Tax breaks for the wealthy violate the law and the prophets

A deal President Obama struck with Republican leaders last week will extend tax cuts across the board including, controversially, to … Continued

A deal President Obama struck with Republican leaders last week will extend tax cuts across the board including, controversially, to the richest Americans.

Some politicians argue that religious values should be reflected in the public square. Should this faith-based view of politics be applied to the economy? Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

In a time of economic turmoil and record poverty levels, are tax cuts for the wealthy moral?

My faith in Jesus Christ requires me to apply Jesus’ teaching and example to every aspect of life. Of course this means I want my own choices and the choices in my world –including both the politics and the economy of my country — to reflect the goodness and love Jesus’ desires of us.

And by the measure of Jesus’ ministry, continuing the tax cuts for the wealthy among us is clearly immoral.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17).”

Extending the tax cuts for the wealthy violates both the law and the prophets.

Let’s consider the prophets first. The prophet Micah reminds us that God expects simple but difficult things of us: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”

Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of Jesus choosing to dine with the rich man, Zacchaeus, who promises to give half his goods to the poor and repay four times over all those he has defrauded.

Fair taxes for the American wealthy are the latter day form of the rich standing up like Zacchaeus to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.

Second consider the law. In Scripture, the heart of the law is the Ten Commandments.

The Eighth Commandment is “You shall not steal.”

All of us know that these tax cuts, when approved in 2001, turned a budget surplus into a deficit and that if left unchecked will result in us stealing from our children and our children’s children by bumping what is our responsibility down the road to them. What we borrow now will have to be paid for by our children. This is stealing pure and simple.

Jesus summarized the law and the prophets in the equally simple but difficult commandments to love God and love our neighbor. Ending these tax cuts would do both, obeying God’s law and loving those who come after us.

From a Christian perspective, ending these tax cuts is the moral thing to do. Not just shame is ours if we fail here, Divine judgment is ours as well.

Janet Edwards
Written by

  • GabrielRockman

    “Fair taxes for the American wealthy are the latter day form of the rich standing up like Zacchaeus to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.”First off, you assume that the rich have defrauded to get there. In many cases that is false.If you believe that you know how to spend someone’s money better than they do, and that you have the God given right to take their money to do what you think is best for them …. then you need a lesson in humility.Janet – you need a lesson in humility.

  • jwdkturner

    Janet, you seem to have forgotten about God’s 10th commandment of the sin of coveting thy neighbor’s property. I have found those who continually say things like “the rich don’t deserve their wealth” and that it should be “shared with the rest of us” are on pretty thin moral ground.

  • kesac

    Janet Edwards opinion about what the sriptures really, really mean, are suspect at best.

  • david6

    The wealthy have benefitted from this society and its government more than the poor have. Stop whining about how sad it is that they have to share some of this benefit with the government that helped them, a government that was clearly a partner. Anyone who wants to follow Jesus and give all of his wealth to the poor will not have to pay taxes. Jesus never said that the rich should keep their money.

  • antispy

    Yes, thou shalt not steal. So how is stealing from the rich moral? They already pay a higher tax rate the everyone else. If it’s not theft already, at what point does it become theft? Is it theft at 50%, 90%, 100%? Additionally, taxing the rich to spend on government programs is NOT the same as giving to the needy. This is a false equivalency which Janet doesn’t even seem to realize. What if the government is not on Jesus’ side, but on Satan’s instead?We go around the world killing people when the Bible tells us to turn the other cheek. We tolerate things like gay rights, adulterous leaders, pornography, contraception, and abortion, all of which I know Janet must hate. Every dollar paid in taxes supports this system.Janet, please think before you type.

  • MrMeaner

    “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).” That is an odd verse to use as reference, I must say.God had just berated Israel, and promised it would destroy it, mainly because the works of it’s leaders (government)”Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of Jesus choosing to dine with the rich man, Zacchaeus, who promises to give half his goods to the poor and repay four times over all those he has defrauded.Fair taxes for the American wealthy are the latter day form of the rich standing up like Zacchaeus to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. “You read over the important part.”All of us know that these tax cuts, when approved in 2001, turned a budget surplus into a deficit and that if left unchecked will result in us stealing from our children and our children’s children by bumping what is our responsibility down the road to them. What we borrow now will have to be paid for by our children. This is stealing pure and simple.”The money has already been stolen and squandered by the government.

