government signage.
In the darkness of the motel parking lot, a man from North Carolina, Alan Hoyle, recites Psalm 27 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. Hoyle finishes by adding, “That means we are ready to die. For the cause of Christ, we are ready to sacrifice and give up.” Coach Dave Daubenmire from Ohio leads a prayer, and the group starts planning for the next day and asks if anyone knows the courthouse is located. Ronald Brock says, “I don’t know where it [courthouse] is, just follow GPS. Just follow the GPS.” He lives in the camper of the “Truth Truck” and has no permanent residence.As the meeting ended, a motel employee came out to ask to please move away and not to record on the property. Some of the protesters decide to take the trucks downtown to see if they can find PensaCon-goers and locate the courthouse. Jo Scott decided to take her dog and go to sleep. She is unsure of how long they will be in Pensacola.
One of the advantages of staying at the Red Roof Inn is that it is walking distance to a restaurant - a Waffle House. Reports from late night Waffle House employees indicate that Hovindicators do not tip well and are messy eaters.