Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

03 February 2012

He Ain't St. Levi, He's His Brother's Tax Collector ... What Jesus Really Thought About Taxes

M2RB:  Simon & Garfunkel
 He ain't heavy.  He's my brother...unless his name is George Obama.


“In a time when many folks are struggling and at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone.  And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually thinks that’s going to make economic sense.  But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that, from to whom much is given, much shall be required.”

- President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, 2 February 2012



But what did Jesus really think about taxes and tax collectors in the Bible ... the real one, not the King Barack Version with the Gospel according to Karl Marx, James Cone and Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

Matthew 22:15-22: Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 

16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.  

17 "Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?  

19 "Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius.

20 And he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.   Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away. 

Undoubtedly, this is the most famous of Christ's statements on taxes, but "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s..." (New American Standard Bible) or "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's..." (King James Version) cannot possibly mean what Obama and Progressives wish it to mean.  It is obviously cryptic and pregnant with meaning, but the Progressives' interpretation is absurd.

Christ says, "Give back unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's."  Under the Progressives' interpretation, if Caesar claimed your wife as his property, you would have to give her to him; yet, we know Christ's position on marriage.  Under Obama's reasoning, if Caesar demanded he render unto him the heads of Michelle, Sasha, and Malia on a silver platter because their heads were his property, he would have to do it; yet, we know Christ's position on murder.  Under the Secular Left's analysis, if Caesar demanded your soul, you would have to render it to him, but we know Christ's position on that matter, too:  Your soul belongs to God.  Thus, Obama and the Left's use of this verse as a justification to raise taxes is utterly laughable.

I am an atheist, but I have enough knowledge of the New Testament to know that Christ often made puzzling statements when tested and confronted by his enemies.  "It depends upon what the meaning of is is" had nothing on him.  His statements were brilliantly clever, as were his actions.   When he was cornered, he could make complete asses out of his opponents.  Read Mark 22:19 and Mark 22:21, again...very closely.  From whom did the coin come?  Whose property is the coin because his likeness is on it?   Who ended up paying the tax?  

Another reason that we know for a fact that Jesus Christ was not praising the payment of taxes or telling his followers that it was their duty to pay their taxes is one of the primary accusations leveled against Christ before Pontius Pilate was that he had forbidden the payment of taxes.   According to the Gospel of Luke (23:1-2), "Then the whole body of them arose and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, 'We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.'"

Now, how can he be telling people they should be happy to pay more and more of the fruits of their labour to the Great Leviathan in the form of taxes if the Great Leviathan is charging him with advising his followers to evade taxation?

Bueller?  Anyone?

So, let's review this first part - modernised so that even an owner of ObamaChia© can understand it:

15 Then the Obamunists prepared to carry out a drive-by on Sophie, the atheist, who supposedly didn't know shit about what the Bible said about taxes and laid plans to trap her with an AK-47-barrage of the Jesus dude's own words. 

16 They sent some of their real bright CFL bulbs over to her flat along with a couple dozen smelly Occupiers. “Lawyer,” they said, “we know that you are a woman of snobberdashery, snarkarity, superfragilisticexpialidocious taste (when it comes to purchasing expensive chuckeries, whose prices could feed a family for a year, you wicked, selfish bitch), witticisdom, and, it pains us to say, some intelligence. You aren’t swayed by others because you don't give a shit about the 99%."

17 "Tell us then, do you think the Sky Pixie of 364 days a/k/a Jesus Christ when Obama is at the National Prayer Breakfast and wants to use him as a justification to raise taxes believed that the evil rich should pay "their fair share," which means more than 36.7% of all Federal taxes even though they only earned 16.7% of the income? Is it right to make the "evil rich," which will include making an additional 26 million middle class Americans subject to the AMT beginning next year according to the CBO, pay higher taxes to the fucking man, who we always claim lies to us and is corrupt, but we want to give him power over every aspect of our lives - except our uteri, rectums, and pot - nevertheless or not?”

18 But Sophie, knowing their evil intent, said, “Listen up, you stinking, bloody hypocrites, don't fuck with me.  I know what you are trying to do.   You must think I'm stupid.   I remember a bunch of you from the Chris Ofili opening at the Brooklyn Art Museum.  You guys couldn't make up your mind whether you adored "The Holy Virgin Mary a/k/a Elephant Dung Mary" or "Piss Christ" more.  You guys couldn't care less about what Christ had to say about paying taxes."

