by Bellindton J. Cayo
Have you ever speculated on the uses of taxes? Well, if you have, you are not alone because this has been a concern for millenniums. Although people walk from all sorts of life, taxes, or lack thereof impacts us all. In Addition to our personal beliefs, this is an opportunity to think about this concept from a higher perspective. More specifically, the bible. Aside from residual effects, taxes typically affects our finances and self/loved ones. So let's consider property rights and our propensity to protect what we value.
First, what do our self-love/loved ones and finances have to do with the bible? Well, the former might be more evident than the latter. Of course, God wants us to love, even towards those who transgress against us. Although we value our livelihood, are we exceptional for forgiving those whom we know would forgive us in return? Then, what of someone who still forgives another who may have no intentions of reciprocating forgiveness? Our loved ones are dear to us, which is why we fight for and protect them. We even put wear and tear on our bodies to provide for them. Therefore, our finances are precious to us, especially if we sacrifice day in and day out to reap what we sow. Even more remarkable are the ones who extend their efforts to those who are not members of their household. In so much, they want to provide for those whom they have not met or know.
However, If a man or women's body begins to perish because of dehydration, must that person secure water? In doing so, this person drinks a full cup of water to replenish their health, yet to find another perishing under similar circumstances. Since the former is in better health, this person joins forces with the feeble one to secure another full cup of water. On their dreadful mission, they discover a traveler with two cups of water. The stronger of the two previous force says: Lonely traveler, my companion is too weak to plead for water, so I am asking for your help since you have two cups. In response, the traveler says: Oh, I would prefer to support, but how can I help if I cannot provide for myself? The stronger of the previous two companions refutes, "You are a liar, you selfish loner. No wonder you've been cast away." Thus, the two companions combine their strengths to overpower the lonely traveler. Upon securing the two cups, they realized both cups are only half-full. Next, the stronger of the two companions decide to help the weaker one back to sustainable health with just one half-full cup. On the next day, the provider of the two companions realizes they could not both survive off the half-full cup of water. Paranoid, the provider of the two fears that the other might try to overcome him when his guard is down or when depleted with strength, so he flees from the one whom he had once joined forces. From afar, the so-called provider can only watch the former companion perish from the Earth. Later, the survivor finds the traveler to have suffered the same fate as the companion who died.
Even though Jesus was against the use of excessive tax burdens and excessive force to redistribute property from one person to another, he did instruct his disciples to comply with the law. For instance, upon arrival to the village of Capernaum, the Two-drachma temple tax collectors ask Peter if his teacher, Jesus pays temple tax, and Peter replies, "yes, he does." When entering a house where Jesus was already there, and before Peter can speak, Jesus asks about whom do the kings of the earth collect custom and taxes. "Was it from their children or others?" Jesus continued. "From others," Peter answered. According to Matthew 17:27, Jesus expounds, "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee." During this period, many hardworking citizens and Pharisees despised tax collectors, but Jesus insisted on not stirring up contention amongst his disciples and tax collectors. After speaking a parable against some teachers of the law and high priests, these two types sought to trap Jesus. About Luke 20:21-25, Between the two and Jesus "And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Cæsar, or no? But he (Jesus) perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Cæsar's. And he (Jesus) said unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which be Cæsar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
Nowadays, we have more significant populations than before, and we collectively choose to pay taxes for certain public services. Although some of us may count on a neighbor to lend us some sugar, most of us wouldn't rely on the friendliest neighbor to help put out a blazing fire within our own home. Therefore, it seems quite reasonable to collectively pay taxes for the fire department, police, and other services necessary for the public to function. On the other hand, some of us disagree on how to use taxes for different types of social benefits; even if we share the same communities, not every member prioritizes the same values. Before the Hyde amendment, hundreds of thousands of abortions were performed for any pregnant women each year using taxpayer money through Medicaid. Since then, the Hyde amendment prohibits the use of government funding for abortions with few exceptions. Now, the current version of this amendment does make provisions for women who have high-risk health conditions to use government funds to secure their livelihood through abortions. Also, this provision extends to raped women. Before this amendment, it was a massive problem for people who earned a living but had to fund something they firmly opposed. Now without government funding, other people still come together towards a common goal for discretionary abortion. This benefit is possible through maintaining and creating free or low-cost programs that do benefit women who choose to have discretionary abortions without any health problems or rapes.
After all, we can see that people have already been collectively financing social benefits through organizations, including churches. Within these groups, people are upholding their values without force or fear of incarceration. For some, the choice is to finance and build towards a common goal collectively. While for others, the option is to use the force of the government. At this point, taxes seem inevitable because even the bible instructs us to comply with tax regulations. No matter how much or little, taxes can be like a "butterfly effect" because it affects us all, but people will continue to secure property rights.
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