  • david6

    The great lie of the right-wing is that taxation is theft. It is not. They know it is not, yet they repeat it.

  • jobandon

    What was first? The doctor claimed health. People needed balm. The engineer claimed building to create order out of chaos. The politician said, but who do you think created the chaos? Spread the wealth, always somebody elses. People can’t stand success. Another persons. Federal government threw out $250 million in unused vaccine and people are going to starve to death. Idiots printed $110 billion at a cost of $128 million and are paying for storage of useless new money. Raise taxes to fund more fraud and keep GM dealers open. Cash for clunker costs exceeded benefits by $1.4 billion. Send a dumb broad $4,500 and she’s still dumb in a new car and the emperor has no clothes.

  • jobandon

    Ranger and Rev. P.B. Hill built 10 churches of stone for Texas and God in San Antonio. They will outlast him. Some bum on the sidewalk asked me for money. I handed the bum a stone. Bum said you are crazy. I pointed at the courthouse and said, maybe but if you collect enough stones look at what you can do. Break big rocks into little rocks and spread the stone. Roll rocks uphill and get tired. Roll presses and get worthless currency. Soak fast disappearing rich and learn arts of political logrolling. Deadwood burns. We’re going to save wealth by destroying wealth. Idiots.

  • jobandon

    It’s like the gestapo over this hillside, waiting for load of free heating oil and the gas pipe gang buried 38,000 defective lines. Water pipes about to freeze and bankrupts spreading the salt. More crashes likely from dopes watching gadgets instead of roads. Blame everything on too much wealth. Stuff breaks. We’re highway men, we kill and rob them and the ones who ain’t killed or robbed are taken to the caves and held for ransom. Ain’t that right Huck?

  • FarnazMansouri2

    Acts 5:1-11 1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

  • FarnazMansouri2

    The problem begins with rendering unto Caesar that which is his due. What the Christians failed to see is that NOTHING is due Caesar.Now that the Christians have become Caesar, perhaps, other Christians see the problem. (The rest of us do.).See Psalm 23, Hosea 2:19–חֶסֶד

  • DavidSeibert

    Re: Rockman’s “Wealth redistribution, i.e. stealing from the rich to give to the poor is not a legitimate use of government, and therefore is theft.”So, was Joseph advocating theft when he told Pharaoh to take grain from people who had a lot and give it to people when famine came? Did he need a lesson in humility?

  • GabrielRockman

    ESV Bible – Genesis 41: 56,57Notice how it says “sold” not “gave”.

  • habibbarri

    Amen to Janet Edwards! How can taxing the rich be stealing from them? There is something wrong with an economic system that permits one or two percent of the population to have ninety percent of the wealth.While I’m not suggesting that we follow the laws of ancient Israel, we may take the principle of those laws, Jubilee, equalisation of wealth and liberation and apply them to-day. There’s a lot to be said for G.K. Chesterton’s Distributism as a just political economy.

  • MarieDevine

    God commands that all people are taxed at the same rate. His commanded tithe (Malachi 3) is 10% “flat tax.” That makes the rich pay considerably more in dollars, but the same rate as others. 10% of $30,000 income is $3,000. 10% of $500,000 income is $50,000. That is fair. The rest of our money is to be used to care for our family and the poor and needy around us. Those are free-will offerings and God blesses that. God does not force people to help others; it creates anger and injustice, not love, peace and joy.God also did not call for an expensive government structure; that enslaves people so they can pay those expenses. If we followed God’s rules as written, not as taught, we would need very little government. Our US Constitution says that our Congressmen should go to Washington at least once a year. We have come a long way … in the wrong way. That must change.

  • jobandon

    After all the credit cards are cut up into pieces and swept under the rug we’ll need free checking and more cash. So said old banker study. This ain’t plastic, it is a gold card. They aren’t frauds, they belong in tarps. Oh what fun it is. D Other Peoples Equity OPE. Honestly looks like an equity crisis. 2008 was a liquidity crisis. We’ll make up money Monday morning. We’ll be wealthier and that is a good thing. Government will be broke, looking for broker. The tax plan here is based on slot machines and poker hands. Of course more people pulling one armed bandits will increase riches, just not wealth. Mob is making a killing and jails are filling fast.

