09 December 2012

The Deadly Misconception that Jesus Favored Taxation

Whether their favorite Caesar wears Democratic Party clothing or Republican Party clothing, Americans continue to buy into the illusion that Jesus Christ supports the mechanism by which Caesar maintains his riches and his power over our lives. Even otherwise good well-meaning Americans are sold on the misconception that Jesus Christ supports taxation. 

Fascists, communists, and progressives (supporters of three branches of socialism), even after all the misery they have created the world over in the last 100 to 150 years, still aim a loud speaker toward us blaring their propaganda mantra: “Jesus was a socialist,” by which they try to convince us that Jesus advocated using government force or threat of force to redistribute wealth.

But their propaganda noise would not sell the public if it were not for modern conservatives insisting that Jesus supported taxation. If someone tries campaigning against taxation, which is the primary tool of government redistribution of wealth, it is most often conservatives who can be heard helping the socialists by droning, “Well, Jesus advocated paying taxes.”

It's definitely time for an in-depth look at the words of Jesus himself.

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
(Matthew 22:16-21)

The intent of the Pharisees was to catch Jesus making an anti-taxation utterance. They knew many of his followers were anti-government zealots who hated being forced to pay taxes. Surely they could lure him into saying taxes collected by force (armed robbery), or threat of future harm (extortion), are immoral. Then they would have a case against him to take to the Roman governor before it was really his time to go to the Roman governor.

Jesus saw through the attempted trap. He knew if he said, “It is wrong to pay taxes,” he would be arrested for sedition before his appointed time. If he said, “It is right to pay taxes,” the pharisees could shout that this is a teacher who supports an immoral system. Either answer would sabotage his work.

By not saying it is right to pay taxes but not saying it is wrong either, Jesus avoided the trap and at the same time taught his disciples what is really important. On the one hand, Jesus was basically saying: “Your devotion to God and to God’s work is more important than petty ego-vested support or petty ego-resistance regarding an immoral earthly system.” At the same time, Jesus was implying that God is in charge and the immoral robbery and extortion of taxation will in time create its own karma. The secondary meaning of his words in essence was: “Keep your attention on God. Caesar will get what is coming to him.”

Jesus was not an advocate of political force (state socialism) and therefore not an advocate of taxation. If he were an advocate of taxation, he would not have dictated, as he did in the original unedited version of A Course in Miracles miracle principle #23:  Miracles make time and tide wait for all men. They can heal the sick and raise the dead because man himself made both death and taxes, and can abolish both.

Despite the immorality of taxation, we nonetheless surrender and pay taxes ... why? Because Jesus teaches we would be stepping out of the kingdom of heaven if we were to step into resistance. If we strained against taxation we would be taxing ourselves, wouldn’t we? (In ACIM, Jesus adds a side note: Tax also means “strain.”)

To those who advocate socialism or the forced redistribution of wealth through taxation, Jesus says: “Escape today the chains you place upon your mind when you perceive salvation here.” (ACIM Lesson 128) Not one human being will ever be truly saved or truly benefited by schemes concocted by extremely illusory human perception and misnamed "progressive" man-made governments.

(Also highly recommended: a much more thorough look at this Biblical passage and how it is being incorrectly used: Render Unto Caesar: A Most Misunderstood New Testament Passage)

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1 comment:

Cherelynn said...

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