Tithings & Taxes

Why are people so willing to give to the church and not to the government?

Times are tough. The economy has taken a serious hit, and although it took a significant crash for the wealthy and corporations to notice, the middle and lower class knew something was wrong as much as 2 years earlier. Everyone is tightening their belts and closing their wallets, saving for tomorrow, trying to survive today. Things are so bad, that the federal and many state governments are facing shutdown if they can’t balance their budgets. Minnesota’s state government has now been shut down for over a week, largely because neither side can agree to what few tax dollars should be spent on, and because republicans refuse to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2%.

Taxes hurt everyone when times are tough. But we have other problems because we are so unwilling to give taxes. The 35W bridge collapse could have been avoided if more tax dollars had gone to the timely surveillance and maintenance of our road ways and bridges.

The religious majority, which also tends to overlap strongly with the right-wing republican sector of the nation, are more than happy to tithe. Many churches insist that 10% of your income should go to the church or other worthwhile charitable organizations. While these individuals are so willing to give money to keep the church coffers full, lining the statues in gold filigree and paying for church officials to travel and live in luxury, tax free, they are resistant to give money for every child to have an equal education or medical care. Where is the charity in that?

It’s all about agenda. Republican politicians all over the nation are using anti-abortion legislation as a hostage plan to get what they want for budget deals, and sometimes gaining the anti-abortion legislation as a bonus. What fun for those of us that aren’t held to the law of a higher power.

This nation was founded on several key tenants, including the separation of church and state, and the freedom of religion. This doesn’t mean “freedom to choose a sect of Christianity,” but to choose any religion or lack there of, and to practice it freely. Christians appear to be the only ones that enjoy that privileged. I can recall my high school allowing a prayer circle around the flags for the bible study club, but not for the pagan club.

If you read closely the writings of the founding fathers, you would have a difficult time trying to call them religious men. They were intellectuals, and often referred to God more out of a culturally understandable force of nature than as a judging, omnipotent, supreme being. The founding fathers would not be rolling in their graves that Obama passed an outrageous new health care bill. They would be rolling in their graves that we are allowing religious sentiment to dictate our laws to the extent of banning gay marriage and abortion.

Agenda. The religious right believes so strongly that their faith is right and just that they willingly put up millions of dollars to finance political ads and push through anti-abortion laws, but they refuse to put another penny towards the health and education of the underprivileged children they so strongly insist on being born.


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