#FreeKent : The Campaign to Free Pastor Who Faces 20 Years in Prison for Sending a Letter.

11036670_882122778477919_1899423039408309860_n#FreeKent is a movement dedicated to seeing Pastor Kent Hovind walk out of prison  a free man. We hope to return Hovind to his loving family by bringing awareness to his case and rallying support. The Florida pastor now faces an additional 20 years in prison for the crime of mailing paperwork. His upcoming May 18th court date in Florida will determine his fate.

Note the word: Additional.

Pastor Kent Hovind has already served 8 years in prison.

A man who has never committed a crime, smoked a cigarette or drunk alcohol, has been locked up with rapists, pedophiles, and murderers (many serving sentences shorter than his) for the past 8 years.

His original crime?

Kent Hovind ran an international ministry. The workers hired by Hovind to help run it were treated as contract workers and thus, as according to law for all who make payments to contract workers, Hovind did not withhold payroll taxes on his worker’s checks. He was following standard tax code. He was not evading or trying to “get away” with anything.

However, the IRS decided to single out Dr. Hovind. and upon an audit,  the IRS claimed they did not view Hovind’s ministry as a “church” and therefore he should have been withholding payroll taxes from his employee’s paychecks.  – This is the supposed “evasion” he was accused of.

The feds also alleged the cash he withdrew from the ministry account in order to pay his workers was “money laundering” (how else would anyone pay people?) – and convicted Hovind on “structuring” charges.

(Note: Such charges are usually reserved for the money transferring of drug lords, and most often punished with only a fine. Even in the most extreme cases those convicted of structuring are punished with a few months of prison time. A 10 year sentence for this type of crime is unheard of.)

10402593_949649575063091_6079305414113722345_nHovind is an inspirational and well respected man of God. The former school teacher known for sharing the gospel of Christ around the globe,  was supposed to walk free in February 2015. Instead, as if the injustices he has already endured weren’t enough, in October 2014, Hovind, along with Paul Hansen, was indicted by a grand jury for mail fraud. His son Eric Hovind updated Hovind supporters in December. Below is a link to Kent Hovind’s facebook page and the update written by his son.

Below is an excerpt from Eric Hovind’s statements:

“Update on Dad by Eric Hovind.

Additional Charges for Dr. Hovind Dec. 2, 2014

First, thank you so much for checking in on my dad. He has now been in prison for more than 8 years. During this time God has used him to lead over 500 men to Christ, allowed him to read over 1500 books, and to author several books on various topics.
For the past several years, we have been expecting to see Dad home around February of 2015. We are praying that he will still be released in February. However, on October 24, 2014, the government handed down an indictment from a Grand Jury granting permission to prosecute both Kent Hovind and another gentleman for mail fraud. Dad is being represented by a public defender who said that these charges are unique in that typically mail fraud is used when someone defrauds another individual out of money. In this case, there was no money defrauded. Dad’s trial is currently set for January 5, 2015″

NOTE: THE TRIAL DATE HAS SINCE MOVED TO MAY 18TH

11193329_918203171536546_2191827668203954572_nIt is heartbreaking to see such a kind and loving man persecuted, tortured, jailed, ripped apart, and at the mercy of some of the most evil and abusive members of our justice system. Just to give you an idea of what he is up against; the judge residing over the case, Judge Margaret Casey Rodgers is inconceivably biased. She has a long history of discriminatory rulings against Christians, has publicly stated she views Hovind’s crimes to be “worse than rape”. and refers to his world famous christian ministry as a “hate group”.

The original prosecuting attorney John David Roy Atchinson who fought to put Hovind behind bars is a convicted pedophile. Atchinson gained notoriety after he was arrested for pedophilia involving children under the age of 5. This was merely a few years after this monster saw to it Hovind was put behind bars as a “danger” to society. These are the types of  scum who sought to imprison this decent man and devastate his family.  Kent Hovind was utilizing the resources and legal avenues given to him by our justice system. He was following their own rules for filing the proper paperwork legally protecting his own property while he was in prison serving his sentence. Forbes columnist Peter J Reilly wrote concerning the Hovind case, and below is a quote from his article.

