It Is Tax Day, Yea!
Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. (Romans 13:7)
Well, if it isn’t another Tax Day. Yuck! It is as American as apple pie and baseball to complain about taxes. While I hate taxes as much as anyone else, taxes remain a blessing. Even if Bostonians didn’t think so, as they dumped their tea in the harbor. Without taxation, there would be no roadways, (although, with all the potholes this may not be the best example). Taxation helps care for the elderly and those with special challenges. It provides our protection for our municipalities, for our states, for our national and global security.
As an American, I’ve tried to view paying my taxes as a patriotic duty. As a Christian, I’ve tried to view my taxes as another form of spiritual giving. Taxation provides care in so many ways, from providing environmental accountability, to global support for those in war-torn countries. Yes, there is corruption. When I was young, I regularly heard adults talking about the Pentagon spending $5,000 on a toilet seat. I still wonder if this was nothing more than an urban myth. Yet, amidst our sinful, human world there will always be corruption, but taxation’s benefits far out way its concerns.
For me, the concern is justice. In our contemporary society, taxation is often unfairly laid at the feet of those with less power. The middle classes are often responsible for more than their share, while the wealthiest of our citizens have been given any number of ways of avoiding vast amount of taxable dollars. I remember hearing the story of the Johnson family, of the Johnson & Johnson corporation. A grandson developed a sense of justice and challenged the family, with the family accountant present. The family tried to defend the way their family’s money was being manipulated to avoid as much tax as possible. While the family could argue their actions were legal, they failed in their attempt to defend the ethics of their decisions.
On this Tax Day, celebrate the good being used by your patriotic obligation. Celebrate your taxes as a gift in God’s name, for the benefit of all. Then, pray for justice. Taxation is an ancient practice that is controversial, even in the Bible. Corruption has been a legitimate complaint as long as we’ve had taxation. Pray that our great nation can strive to bring justice and fairness to our taxation, so all classes of people, including the one percent, will provide their fair share. Finally, pray that our tax system will not produce waste, but use our taxes with wisdom so all may benefit, and our nation and world can become stronger which can bring lasting peace and security for all people.