2017-04-15

A Brief Theology of Tax Day




I see posts going up for Tax Day which say "Taxes are Theft". I'm proud to pay taxes. I'm proud that my taxes go to benefit the common good in a number of ways, from roads, to water treatment, to education, to veterans, to prisons, to helping the needy, to a thousand other public benefits. Granted, some of my tax money goes to pay for military actions I don't agree with, or welfare for rich corporations, sponsored by corrupt politicians. And of course there are policies I vehemently disagree with the current administration about. But you are never going to agree with others about how every dime is spent. Heck, my wife and I don't always agree about how to spend money. Much less me and a government of, by, and for 350 million people.


So all in all, taxes are a pittance to pay for being blessed by God to live in a Nation like this. Furthermore, as a Christian, it is a God given duty: "For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due." (Romans 13.6-7) And we have to remember that Paul wrote those words about living under Roman rule. The same Roman government that later martyred him.

So we may ask hard questions and debate about what programs are supported by our taxes, and whether tax money is being used efficiently. But to make the blanket assertion that "taxes are theft" and "government is bad" represents a narcissistic devotion to an Ayn Randian idea of self and society, and a denial of God's call to live as contributing members to the commonwealth God has placed us in.

Perhaps this rant is best finished by a Prayer for our Nation, from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Post a Comment
This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.