Independent Baptist Minister and Young Earth Creationist, Kent Hovind, nearing the end of a long prison sentence for tax related crimes, was tried on new charges earlier this month. He and his co-defendant Paul John Hansen were charged with contempt of court, fraud and conspiracy because of filings that they made affecting property seized by the government.

The seizures related to Hovind’s earlier conviction. The jury found Hovind and Hansen guilty of contempt, but was unable to reach a verdict on the more serious fraud and conspiracy charges. Today federal prosecutor Tiffany Eggers has filed notice that the Government intends to proceed to retrial on the charges that the previous jury did not reach a verdict on.

Kent Hovind had warned his supporters earlier this week that a retrial was likely.

if you would like to learn more about the injustices against Hovind, check out the following sites and video for more details and ways to help.

http://www.Freekenthovind.com

http://www.2peter3.com

Case background:  http://the-trumpet-online.com/kent-hovind-jail/

Hovind Interview with InfoWars host Alex Jones 

HOW TO HELP? 

If you have the money and resources to hire organizations such as The US Observer to look into covering this case. The help of such organizations with a history of freeing victims of authoritative abuses and judicial corruption  would be wonderful. We could use as many resources on the case as possible, especially from those in positions to change the outcome and spread awareness.

We need boots on the ground at the trial, an event page for more information is below:

May 18th event info on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1565860570353031/

Spread Awareness: Tweet and share Hovind’s plight with everyone you know! and include hashtag #FreeKent

Write and appeal to congress to repeal the structuring law that would criminalize thousands of small businesses and ensure the repeal is made retroactive.

Write to judge Margaret Casey Rodgers or Call (850) 435 – 8448 and tell her to let Hovind go!

Her address is:

Chief District Judge Margaret Casey Rodgers

United States Courthouse

One North Palafox St.

Pensacola, Florida 32502

We must hurry the trial is May 18th 2015.

Hovind Evolution Creation Seminar Series 

Turning the Wronged into the Wrong: Media Continues to Ignore Years of Police Brutality Prior to Baltimore Riots

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Since 2011 over 100 people have won lawsuits against the Baltimore Police Department for use of excessive force. Many of the officers involved were given a slap on the wrist, did not even lose their job, and continued to walk free after terrorizing the very people they were entrusted to protect.

In the rare instance an officer actually stood up against one of his own, the results were typical and disappointing to say the least.

After blowing the whistle on two fellow officers after they assaulted a suspect in 2011, former officer Joseph Crystal was forced to resign after continued harassment from officers in his department for being a snitch.

The message is clear. Cops protect their own, this allegiance is placed above, right, wrong, injustice, and justice. Any officer who fails to comply with this code of “honor” pays the price.

The 10,000 protesters who marched the streets of Baltimore for justice in the death of Freddie Gray  should not be expected to answer for, or be responsible for the actions of looters and vandals. The protesters do not represent them, and are in no way responsible for those taking advantage of a moment of civil unrest.

No amount of looting or vandalism discredits the true issue at hand. And to those who actually care, no amount of misdirection is going to numb the pain and hurt levied against communities by lawless, power hungry police officers who walk free time and time again after they destroy and end lives.

When men are left beaten or dead, and those responsible are more likely to receive paid vacations during  “investigations”  than prison sentences, you would be naive to not expect outrage.

The riots in Baltimore are tame and what is to be expected given the devastating circumstance those protesting find themselves in. The fact media outlets claim to be appalled and shocked by a few days of mayhem in response to decades of oppression and systematic police brutality only goes to showcase the flippancy with which they view the devastation caused by systematic unpunished police brutality against entire communities.

While I do not condone violence, and while I do not support looting or robbing random businesses who are innocent in this situation, I also must be honest in saying, I really don’t give a damn about a looted CVS store, and I really don’t give a damn about a few people getting roughed up amongst some rioters, and I really don’t give a damn about people setting fire to police vehicles.

I just don’t.

