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During a speech on National Prayer Breakfast at the National Cathedral, President Barack Obama went partisan (shocker!) in what is usually a bipartisan event by invoking Jesus Christ to justify his push for higher taxes:
President Obama offered a new line of reasoning for hiking taxes on the rich on Thursday, saying at the National Prayer Breakfast that his policy proposals are shaped by his religious beliefs.
Obama said that as a person who has been “extraordinarily blessed,” he is willing to give up some of the tax breaks he enjoys because doing so makes economic, and religious sense.
“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,” Obama said, quoting the Gospel of Luke.
I’ll admit upfront that I believe raising taxes is a terrible idea. It’s even worse of an idea in economy that just now seems recovering from an severe downturn, a point that the Congressional Budget Office recently echoed. But President Obama’s invocation of Jesus and religion to push tax hikes is sickening and it makes him no different from someone like Rick Santorum, who frequently uses his faith to justify authoritarian social policies.
While the First Amendment protects Freedom of Religion, meaning that have we a sovereign right to practice our faiths, that doesn’t mean that any religion has a right to force particular beliefs into law, especially when the target groups — such as gays, for example — are doing absolutely nothing to harm their fellow sovereigns. This is what John Stuart Mill called the “Harm Principle” in his essay, On Liberty.
Many on the Left share the view the libertarian view that government shouldn’t interfere with the rights of private, sovereign individuals, and agree that there is a clear boundry between Church and State. They should no doubt be decrying this because, even if they support the end goal, the arguments remain the same as those used by social conservatives to push gay marriage bans.
Christ certainly taught his followers to be generous and charitable to the poor, the fatherless, and the widowed; however, this is supposed to be done through voluntary action — either indivudually or through church ministry — not through government mandates or coercive tax policy.
President Obama’s religious views are simply irrelevent to tax policy — or any public policy issue, for that matter. As a Christian, the Bible is a handbook for you on how to live your life, not empowerment to use government force people to live by a certain set of morals or to be charitable or wage class warfare.
If Obama or any other Christian feels that they aren’t paying enough taxes, they can visit Pay.gov and send more money to Uncle Sam or they can find any number of churches or charities that are dedicated to assisting those in need.