Creationism Gets a Dash of Anti-Semitism

Radical Religion

Do you think the theory of evolution is a Satanic plot to bring about the New World Order? Are you worried that Darwin's idea produced "Communism, Socialism, Naziism, abortion, liberalism and the New Age Movement?" Then Dr. Kent Hovind is for you.

Hovind, who runs the Creation Science Evangelism ministry from Pensacola, Fla., says the whole Bible is literally true and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. While that may seem par for the creationist course, Hovind also sells anti-Semitic books like Fourth Reich of the Rich and has recommended The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book blaming the world's problems on a Jewish conspiracy.

Environmentalism and income taxes, Hovind says, are designed to destroy the United States and "bring it under Communism." "Democracy," he says, "is evil and contrary to God's law."

Every religion has fundamentalists bordering on extremism; Hovind is notable for his wide reception and for his promulgating of conspiracy theories favored by the antigovernment "Patriot" movement.

A recent Hovind speech at East Memorial Baptist Church, a relatively mainstream church in Prattville, Ala., drew 500 supporters. Hovind says he speaks each month at dozens of churches and even at public schools nationwide.

Creationism is a fundamentalist issue with wide appeal. By tying it to more radical antigovernment and conspiracy ideas — for instance, the "unregistered church" movement (see article Church vs. State) — Hovind is attempting to draw conservatives into a world of far-right conspiracy-mongering and anti-Semitism.

Hovind does allow for loose interpretation of the Bible on at least one issue, though. His Web site, www.drdino.com, suggests that "the mark of the beast" from Revelations 13:16 is actually the UPC bar code.

"Four people have called me from Arkansas and Missouri," writes Hovind, "to report seeing customers at the grocery store pay for purchases by scanning their hand."