The thought of a broken window or a pair of stolen Reeboks isn’t going to keep me up at night, it just isn’t. It shouldn’t keep you up at night either. A looted CVS store has never been cause for national outrage or national attention before, so why would it suddenly be so important now?

The media is intentionally changing the narrative of this story.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Something has to change. If you expect the community to do nothing or depend on and have faith in a justice system that has failed them over and over and over again then you are completely illogical.

The justice system and the police force that victims are told to put their trust in, are the very entities that have oppressed them for decades. We have reached a point where there is no reasonable or logical hope for legal means of retaliation or justice.

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Do you honestly expect these people to just sit down, shut up and trust the moral sensibilities of their oppressors, hoping their oppressors decide to yield justice against themselves?

That is insanity.

We as a nation need help, this is about more than Freddie Gray, the riots in Ferguson, or the Baltimore Police Department, this is about an epidemic of unbridled police power throughout our entire nation and it has gone on for far too long.

Right now communities such as the impoverished areas of Baltimore are feeling the brunt of police violence because police know they can get away with attacking those of little power, with little influence, and little means of retaliation. Police consistently attack those who are impoverished and consistently attack minorities because they know that they can.

It is up to us to tell them they can not. It is up to us to let them know we do care, we will speak up, and we will make sure officers are held accountable for their actions.

We are not looking at an instance of “two wrongs” but an example of an oppressed and victimized community taking a stand, taking action -any action, against their violent oppressors.

And it is only at this point the media has the gall to act offended by violence? It is at this point the media has chosen to make a call for peace?

Where was the media’s concern with violence when Freddie Gray was being murdered? Where was the media’s concern with violence while the Baltimore police murdered 6 black men from January 2014 to March 2015 alone?

This isn’t a game, it isn’t a soundbite. We are talking about human lives, and it is only when those victimized take a stand against their oppressors that our media has the audacity to position itself as the moral authority on the issue of violence.

The media coverage over this has been disgusting, and we should all be disgusted. The outrage felt by these protesters is more than justified. Condemning peaceful protesters, or even those who are opportunistic looters, over state funded murderers is morally indefensible.

Crime and injustice are not the same thing. If a robber robs a store, and is then apprehended tried and convicted; justice was served. Robbery is not something our society repeatedly turns a blind eye to. Authoritative abuse is. When a cop can murder a man on camera, and walk away a free man. No justice was served.

This is not just one cop. It is not a few “bad apples”, but every member of the police force who turned a blind eye to misconduct and did nothing is also responsible for the situation at hand. They are the ones responsible for the situation in Baltimore. Their families, their friends, their loved ones who did not speak out against their deplorable actions are also responsible. The time has come for us to hold officers accountable for their actions, for even in their inaction they have chosen action.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Allen West Ignorantly Blames “Democrats” for Baltimore Riots

Well known Republican apologist Allen West gives one of the most superficial and divisive list of reasons for the Baltimore riots I have heard to date.

On April 29th Allen West posted an article The Dirty Little Secret No One Wants to Admit about Baltimore

How ignorant does Allen West have to be in order to write this? How much more ignorant does someone have to be in order to buy this?

Allen West like so many others in the media is missing the point. Instead of taking an honest look at the situation, he takes complex events and contrives everything into a series of Republican talking points aimed at demonizing the valid concerns of a long oppressed community against their oppressors.

With a complete lack of comprehension West blames the rioting and protesting on the fact Baltimore is “socialist” and that they “elect democrats”.

Sure West, rioters are burning down a city, and protesters are hitting the streets because: Democrats.

This has nothing at all to do with the fact the police in Baltimore and around the nation habitually murder and brutalize the people they are supposed to protect and then walk free. Nothing at all to do with the fact a hurt and devastated community has continually been given no avenue or hope for retaliation or justice through legal means. Nothing at all to do with the fact the legal system and police force they are told to trust is the very thing that has oppressed them for decades. It is time for us to wake up and stop buying into these lies, Democrat, Republican, white, black, it doesn’t matter. This issue affects all of us. Right now the black communities and those in impoverished regions are feeling the brunt of police violence because police know they can get away with attacking those of little power, with little influence, and little means of retaliation. You think you are safe just because you don’t fit the demographic? Think again.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. 

