Just remember, we are to help the poor from a personal level (helping or giving), not a government level.
And yet when Tim Lahaye, co-author of the Left Behind series of books based a literal interpretation of Revelations and other prophetic books, was interviewed by Newsweek and asked how he reconciles his personal material wealth with Jesus’s literal command in Matthew 19 to “go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor” he retorted “You know how much I pay in taxes?”
Tim is right. Jesus never addressed the government of His day and spoke about helping those in need. His words were always addressed to individuals. That’s the way it used to be in America. No government hand-outs. People, either individually or as congregations and other organizations reached out to those in need and helped them. The government has taken so much of our money now that it’s become difficult if not impossible for individuals and churches to expend the time or resources they once had at their disposal. We just point them to some social-service agency and then it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” We’ve lost our face-to-face connection with the poor because the government has taken that privilege away from us, making the poor dependent on a faceless agency instead of their neighbors and fellow church members.
I was wondering your thoughts on Romans 13:1-2 and 13:6-7. Do not these four versus establish that the governments that exist do so by the grace of God and any who fails to obey these institutions are themselves guilty of disobedience to their own faith? Therefore, if a government wishes to help others, are not those people who resent and speak out against this action guilty of profaning their own faith?
Great thing about the Bible. You can always find some passage that contradicts another passage.
Which makes quoting from the Bible an exercise in futility.
What in my post advocated disobeying the government? Of course we obey the government. God commands it. But it doesn’t say we have to agree with it. Paul was talking to Christians about obeying the Roman government which was very corrupt. Obey and agreeing are two different things. The government allows us the freedom to work for change too and good Christian people have permission to protest, vote the bums out, and do everything within the law to work change. The government is not God. God sanctions governments only because he sees that even bad governments are often better than no government.
So therefore is it fair to say that the American Revolution was not only treason, but also an act of defiance against God? If this is true, does not that fly in the face of those who say the US was built on Judea-Christian principles? (I know your answer to the “Christian-nation” line, I am asking specifically if the American Revolution/Romans verses connection is a valid argument to those who insist otherwise).
Churches should pay taxes, just like real people and fake people, i.e., corporations. Drat, that’s right, I forgot, most fake people really don’t pay taxes.
Do you feel that way about all non-profits?
No, just churches, temples, mosques, and their ilk.
I know as a fact that trying to help the poor as a congregation can be problematic. Ou food bank was open to whoever requested help. Then we found out that the customers were gaming the system by hitting every church in the area and amassing a substantial amount of food each week. We finally organized a county-wide facility that acts as a clearing house and handles the requests. There are just too many people who are willing to use other folks…
Colbert is full of it as usual; Americans are the most generous people in the world. Americans give more in terms of percentages of income/GDP than just about any other people and way more than anyone else in actual dollars.
Leftists like Colbert believe that allowing the money to transfer some people’s money to other people is how to define generosity.
Most people conveniently forget that the US Government is effectively oppressing the poor with higher tax rates applied to active income just because they don’t have any money to invest and be taxed at a lower rate with passive income that the rich have.
And these policies were passed by your GOP representatives. This is effectively oppressing the poor, or, as the GOP calls it themselves, class warfare. But all those Conservative Christians fail to see it that way – of course…
Not true, not close to being true. Capital gains, the money made by the evil rich is taxed at 47%; 35% corporate profit rate plus the 15% capital gains rate equals a net of 47%. The bottom 50% of income earners pay 0% in taxes, the bottom 20% have a net negative income tax rate because of refundable credits; the government “refunds” more tax money than the individual actually paid.
The government is oppressing the poor by transferring money to them via the income tax system?
I’m in the bottom 50% of if income earners, and I sure as hell paid income tax last year, so you are flat out wrong. Plus, chew on this:
“1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.
2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.
4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.”
As an investor in some of those companies, I say “thanks”. 10% of the money that I earn from those investments goes to my tithe.
