On Taxes, Marriage, and the Poor: Lessons from Luke 3:7-11

“John the Baptist Preaching” by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. 1733. Fresco. Cappella Colleoni Gallery, Bergamo, Italy.

Verse of the day:
Luke 3:7-11:

7) “John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8) Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our ancestor”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
9) Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’
10) And the crowds asked him, ‘What then should we do?’
11) In reply he said to them, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.'”

First, I find it fascinating that John chastised people who came to be baptized.

Second, I find it all the more fascinating that his advice was to give of what you have to those who had nothing.

So let’s review:

1) Don’t come to church just for religious rites.
2) Give away what you have to the poor if you want to be a true child of God.

So tell me: which social, religious, or political party, group, or body best encapsulates this very fundamental, very ‘Christian’ teaching of not worrying about the details of religious rituals and rites and doctrines, and instead focuses on giving goods to and caring for the poor?

And if you’re going to argue that biblical Christian principles should not be legislated when it comes to giving your hard earned money away (i.e., taxes and welfare and health care), then why are you arguing that biblical Christian principles should be legislated on other social issues like same-sex marriage?

perhaps one contributing reason why california is broke: gambling with welfare money

Gambling with California EBT cardsthis is both typical and representative of the welfare state california has become: the la times is reporting that california ebt cards (‘electronic benefits transfer’ – the new electronic form of food stamps) allow users to withdraw cash at casino atms.

california adopted the ebt cards because they were more convenient and less stigmatizing to those on california’s public food assistance program.

less of a stigma. sure. and using the tax-payers’ good will to gamble equally elevates that stigma right back where it was.

the mere fact that gambling is legal in some places in california, where gambling is supposedly illegal, and that these gambling areas are largely tax-exempt or tax-reduced is infuriating in its own right. the fact that you can use your food stamps to withdraw cash at a casino atm is icing on our very broken cake.

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