– Martin Niemoller

Liberation: Anyone Can Be Freed (Watch the film linked below!)

Both film and fiction undoubtedly have an effect on our world perspective and our culture as a whole. Our enemies know this and are diligently working to push their ideology into the mainstream of society.  “American Sniper” is just another recent example of film being utilized to create nationalistic pro-war propaganda.

It is refreshing to come across directors, actors, film producers, and authors willing to go against the grain – and often times their own governments, to reveal a truth that hadn’t been told before. We need more individuals within the media to counter the lies and false narratives bombarding movie theaters and television screens around the world.  One such director is David Kirk West. His film Liberation, goes against the false narrative that unjust war is of God. His movie was one of unconditional love, faith, and liberty.

The film is competing for a prize in “The Audience Awards” and you can not only watch the film for free, but help him win a cash prize by voting. As more films such as these gain popularity, we can work together to spread a new perspective around the world. Monetary contest winnings allow directors like David to continue making films of this nature.

You have to register for the site, but it’s really easy. You can do it and be voting for David in just a few seconds. By voting, you can actually even win cool prizes like $25 gift cards to Fandango, iTunes, or Amazon.com!

Here is the link to vote:

http://theaudienceawards.com/film/liberation28431#

You can vote once a day from now until April 14th, so please check back and vote often! Your vote is NOT just worth a single vote, either. The more involved you are on the website, the more votes your vote is worth, so be sure to check out a few of the other films and competitions that they’re running.

How Progressives Are Taking Us back to Slavery with their Assault on Religious Freedom

We hear progressives over and over repeating that Conservatives are “Setting us back 50 years” by supporting religious freedom. The truth is, however,  that progressive who are advocating forced labor, are taking us back even further: to the days of slavery, when men did not have the right to refuse to do labor for another.

While all slavery is bad, forcing someone to do labor fundamentally against their beliefs is the worst form of slavery imaginable. Forcing someone to labor for you against their will is slavery. But forcing someone to labor for you by doing a task you know goes against their beliefs (however stupid you think those beliefs are) is a form of slavery that also involves criminalizing thought, torture, and denying a person their right to their own beliefs, morals, individuality, and their ability to choose.  When detainees at Guantanamo Bay were forced to eat pork – that was torture. Forcing someone to partake in work that goes against their conscience is also torture.

I can not believe we have reached such a moral low in our nation that multitudes are hitting the streets in support of an oppressive world in which a black baker can not deny the request of White Supremacists to make a cake for a KKK event.

What will happen when all states no longer allow businesses to refuse to work with customers at their own discretion? What happens when these oppressive policies move to states like Nevada, where brothels are legal? Do liberals not want a prostitute to have the right to deny any man sex that comes to them for services?  Should she also be denied her right to discriminate? What if she refuses to sleep with gay men or men of certain ethnicity or ages?

You do realize that by denying a prostitute’s ability to choose and discriminate, you are advocating for government forced  rape, right?

Do you want to live in a world In which our  government has the power to force a prostitute to have sex against her will or face penalty of law? Simply because YOU disagree with her reason for denying services? If you follow this line of thinking and say businesses do not have the right to serve who they want, this is where it leads.

If such an analogy sounds absurd – good. Because it is. In the same way no man has the right to violate someone’s body, no man has the right to violate another man’s business or private property. There are no exceptions to the fundamental principle that violating another person is wrong.

Because of this, anyone should be permitted to refuse service to anyone for any reason they please. It does not matter their reasoning. It does not matter if their reasoning is good or bad, moral or immoral, logical or illogical.

Even If an owner were to refuse service to a race because he is racist against them – he should not be forced to serve them.

Even if he does not want to service a gay person because he in fact IS homophobic – he should not be forced to serve them.

A private business is private

Forcing a Muslim advertiser to take on a Pork company as their client, forcing a christian baker to make a gay cake for a gay wedding, forcing an atheist artist who thinks religion is the end of society to paint a “Jesus loves you mural”,  is not freedom.

