The Washington Post religion page is thundering from the pulpit again, preaching to the liberal choir on the godliness of higher taxes.
In "It's not 'class warfare,' it's Christianity," "On Faith" contributor and liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite defends President Obama's call for tax hikes on top income earners, arguing in essence that President Obama is helping us all be better Christians through tax hikes (emphasis mine):
President Obama just drew the economic battlelines more clearly in his call to raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue primarily through increased taxes on the wealthy, letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and closing tax loopholes.
“Class warfare!” countered the Republicans.
Americans sharing more equally in the burden of pulling our country out of massive debt, and using tax revenue to stimulate the economy and create jobs isn’t “class warfare,” it’s actually Christianity.
The Christian approach to economics is to be the conscience of the nation and to insist that we regulate capitalism so it does not become reckless and destructive. Christians must call on the nation’s politicians to have us share the burdens and the sacrifices, as President Obama is doing, in order get to the “freedom from want” that is in our democratic values and our faith values.
We do this because the Christian conscience is driven by duty to “love God with your whole heart and your neighbor as yourself.”
That’s in the Bible. Luke 10:27. Look it up.
But is it really loving your neighbor when your financial contribution is compelled by government?
It's funny that Brooks Thistlethwaite cites Luke 10:27, seeing as it's a verse that leads into the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan, of course, took care of a complete stranger out of his own resources, whereas a priest and Levite, the political-religious leaders of Israel, ignored the injured man bleeding on the side of the road.
The passage ends thusly (Luke 10:36-37):
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Perhaps Brooks Thistlethwaite just thinks the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan would have been more loving to the dying stranger on the Jericho Road had they been taxed to provide for his health care.