19 The Down Twinkles Leader replied, "Well, Soph, you don't have to be such a bitch about it.  We all know what you say is true, but even you can't deny that Christ said, 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's...' So, when Obama talks about raising taxes on you, don't you think that you should have to pay him?"  

20 Sophie replied, "Okay, here's the deal.  Bring me a new pair of Louboutins (size 7, anything in black)  and an Obama collector's edition gold coin.” They soon returned.  (As an aside, do not beware dummkopfs bearing gifts.)

21 And she asked them, “Whose image is this on this coin? And whose name is on these shoes?”
22 “Obama’s and Louboutin's” they replied.   Then she said to them, “So give Obama back what is Obama's and give to me what is mine."

23 They said, "Whaaaaaaaaaatttt?  We just spent $1250 plus tax on those shoes and your name isn't Louboutin." 
22 And, she replied, "They don't call me the Goddess of Louboutin for nothing.  Thanks for the shoes, my dears."

24   When they heard this, they were amazed. So they sulked off leaving a foul stench in their wake.

25  As she turned toward the lobby, Sophie snarkaliciously said, "Don't forget to pay 'my' taxes to Obama for me."

Do you see my wee Obamabots?  Caesar got what was his....a purty coin with his mug on it.  Obama gets what is his....a faux, gold coin with his ears on it.  Now, go water that ObamaChia©?

Mark 2:13-17: Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.  

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Levi, who became Matthew, was a tax collector.  Did Jesus tell Matthew to keep his day job and stay in his cubbie at Caesar's version of the IRS or did he say, "Dude, quit working for the corrupt Leviathan and stealing the fruits of other people's labour for the government and 'follow me'"? 

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.  

16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Did Jesus consider tax collectors to be healthy or sick?  

Did Jesus consider tax collectors to be righteous or sinners?
If he considered them to be sick and sinners, then how could he be a fan of taxes they collected?

Matthew 17:  The Coin in the Mouth of the Fish

22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, "The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men;

23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry."

24And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

25He saith, "Yes." And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, "What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers?"

26Peter saith unto him, "Of strangers." Jesus saith unto him, "Then are the children free."

27"Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee."

Hmmmm.... I bet if Christ had asked, "What thinkest thou, Simon?   To which school do the kings of the earth send their own children - public or private?," Simon would have answered, "Sidwell Friends."  

Christ is pointing out the hypocrisy of the elites.  They love to tax and spend other people's money.   Christ did tell people to care for the poor.  He didn't tell people to give to the government so that it could do the job for them.  So, how have some of these pious Progressives stacked up in the "Being Thy Brother's Keeper" department?

In the decade -- for the Allidunces out there, a decade is TEN YEARS -- before he became Vice-President, Plugs and Jill Biden gave the staggering sum of $3,690 -- that's THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED NINETY AND NO/100 or, for those of you keeping score, one of Michelle Obama's FreakaSunday church appearance sundresses, a pair of her designer soup kitchen trainers, and maybe two pairs of earrings -- to charity.

In 1993,  Senator John Forbes Kerry-Heinz gave an earth-shattering $175 to charity.  In 1994, the wealthiest man in Congress gave $2,039 to charity.   In 1995, Old Swifty laid a big, fat goose egg in the charitable donation nest, but he did lay down $500,000 for a 17th-century Dutch seascape painting while calling for higher taxes on the middle class.  Yeah, I know that was yeeeeeeaaaaaarrr's ago!  He's surely learned his lesson.  He was very charitable in deciding to dock his $7 million, custom-built yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying $500,000 in Massachusetts taxes.  How charitable of him to those workers at the dock!

In 1998, Al Gore gave $353 to charity on an income of $197,729.  In all fairness, he did donate some of his clothing.  Fortunately, this was during the pre-Fat Al period, so there was no problem finding needy people, who could wear his old digs.  Nowadays, he donates his old clothes to the Occupy Movement.  The Occupiers use them as tents.

Socialists and Progressives, but I repeat myself, have been harping about the Sermon on the Mount F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  In fact, they flat out say that Christ was the first Socialist and you can't be a Christian if you are not a Socialist.

So, what did Jesus say about helping the needy?  What did he say in the Sermon on the Mount?