The fact anyone would be against a law allowing individuals to choose who they interact with is disgusting. It is our human right to decide who we do business with, and what kind of business we do. Choosing who you associate with and serve in your own establishment is one of the most basic of human rights. You can not force someone to believe what you believe. Forcing someone to go against their most fundamental beliefs is one of the most disgusting forms of oppression imaginable.

The outrage over people simply acknowledging their individual right to religious freedom is the opposite of tolerance. This is nothing more than horrible people going into businesses owned by people who are not hurting or bothering them in any way shape or form, and threatening to sue them for hundreds of thousands of dollars and take away their livelihood unless they deny their faith or their beliefs and do whatever action the patron requests of them.

A man has the right to run a business by his own rules and discretion. He does not have to tell you any reason why he chooses not to take your money or do what you want or request of him.

Period. End of story.

The government does not have the right to prevent anyone from opening any kind of legal business or service. Nor do they have the right to tell those businesses they cannot be exclusive based on gender, orientation, religious beliefs, race, or anything else they choose. Frankly, it takes a very sick a person to derive pleasure from forcing someone who hates them to do business with them.

Discrimination and exclusivity is imperative to the functionality of millions of businesses across the world.

Entire dating industries service only straight couples, or only “hot people”, or only take on male clients, or are gay only services.

Entire gyms and organizations are male or female only. There are black only and white only organizations.There are salons that only work on hair of a certain ethnicity because that is what they are specialized in.

Should the government  force a stylist to give you a haircut they would do a horrible job at? Can a movie producer no longer specify the age range and ethnicity and body type of certain roles for a play or movie? If a restaurant wanted to only service blondes and take the hit that would result on their business from it, that is completely fine and their prerogative.

There is nothing inherently wrong with discrimination, and in many industries it is necessary,

Should  entire industries be shut down or completely change their business models for the sake of placating this insane and irrational public sentiment? This implication of FORCE through law of anyone who doesn’t do everything you want them to do is completely oppressive and would wipe out entire industries to the point almost no business would be able to function.

Rest assured we are well on our way to being doomed when hooters is forced to hire men and overweight unattractive women because we no longer have the right to choose how we run our own establishments in this country. Soon it will be considered racist and “body shaming” to hire actors and actresses who fit character descriptions. And unwillingness to hire a male for a female role will be worthy of gender discrimination lawsuits

You do not have the right to force someone to offer you their skills and services. You DO have a right to not go there, you do have a right to complain to the media, you do have a right to tell your friends not to go there, you do have a right to write a bad review. But you don’t have a right to use government force and legal action against them for running their own business as they wish simply because you don’t like their beliefs and think their business model is mean or stupid.

People need to understand the difference between government entities, equality under the law, public schools, access to public transportation, police services, and libraries etc and privately owned businesses. It is imperative people also understand there should be a huge difference between things that are deemed acceptable, good, or bad, and things that we deem as illegal.

Someone not wanting to do business with you does not infringe upon your individual rights in any way shape or form. What is more oppressive? Shutting down someones entire business and forcing their family into poverty through force of law because “they don’t like you or your request”

…….or telling someone you wont be able to make their cake because the event it is being made for is something you disagree with (such as a business owner saying he doesn’t want to make a cake for a Nazi supremacist wedding).

The Nazis can freely find someone else to make the cake for them. Or if no one wants to work with them, they can make it themselves.

Forcing someone through threat of law to offer their services to whoever requests services of them is slavery. Forcing an individual to go completely against their beliefs or even simply their business model. is wrong and immoral. Our right to our own mind and our ability to use our skills and services as we choose is fundamental to our dignity as human beings. To lose this right would take us into an oppressive dystopian world void of freedom and free will. It is up to us to stop it. We need as many voices as humanly possible shouting out truth in order to drown out all the nonsense, lies, and deception.

