Friday, February 03, 2012

Theology and Taxes

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/februaryweb-only/prayer-breakfast-irony.html

I am not sure how many people saw the president's speech at the prayer breakfast.  It sort of amazed me (re:  irked) that he would try to defend forced income distribution in a secular society based on biblical principles when he rejects other clear biblical principles.

Now, I will be the first to agree that the Bible asks of its believers and Christ's followers that money take a back seat, that we should be stewards, that the truly poor should be the recipients of help, etc.  I greatly agree we are far too materialistic as a society and that the church is wrong in its tacit pursuit/approval of the idea that financial blessings equal godliness and that we should pursue wealth for its own sake.  But many of the verses about giving to the poor are within the Old Testament in a theocratic context and just don't apply in a pluralistic and nonChristian society.

There is some research to indicate that conservatives give more than liberals do, although that data is obviously debated and debatable, so I won't state it as fact.  However, for the government to take my money to help others (who often are only slightly less wealthy than I)  is not charitable giving from my heart, and some would say it is a form of robbery and unconstitutional (I can't go quite that far, but sometimes feel that way.  A person on food stamps with a cell phone and a $20.00 nail job really rankles me, as do my students who are covered with tattoos but say they can't afford textbooks).  For me to choose to give my money is a virtue and a blessing.    If he wants a truly biblical society, then lots stop abortion, paying people not to work, gay marriage, and change how we do war.  We are not a biblical society.  We should be a just and law-abiding society.

President Obama should know better than to wade into these waters.

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