-- even to provide welfare benefits for truly
destitute cripples, widows and orphans --
I'm hoping to create a dialog between a Christian anarchist and a defender of taxation.
I simply can't imagine any good arguments in favor of taxation, so if you can think of
some, please email me. I have numbered the
conversation so you can tell me which line you wish to contribute.
Christian Anarchism is the belief that we are to love our neighbors -- and even our
enemies -- as Christ loved us. Christian Anarchists believe that Christ is the one True
King, and all earthly kings are usurpers. God nowhere commanded men to form "the
State." Everything the State does is a violation of God's Law.
Everybody understands that if I came up to you and demanded your money, and threatened
to lock you up in my basement with a carjacker and a homosexual rapist for an extended period of time if you refused to give me
what I wanted, I would be guilty of violating the
Eighth Commandment ("Thou shalt not steal")
and threatening to violate the Sixth Commandment
(depriving you of your life or liberty if you don't cough up). Thus, everything the State
does is financed by extortion.
Even if Jesus counseled you to pay up, turn the other cheek, or go the second mile,
that would not change the character of my action. I would still be doing evil, even if
Jesus said "Resist not evil"
(Matthew 5:39). "Thou shalt not steal" means "taxation
is theft" -- unless there is some extraordinary
dispensation from God which allows men to call themselves "the State" and
proceed to steal with impunity.
Christian anarchists believe there is no such divine dispensation.
The Christian Anarchist writes in this font
The Defender of Taxation writes in this font.
|[Pay your taxes]
But the Bible says we are to pay our taxes (Romans 13).
Yes, but that does not make taxing people morally legitimate. Jesus also says we are to
"turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:39). That does not make cheek-slapping moral.
When Jesus refers to the cheek-slapper, He says "Resist not evil." Cheek-slapping is a sin and taxation is a sin.
We are to "submit" to both.
- As a Christian Anarchist, I believe taxation is theft. God says "thou shalt not
|[People are sinners Politicians are
- But we need taxation to provide for vital
- If they're so vital, why is it nobody pays for them
- People are sinners. Those of us living in capitalist nations are selfish and greedy. We
are "totally depraved."
- Then how can we trust the people of the IRS to take the money (which they steal from us
sinners) and use it in a compassionate, Christian manner? Aren't they sinners too?
- Yes but in a democracy they're held
accountable by the voters.
- Aren't voters totally depraved? Won't they vote for the
IRS to spend the money on middle-class amusement parks and DVD players rather than give it
to the poor?
|[Knowing how to help]
- If the State doesn't tax us and give it to
those who need it, the elderly and the destitute will starve.
- How do you know there are any starving old people or
widows and orphans in need?
- Well there just are . . . what kind of a
stupid question is that?
- Have you ever met any starving old people or widows in
- Well not exactly, but I know they're out
there. Otherwise why would we be taxed to support them?
- Let's assume that you meet someone who is truly
destitute and needy. What does the Bible say you should do?
- I'm not sure I should do anything at all.
I'm not an expert. That's why we have the State.
- I thought the purpose of the State was to provide for
national defense and police? Where in the Constitution is the idea that the Founding
Fathers created government to care for the needy?
- Liberalism is actually opposed
to decentralized charity, a.k.a., "compassionate conservatism."
|[Liberalism undercuts Personal Responsibility]
- Consider Jesus' parable of the Good
Samaritan. When he found someone on the highway in desperate need, did he use his own
money to help the victim, or did he rob the next passerby to get money to help the victim
of the first robbery?
- But what if the Good Samaritan didn't have
any money to help? That's why we have government.
- But where does the government get the money to help?
Doesn't it take it from those who DO have money?
- Shouldn't those who DO have the money be taught the
basic rudiments of charity and hospitality
so that they can help the needy in a personal way, rather than simply remaining passive
and allowing the State to take their money and give it to the needy in an impersonal way?
- If all the money currently confiscated by the State
were simply passed out to those under the poverty level, every single man, woman and child
in poverty would receive a check for nearly $10,000.
More Here: http://www.ncpa.org/studies/s187/s187.html
Everyone from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton seems to agree. Our
welfare system is a disaster. It's in desperate need of reform.
Currently, we are spending more than $350 billion a year on 79
means-tested federal welfare programs. That's more than we spend on national defense.
Theoretically, we could take that money and give $8,939 to every poor person in America,
or $35,756 to a family of four.
Since 1965 we have spent $5 trillion on the War on Poverty,
measured in 1992 constant dollars. Yet the poverty rate is higher today than it was the
year the War on Poverty began. How can we spend so much and achieve so little?
Why should we send our money to Washington, let
bureaucrats suck off their cut, and delude ourselves into thinking that we are being
"charitable" or "compassionate" when someone in poverty receives an
impersonal, faceless welfare check?
Compassion comes from two Latin words meaning "to
suffer with." Yet liberalism does not encourage taxpayers to be "with" the
poor in any meaningful way.
The purpose of taxation is
- Power for the Providers, not
- Empowerment of the Needy (to become self-sufficient), nor
- Empowerment of Taxpayers (to spontaneously care for the needy from their heart and out
of their own wallet).
If you see a person in need
- You should help him personally.
- If you can't afford to help him, you should find someone who can afford to help
and persuade him or her to give voluntarily to the
cause of the needy.
- You should not rob the next person you see in order to help the needy
- because you sin by committing theft
- because the victim of your robbery does not learn the value of giving
- and is not encouraged to give from his heart.
The Christmas Conspiracy
Vine & Fig Tree
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