UVA Student Brutalized by Police After “Polite Conversation” on Public Sidewalk

Reports on the arrest of UVA Honor student Martese Johnson made their rounds in the media last week. The public and UVA campus were outraged over the excessive use of force. And despite initial reports claiming the altercation was caused because Martese had been intoxicated, belligerent, and using a fake I.D. –  the majority of people were disgusted by the officer’s response to a non-violent offense.

Photos of Martese’s bloodied face surfaced.- It was clear to any reasonable person the attack had been inexcusable. He was an unarmed man, outnumbered by police 3 to 1 – who had been viciously attacked for doing something hoards of college aged kids have done at some point within their college career. There was no excuse for why it had escalated to that level.  The incident showed us that if a violent police assault could happen to an upstanding campus leader and honor student, it could happen to any of us. Police brutality could be directed toward regular people, regular college students, and other complete non-criminals.

But this story turned out to be even worse than we thought.

As more information surfaces, it appears Martese had neither been intoxicated or using a fake I.D.  Meaning he had been brutalized and arrested for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk, talking to a doorman regarding his entry. A conversation the doorman later described as  “polite and courteous”.

After Martese showed his I.D. to the doorman, a respectful conversation ensued as to why the establishment could not let him in. Martese had given the wrong zip code when asked. He had given the doorman his current zip-code instead of the one listed on his license. And as part of the establishment’s policy,guests were required to verify their license zip-code as an extra means of properly ensuring identification prior to being granted entry.

Everything had gone just as “the law” would have intended right?… An absolute “non-event” had just occurred. – A patron was unable to provide the proper identification required for entry, and as a result he was denied entry.

Just to put this into perspective, it would be no different than someone buying a pack of cigarettes –  only to get to the counter and realize they do not have their  I.D. on them,  and as a result they are denied the sale. – This would be an example of a non event, the law working just as the  state intended.

Think of how completely insane it would be for officers to beat you down and arrest you because you were unsuccessful in buying a pack of cigarettes.

But the law working as intended wasn’t good enough for the officers who assaulted Martese.. In line with the same heartbreaking and disturbing trend we have seen over and over, the officers involved simply would not be satisfied until they had successfully escalated a perfectly peaceful situation into a violent one.

We have to wake up and open our eyes. This can not continue. If it seems like all you hear about is “racial profiling”, “police brutality” and judicial corruption against the least powerful, let me submit the folllowing clip to show you just how out of touch a huge percentage of Americans still are regarding these issues and their magnitude. I guarantee you, however sick of hearing about it you are. It isn’t enough. It is not possible to stress equality under law, justice, and peace enough. For one minute put yourself in another’s shoes. 

Police officers have become far removed from the law respecting people-protecting days of Andy Griffith. Officers now seem to more closely resemble lawless savages committing systematic violence against citizens. No respect for life. No respect for dignity. No respect for law. If a cop asks to search your car, and you tell him he better get a warrant. He is  more likely to unlawfully search you than respect your human rights.

Police have brutalized the mentally unstable and homeless, have murdered teenage girls half their weight. Yet when it comes to instances such as the suspect captured in Houston who had just massacred an entire family at gunpoint. The police had all the patience and restraint in the world. They manage to execute a 3 hour stand off that resulted in the suspect being  taken into custody without so much as a scratch on him.

See, serial killers, and violent gangsters are actual threats, so police use caution with them so as to not endanger themselves. The disturbing trend of police brutality far too often involves officers executing and abusing their power on those with little to no means of retaliation.

Officers need to take individual responsibility for their actions, and they need to be people who are compassionate. The entire system is broken and this HAS to change. It is killing us as a society and destroying respect for law, order, and human dignity.

Police should be voted into office. and reelected by their districts each year. that way we have ample opportunity to kick these scumbags out when they commit violent rampages against the people they are supposed to protect. Officers would then have an incentive to be a “good cop”

WE need to bond together. There is no reason for us to allow such violence to be inflicted against our fellow man. We have to stick up for one another. Today it was Martese but tomorrow it could be any of us. Don’t wait until you are beaten to a bloody pulp on a sidewalk to care about this. The system has got to change, Film everything, and hold these officers accountable, especially if this happens in your local community where you have the power to make significant change. We need a complete transformation of our police system. The way officers are trained, how they are hired, how they stay in their positions should revolve only around the extent to which they protect us and our human rights.

cops

How a Novel Can Change the World

penswordEver since I was a little girl I have loved novels. A ferocious reader,  In grade school I committed myself to reading an entire fiction novel per day. I would come home from school and rush to my room brimming with excitement at the opportunity to escape into the world created for me by an author.

