So, I’ve recently had two debates with pseudoscience charlatan grifter, Kent Hovind. And the second one was just so toxic, that I’ve decided never to debate Kent Hovind again. To give you an idea as to why, I’m posting a video compilation made by Atheist Jr. to explain the problems with debating Kent Hovind, particularly as a trans woman.
But I would like to make a statement about what happened in the debate when Kent decided to ask my boyfriend about my genitalia. This is so wrong for two separate reasons, first of all – I’ve never met Kent in person nor do we have that kind of relationship. He has no business knowing what genitalia I have. Secondly, he didn’t ask me – he asked my boyfriend. Which is very disrespectful on so many levels. First, we circle back to the first problem – Kent has no business to know this. Secondly, asking my boyfriend is just fucking weird. If my boyfriend answered that stupid, irrelevant question, I would not be thrilled with him. Also, it denies my agency. Which points to another part of the debate, Kent’s blatant transmisogyny.
You see, maybe I don’t act like how Kent thinks women should act. This might have something to do with the fact that he is on wife number four. But I’m a big believer in egalitarian relationships. I believe egalitarian relationships are much more healthy than the kind of hierarchical relationships that Kent has with his wife. As a result, I would never ask my boyfriend to ignore blatant criminality (as Kent asked of Mary Tocco and Cindi Lincoln). I would never encourage my boyfriend to commit crimes on my behalf (as Kent asked of Jo Hovind). This is unacceptable behaviour that degrades instead of edifies your partner and I would want no part of it.
For a man who has been married four times (theoretically), Kent Hovind knows about as much about love as he does about evolution. But, I think this relates to a deeper question: why did I do this? Why would I subject myself to this when I knew going in that Kent would not be honest?
Kent Hovind and the Call of the Void
Kent Hovind represents an intellectual black hole. He spouts any number of vacuous, irrelevant crap and just runs rough shod over any interlocutor with an almost impressively bad gish gallop that he’s been using for decades. Facts won’t get in the way, you won’t change him, so why would people choose to debate this carnival barking clown?
Put simply: it’s the call of the void. It’s that same instinct that might call someone to do something we know hurts us. It’s why bungee jumping and parachuting are so popular. And there is no person who resembles a void better than Kent Hovind. He is a vaccuum of ethics and knowledge by which, even the people surrounding him tend to lack either.
His Dinosaur Adventure Land is an equally interesting void. A place full of criminals and shoddy construction out in the middle of nowhere Alabama. That last part might not be entirely intentional, given the fact that he was forced off the original Dinosaur Adventure Land property by his son, Eric. Pensacola, by stark contrast, has a lot more people and a lot more ways to flee/run to the outside world. Repton, Alabama, by comparison, is much, much more isolated. It’s a veritable Jonestown.
So, needless to say, debating Kent Hovind is a stupid idea. Debating him on his own turf where he can break out the Flavor Aid and cyanide if shit doesn’t go his way is profoundly more stupid… which is probably why no one who doesn’t buy Kent’s crap has taken him up on his offer to visit DAL. But it is tempting. Even knowing the danger. Even knowing the risk. It’s the call of the void. And if nothing else, Kent Hovind represents a void.
So, why am I stopping?
Put simply, I’m just not as interesting a debate as I thought I’d be. The value of debating someone like Kent Hovind is not to get him to learn anything. That’s just not going to happen. Kent has the same bullshit script as he did before he went to prison almost two decades ago. The only value in debating Kent is to paint him in a corner, to throw him off his script and see how he reacts. Others have been more successful at this than I. As a result, I simply see no value in engaging Kent anymore.
A couple weeks ago, I had a video chat with Atheist Jr. on the topic of debating Kent Hovind. Even then, I knew that I would never get Kent to actually learn anything, that the things that can be gained from debating Kent would be to spark doubt in the minds of his followers or for purely entertainment value if you can get Kent off his script. I wanted to do both. The latter, I think I failed at. The former… I can’t say for certain. These things don’t exist in a vacuum and it could be possible that I could get someone to start thinking, but I’m not sure if it worked. Maybe one day, I might get an e-mail from someone who saw that debate and started their road to breaking free of Kent. I don’t know.
But, I made the attempt. And now, I’m going to focus on writing once again and publishing amazingly smutty fiction for you fine folks. Maybe a story about an elderly preacher in the middle of nowhere finding the young buck of his dreams?
See y’all on the trail,