Reporter Ben Sheffler was on the scene last night as the Red Roof Inn in Pensacola as Hovindicators gathered.
|From left to right: Ron Brock and Alan Hoyle|
Kent Hovind supporters gather before trial begins
by Ben Sheffler
Kent Hovind supporters have arrived in Pensacola, Fla., and are preparing to rally throughout the duration of his trial, which starts today.
On Sunday evening, eight supporters gathered at their hotel for a brief prayer time.
Alan Hoyle, who traveled from North Carolina, says Hovind's new charges of mail fraud, which could land him in prison for more than 20 years, are wrong.
"It's wrong that they are now trying to trump up new charges when he was doing what anyone should do," he said. "He was just kind of defending himself and sending out a letter, and now they're trying to make charges to hold him longer in prison."
Hoyle is also displeased with the treatment Hovind has received while incarcerated the last eight years for tax related charges.
"People who've done violent crimes get work release...he's not allowed any of that," he said. "That's absurd; that's criminal for that to happen."
Hoyle feels strongly about adhering to the laws of the land because, as a Marine, he took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies.
"So anyone who goes against and violates the Constitution of the United States, and they're an elected official, number one they committed perjury because they swore to do the same thing, number two it's treason because they're going against our supreme law of the land," he said. "When you do case law during trial and you overlook what the actual Constitution says, then you're putting yourself higher than your position."
Ron Brock, who hasn’t had a permanent residence since 1989, travels the country and lives in his "truth truck." He said he'll be in Pensacola until the trial is over.
"I'm coming over here because it's perfect for putting light on and witnessing for Kent Hovind and the distortion of the law," he said.
Brock doesn't know Hovind and has never talked to him, but he first heard of him through a friend's prayer list. He said he's "ashamed of us who claim to be Christian" because of their lack of both witnessing and support for their cause.
"My heart goes out to Kent Hovind that people don’t care any more than this," he said. "What happened to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’?"
Hoyle also expressed his displeasure for what Christians have let happen.
"The biggest problem in America is that the church is the one that's done wrong," he said. "It's not the Congress, it's not the President, even though they're doing evil, but the church has forsaken God and they turned marriage over to the government, they turned other issues over to the authority of the government, which was never supposed to happen because a true believer in Christ follows the Word of God."
As to why new charges have been brought against Hovind, Brock said the government is trying to silence him.
"He's a pain; he's a thorn in their side," he said.
Like Hovind, Brock has also been incarcerated, but for blocking doorways at abortion clinics as part of his work as a missionary to the preborn.
"We spent a lot of time where the cops beat us up and threw us in jail. So I've been there," he said.
Both Hoyle and Brock said they are taking their direction from God.
"What has been done against (Hovind), that's been done in the name of 'we the people,'" Hoyle said. "And God has the ability to override those things, but He allows and wants us, His people, to be His representatives and to go with what's supposed to be or go against what's evil."
Ben Sheffler is a freelance journalist living in Pensacola, Fla. He's studying psychology at the University of West Florida. You can follow him on Twitter @bensheffler.