With each literary work I finished,  I felt a sense of awe toward its author – the book I had just read, existed only because the author had written it.

I told myself I wanted to be one of them. That one day, I too, would write novels that change the world.

Today as a grown woman,  I am only more certain in the power of a novel to change the world. Literature inspires people to see the world from a new perspective. Heroes and Heroines of great stories inspire us with their faith, their sacrifice, and their capacity to love. Living through their eyes and envisioning their greatness make us better people.

Novels grant us a look inside the most hideous of horrors within the human condition. We feel the pain inflicted by vice and cruelty.  We experience the magnificence of man in his most virtuous form. Through literature, we live a life, experience a world, and are shown acts of love beyond what we thought was possible. Novels give us hope.

Yet, when I say novels have the power to change the world,  I am not simply referring to the  content of the stories themselves, nor am I referring only to those specific and rare “great works of literature.” – but to the very act itself of reading a novel.

Readers are Empathetic. As thoughtfully discussed in the linked article, science has shown reading activates the same part of the human mind associated with expanding our capacity for empathy. Readers of novels literally have consistent practice seeing the world through another person’s eyes. It is imagination that allows us to understand what life may be like for someone else. What it may feel like to be the victim of injustice, heartache, illness, unjust imprisonment, torture, genocide, and various forms of barbaric & totalitarian regimes. This capacity is what separates us from animals. We can think ourselves into another person’s shoes. Those who read do not just have an understanding about any particular story, but because of this consistent practice in empathy, they have a greater capacity for a greater understanding of the world around them.

This perspective given to us through reading is so unique, I believe there are some things a person can not possibly know any other way than by written word. While many believe fiction is unimportant or frivolous,  it is through literary fiction we are able gain the wisdom and experience of 100 different lives. The books which have had the greatest impact on my life were not non-fiction. Being told information can certainly be useful to one’s life. But stories do not merely tell you something, they show it to you. You have the opportunity to live it. Even the bible itself, a believer’s “instruction manual” for life,  does not consist of only a long list of rules. We are not only told, but also shown a life wasted in cowardice. We are shown a life lived righteously. We learn by example, through the mistakes and victories of others.

This is beautifully expressed  in  J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech on the importance of imagination and empathy in changing the world.

In a world marred by war, cruelty, and injustice. We have never needed the capacity for empathy more than we do right now.

Through literature, I have seen the world through the eyes of a hero, a monster, a murderer, a neurotic, a young boy, and an old woman. Through reading, we are given the unique intimate power to know the thoughts and feelings of another person, while simultaneously void of any power to influence or change who they are. This expands and strengthens our ability to entertain thoughts without accepting them.  We can better see the world through another viewpoint without adopting that viewpoint as our own. We become less threatened by the opposing views of others.

It is the readers of this world who will change it. They are the ones who utilize one of man’s singular greatest tools  for increasing our capacity to think – not only about the pain or joy within our own life, but that experienced by others. Novels increase our ability to care about the suffering endured by those drastically different from ourselves.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” is the golden rule. The act of reading a novel is in itself, an exercise in caring beyond oneself.

When our hero succeeds we feel what it is like to truly, genuinely, be as happy for another person as we would be for ourselves. We cry and feel pain when our hero suffers. We love them, we see their beauty, we wish we could comfort them. We love and see them in a way so many who are suffering in this world desperately need to be loved and seen.

This is why a novel changes the world.  The ability to transform is not exclusive only to a few select great stories throughout history. The power of transformation is in every novel, picked up by a person who  made the conscious decision to see the world through the eyes of someone else. Once we change our inner world – how we view ourselves, the people, and world around us. The world around us changes.