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do ... But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." - Matthew 6:2-4

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." - Matthew 6:15

"Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'  And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'  - Matthew 6:21-23

Well, I don't see where he is calling on people to pay higher taxes to take care of the poor.  I see where he is telling people to take care of the poor and not break their arms patting themselves on the back doing it.  I see where he says that you can't serve two masters whether they be, in addition to God, the government or Wall Street.  I do see where he warns about people like Obama, who will twist his words and claim to speak in his name.  I don't know about you, but I don't see anything resembling socialism.

Levi wasn't his "brother's keeper" and neither is Barack Obama -- if you don't believe me, ask George Obama, who lives on $12 a year in a mudhut in Kenya.  He quit his day job as a tax collector, which was an extremely disrespected way of earning a living at the time. Tax collectors were not even allowed to testify in court because everyone believed they were totally dishonest.  Jesus Christ said, "Follow me."  Levi did and became Matthew.  He didn't hang out drinking wine with Jesus at night while working at the IRS during the day.  Jesus was not a cheerleader for taxation and anyone, who claims otherwise, is ignorant or a liar.

* In the Old Testament, the tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned and grew to the Tabernacle/Temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5).

**Under the principle that civil government should tax income, Egypt under the Pharaoh imposed the highest tax rate mentioned in the Bible - 20%, which was considered oppressive.  (Genesis 41:34, Genesis 47)  Under Israel's kings, the people were warned, "He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves."  If a 10% flat tax was considered slavery, what the hell do Progs think God would consider the most progressive income tax system and highest corporate tax rate in the world?  (I Samuel 8:14, 17).

UPDATE:  A reader sent me this:

"6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. "  ( 2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

Harry Reid might claim that paying taxes is "voluntary," but I double-dog-dare any of you to try it.  Hell, even the Department of Education is "armed and dangerous," so you had better pay off those student loans.  :-)


philwynk said...

For an atheist, you seem well-acquainted with the scripture. I'm wondering whether you're a preacher's kid or more of a believer than you let on.

In any case, well done.

I'm particularly pleased that you caught the bizarre inconsistency of quoting scripture while adoring "Piss Christ" and "Elephant Dung Mary." Ever since Kerry lost religious voters in 2004, Democrats have been quoting scripture in order to say "Hey, religious dudes, we're the REAL Christians, you should be voting for us!" They do think we're stupid. Their policies violated religious convictions back then. They still violate them, in exactly the same way. But they think we'll be their new buddies, just because they (mis)quote Jesus at weird times.

It's irritating -- like when your parents start saying "dope" and "yo" in order to sound young. And then, when they get smart and do a PROPER imitation of religious talk, it stops being irritating and becomes insidious. Progressives are such fine, fine human beings.

Sophie Ro, PHUP said...

Thank you, but I really am an atheist. My mum is a lapsed Anglican, who used to send me to church, and my dad is an agnostic Jew. I have studied religions because I am interested in history and the role that they play in culture. I am not anti-religion, as many atheists are. I've just never have any spiritual awakening.

I am also a pretty good researcher and love to make fools of hypocrites. I can't stand when the secularists or Progressives like the so-called "Catholic" Nancy Pelosi start quoting Scripture in an attempt to bolster their call for more government. The entire Socialist/Marxist/Progressive Left is traceable back to the French Revolution, which destroyed the church and replaced it with the state. That has always been the motivation of the Left.

As a Libertarian, I have no desire whatsoever to see the government made "god" anymore than I want to be forced to live under a theocracy whether it is your god or Ahmadinejad's.

I am a civil libertarian and a huge supporter of the First Amendment, which makes me one of the best atheist friends the religious will ever have. I believe in religious freedom, as long as I am not forced to comply. If you guys want to say a prayer at a high school graduation, I don't care. It doesn't bother me. Just don't make me say it.

I am pleased that you enjoyed the piece. I know the language is a little harsh, but that's just how I roll sometimes, especially when I am writing dialogue with the dummkopfs on the Left.

If you like, send out the link to your friends. Don't let Obama trick people into believing that the Bible supports his lies.

Have a great day!

JasonH said...

Spot on, man.

You obviously believe there is truth in the words of Christ - that he wasn't a liar. Do you not accept him as the Savior because you think he was just another nut messiah?