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Blessed are the Taxed
Watching tonight's edition of Nightline I was fascinated with the story of Alabama governor Bob Riley, who has, in my opinion finally realized that living the life of a good christian has more to do with caring for the poor than catering to the rich; a concept that I always thought wildly inconsistent with my christian upbringing. He has apparently made the oulandish arguement that taxing the poorest of the poor is unbiblical.
"Jesus says one of our missions is to take care of the least among us," the governor told the Birmingham News after announcing his plan. "We've got to take care of the poor."
What a novel concept! But for some reason the idea that government, as an institution of the people should serve to help people, not just those that pad the campaign coffers has turned Riley's conservative "family values" supporters against him. Bob Riley's decision to raise taxes based on his position as governor has raised the hackles of the Christian Coalition. But hey, why should the christian coalition give a rat's ass about taxes? Taxes? I mean, its not like Riley has declared christianity to be illegal. He hasn't decided to ban churches. Hardly, the man prays all the freakin' time and he even brought his own Bible to his inauguration. But apparently, according to the report, the recent deaths of family members has taught him that there is more to life than your political career when you could be gone tommorow.
After watching the christian coalition of Alabama's slideshow about taxes, full of figures and charts showing the revenue, budgets and tax trends I was left with the question. What does this have to do with God? I mean, I understand the Roy Moore, ten commandments thing. But it seems that their whole position boils down to TAXES BAD. Which is fine as a political position. But there is more biblical arguements to be made for Gov. Riley's position than for the CC's.
What we see is that some of the right wing christian organizations are merely tools of the wealthy elite that are pressing their footsoldiers into service to protect their riches. No suprise there. A careful study of the bible and the actual words of Jesus can't help but lead you to the conclusion that some of the major "christian" organizations in America are nothing more than tax-exempt arms of the elites. They argue not for peace, love and forgiveness but hate, division and the politics of slander.
Its a shame really. I still have a great deal of respect for the teaching of Jesus, but the institution of religion has gone far astray.
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