I can’t say I understand the huge push to raise taxes on corporations. If I have a company that makes widgets, I know what my break-even point, my cost of goods sold, and my competitors’ pricing is. If my price is too high, my competitor gets the sale, all other things being equal. If my price is lower, I pick up his business. If I have to pay a certain tax rate, that affects my break even point and cost of goods sold. If it used to cost me 10 dollars to make and I sold it for 15, I made 5 dollars profit. If my taxes increase and it now costs me 14 dollars to break even, I can either settle for 1 dollar profit or I can raise my selling price. Well, I’m not going to settle, because I have obligations as well, so I’m going to increase my price and the entire cost is passed to the consumer. As the corporation, quite frankly, I don’t care. As the consumer, if the widget is just a nice to have product, I’ll probably skip it since it costs too much now. If it’s a necessity, I’m going to buy it at the higher price. By not buying a nice to have product, I’m either going to drive the company out of business or force them to cut corners elsewhere to stay in business. With the necessity, all that’s happened is the taxes have been transferred from the corporation to the consumer.
Cut corners elsewhere? Like closing factories, etc., here in the good old USA and outsourcing those jobs to countries with slave labor and slave wages? (Can you say Apple?)
If the business climate doesn’t support you, you either make changes (yes, closing factories, moving somewhere else, or whatever you need to do) or you just fail and close down.
If, for example, I’m a salesman and my product costs me $50 per bottle, I’m not going to sell it for $20. I know….maybe I’ll just sell more of them and that’ll make up for it…no? Or maybe I should just sell things for what they cost me and don’t worry about that nasty old profit. Maybe I need to have a product that my customers want at a price they can afford that isn’t inflated by government intervention.
Quite frankly, I’m not nuts about a factory closing, but then again, it’s not my money and I don’t have a say in it. If a company believes there’s a better business climate somewhere else, they can move wherever they see fit. However, I do have a say through my vote in saying we’re over-regulating companies, small and large, and taxing a corporation doesn’t penalize the corporation, it penalizes the consumer. And we both know I’m not talking about regulations that provide for safety. I’m fine with necessary regulations so don’t try to say I’m pulling airbags out of cars or pulling children out of carseats.
So I guess you’re OK with the 10 companies I cited above not paying any federal income tax, or paying a miniscule amount on the tens of millions of profits they made? How can you rationalize that belief?
I’m fine with anyone using whatever legal means they wish to use to reduce their tax burden. If an individual wishes to itemize a return and go through various machinations to reduce the tax load, as long as they are using legal loop holes, I’m fine with it. But note I stated “legal.” Quite frankly, I’m also very big on wanting to completely overhaul our entire tax system. There are major inequities there and I’m not talking about the “1%ers.” I’m talking changes from the top rung to the bottom. I also want to see the estate tax gone. The “999” is an over-simplification of the problem, but the flat tax and fair tax programs deserve thought.
As far as how can I rationalize that? It’s easy. I don’t have to rationalize that. They either used legal means and as such I support it or they used illegal means and they should be prosecuted. They don’t owe you, me, or anyone here any of their profits unless we are somehow involved with that company as employees or investors.
Oh, but Dr. Evil already said that shareholders “pay” the corporate tax, and not consumers…
You pay taxes on profit. Taxes happen as a result of widget sales– not a part of the production process. You can’t assume you will pay more taxes by what or how you produce your widget, but rather on only what you sell. Unless taxes are increased to a point that that they are asking for more than 100% of your profit, you should always have money. You make huge profits, you pay more money. You make smaller profits, you pay less.
But if you dictate your business model on the goal of solely making profit, then you shouldn’t be in business. The goal of a company is to provide a product or service to fill a consumer need and to do it with a competitive business model that allows the company to thrive, perhaps grow and innovate, the result of which is sustainability and maybe a monetary profit. In other words, making a monetary profit is the result/reward of running a successful, sustainable business, not the goal.
Putting profits above products and services means that companies are forced to cut corners–which is a nice way of saying you end up cheating in some way the customers, employees, vendors, the community or whoever. In most cases, the product quality dwindles and you are selling an inferior product. Sales then drop and you go out of business and you blame external issues such as taxes, when in fact it was internal issues from the get go.
Essentially, it seems like you are working backwards on your business model.
Christian nation eh? I see you are all missing the joke …
Good catch, vili! Funny how nobody seemed to notice.
