Friday, February 3, 2012

Obama cites scripture to pitch higher taxes

Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey, a Republican, walked out during President Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this week. Gingrey felt the president had cross the line, making comments of a partisan nature at what is supposed to be not partisan event.

It does seem Mr. Obama was reciting scripture in a pitch for higher taxes on the wealthy:
And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. 
But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.” It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.
Obama campaign flyer from 2008
Should we assume Mr. Obama' comments reflect his belief that the power of government should be used to force his religious interpretation on others? Certainly he understands the Christian practice of voluntary giving is separate from forced taxation.

Mr. Obama also uses Luke 12:48's “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required” in a collectivist context of unity, and he compares it with concepts of sharing found in other religions.

Does Mr. Obama have any clue what the Bible says in the verses that follow? Luke 12:49-53 reads like this in the New American Standard Bible:
"I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Perhaps Mr.Obama sees Luke 12:49-53 as justification for his own politics of division and class war. By accident or design, the president many thought would be a uniter for our nation has evolved into one of the most polarizing in American history. 

1 comment:

  1. I heard this on the news last night. I am so glad to see someone actually gives the quote in context. Thank you!