  • letswin

    Don’t recall Jesus saying the best place for our money is the Federal Gov’t. Funny how the rich are stealing by paying the majority of the federal budget, but the 40% who don’t pay anything in taxes aren’t stealing. I was always taught that if you use something or get a benefit of something then you should be paying for it.I hope the Rev. is telling her flock this week to ignore the extension of the tax cuts and insisting that they all pay at the higher rights. I’m also certain she isn’t allowing her Church to take its tax exemption and is paying full property taxes on the land they owned. As long as that is the case then she is credible. If not she is a hypocrite.

  • jobandon

    Drop ads and put online poker and blackjack on Post website. Print daily horse race forms in daily paper. It’ll be Las Washington and we’ll all get rich as we go for broke. Run a sports book on legislation and test luck. I got 700 dollars don’t mess with me. I’m prepared to lose it all.

  • jobandon

    To get things done you can’t have mercy. IG in India thought too much freedom harmed society. It turned out it was really too much tax and so the Indians went bankrupt trying to collect. Ghandi was wrong.Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in…Could of solved that problem in 1966 if we were not babies.

  • jobandon

    Now it’s AIG, Post Investigative Group. Really enjoyed getting it on. They are importing the bankruptcy now. Get away from me.

  • jobandon

    We are not prophets Rev.. We just shut them down and liquidate. Not romantics, we don’t date.

  • jobandon

    Hollywood smelled, so then came Bollywood which really stunk. You know the rest in peace routine. We’re soldiers of God, grab swords and end up with bloody hands. If we fall, we won’t fall for anything. Nobody is going to invade my territory.

  • jobandon

    Got idiot from India here, think gas is gass. Grass gass or…brain dead is dead. Cows will be roaming around range next Rangers.

  • jobandon

    Living in bankrupt town with 24 hour gass pumps and ship is sinking here. Our baby just passed, it’s a sad day for our family. Wife is searching web for prayers and plant closed. Can’t afford coffin or funeral service. Truck out of gas. We can’t get to funeral home. Milk sour, kids having water and cookies.

  • jobandon

    Wife was reading hard times by Tom Friedman, thinks Google is God and will bring dead baby back to life. I’m like sorry dear, she’s gone. She’s with Jesus and bears with grandma in heaven.

  • jobandon

    We are out of propane and our trailer is cold. I told my wife to look at silver lining, it will keep our baby fresh until we get money for the funeral. She looks peaceful. Pastor stopped and said praise the Lord for global warming.

  • jobandon

    Wife slit wrist. EMT crew was 15 minutes late. I called from cell phone, they went to cell tower first and finally got here. I made bandages from bandana to save wife. Our Christmas is ruined. Looking at huge new years bill. EMT should be 700-800 bucks. Hospital could be 3 or 5 grand. If wife dies, looking at funeral expense, plus mortgage is 4 months behind. Suicide would be cheaper.

  • jobandon

    10:3o and guess who? Sal from local union emails just to say dues are past due. I’m like Sal I gotta a dead baby and wife on an IV down at General, so screw you Sal!

  • jobandon

    Val said to live is Christ and to die is gain. I’m figuring death is the better bargain. It’s all going wrong. Why wait? Uncle or something.

  • jobandon

    Poor are obedient as slaves, old as the scriptures friends. Wealth is freedom and they don’t want that. More wealth is a threat to fraud. Bankrupt nation and call shots from high chair. Babies Rule baby!

  • jobandon

    Baby. Forgot cap

  • jobandon

    Our Baby is in heaven with Jesus and bears and Grandma wearing cheap sunglasses. ZZ Top said so.

  • jobandon

    Heard it on X back in 1966. I was a Baby seeing what just came in. They tried to haul me off to jail…Things were looking furious….Until

  • jobandon

    We went all-gone on General Morons until brother Government Morons saved brother. Die and lose with loses, death and taxes. We don’t need you…Screw yourselves, you already did……………………