I agree. This has never been a Christian nation. There is no such thing and never was. It is a nation that “contains” Christians. Christian is an adjective that can only be used to describe individuals, not nations. There is no such thing as a Christian nation anymore than there is such a thing as a Christian chair or a Christian barn.
Jesus is perfect, we are not…
Please refer to Matthew 5:48
Just because Jesus commands it, doesn’t mean to are. These words of Jesus are pure Law. Law always condemns. Jesus is showing us just how far we are from what He would have us be.
we pay taxes all of our life and then comes the estate or death tax ,the Gumbmit takes almost half of we have left that is wrong and Social Security is also double taxed
Get the facts right, Infidel. The first $5.12 million dollars of your estate is tax free. You get taxed at 50% of everything over that. So if you leave $4 million to your kids, the government takes nothing. If you leave $6 million, the government takes 1/2 a million. The estate tax is for folks with actual ESTATES.
Of course, if you have $10 million, just leave everything in a trust and pay nothing.
I am not perfect tax laws change a lot there was one year where it was 0, what about SS?
Well, SS is double taxed, if you make lots of money in addition to your social security benefits. I.e. if you don’t really need need it. Your point is a good one. Once upon a time we were told that social security benefits would not be taxed – and now they sometimes are.
I really feel sorry for all the folks who rushed into a Roth IRA based on the promise that the income from it is never going to be taxed. Yeah, right, good luck with that. Fool me once…
I think that infi’s point is why should anyone have to pay taxes on income that they have already paid taxes on, sometimes more than once already?
Because it was not your money. When you receive the benefit of someone’s estate, only then it becomes your money, therefore it becomes new income to a new individual and therefore becomes taxable.
It boggles my mind that people whine about the estate tax when they essentially got a boatload of money for doing nothing more than living longer than the deceased.
To say that “we” don’t help the poor and needy is a crock in and of itself. It’s just a another leftie jab at those selfish, grandma-hating Republicans. There are no facts to back this assertion up.
The issue isn’t that we don’t help the poor, the issue is about those who want to take that existing assistance away from them.
Just look at all of “our political leaders” (gag) and compare what each gave to charity. Where a man’s treasure is, there is his heart also.
If you think it’s tough getting agreement on this one, try Matthew 5:44 vs. the war on terror.
Amen. An enigma only if you define love and allowing someone to do whatever they want. When society began to define love as “permission” we revealed our inability to even know what love is. I love my son. Do I allow him to play on the highway because that’s what he wants to do? Do I allow him to smack his friend with a stick? Do I let him subsist on a diet of Twinkies? Since when did love prevent us from saying, “Stop”?
Typical. Christians give to charity and douche bags like Colbert don’t. They just advocate that the government confiscates money and hope that maybe a few percent end up in the hands of the poor. That means they care about the poor as they drive by in their limos and blame it on you.
Jesus did not command us to give to the government to feed the poor. He told us to feed the poor. Giving more money to the government will not feed the poor. It will result in more federal buildings being built and more federal employees being hired and the poor will still be hungry.
Go volunteer in a homeless shelter or a shelter for battered women. Feed them. Love them. That’s what Jesus did.
One of my favorite stories of charity is “The Vision of Sir Launfal” by James Russell Lowell. Sir Launfal is a wealthy knight of the Round Table who wants to go in search of the Holy Grail. The night before he leaves, he has a dream. On his way out of his castle, he sees a leper begging by the side of the road. Launfal is disgusted by the leper and throws a gold coin at him, but the leper refuses it and says “He gives nothing but worthless gold Who gives from a sense of duty;”. Launfal is insulted and goes on his merry way. He searches for the Grail for decades, spending his youth, his wealth and his health. He returns many years later, defeated and poor. As he’s coming home, he sees the leper (or another like the first), and this time he gets off of his horse and shares the last of his water with the leper and shares his last hard crust of bread, unaware that the leper is Christ and his begging bowl is the Holy Grail. The leper reveals himself and the Grail and tells Launfal “Who gives himself with his alms feeds three, — Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.” Launfal awakes and realizes that “The Holy Grail” isn’t an object, but is rather charity.
As a Christian, I fully agree with this statement…