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Why Christians cannot tax

Imagine you meet a man in an alley and demand his money. You tell him that if he does not give you his money, you will kill him.

Obviously, this is theft. It is a violation of God's command "Thou shalt not steal." You are also threatening to violate God's command "Thou shalt not kill." No Christian would justify such an action.

Suppose the man weighs the situation and decides to comply with your threat: he gives you his money. Has he done so willingly? Have you therefore not committed theft? Can you just say that the man made a gift? Of course not! The man only gave you his money because you gave him no choice. (Or, at least no choice other than death.) If you do this, God will judge you.

Now, suppose you and one other person meet a third person and demand his money. If the third person doesn't comply, you will tie him up and leave him. Again, whether he gives you his money or chooses to resist, you are committing theft. You are committing sin, and God will judge you.

Suppose you and ten other people meet two people and demand their money. You threaten them, and whether they comply or resist, you are committing theft.

Suppose you and fifty people decide to take the money of ten people. You tell the ten that the sixty of you are going to take a vote as to who should own the money. The ten lose the vote. You take their money. Did this theft become right because you pretended to give the ten a say in where their money should go? Of course not. You have stolen that which is not yours.

Suppose the ten resist. They see through the sham of the vote and realize they have no chance to keep their money and that it is being stolen. You tell them that if they do not make their voice known that this means they are willingly letting you decide who will keep the money, that they have no cause to complain when the vote does not go their way. You tell yourself that you are justified in taking their money. But of course you are lying to yourself. You have stolen other people's money.

Suppose you and fifty-one percent of the population of America meet the other forty-nine percent of the population of America. You tell them that you are going to hold a vote as to who gets the privilege of taking money. You call this privilege "taxation." You tell the forty-nine percent that they must participate in the vote and that they must abide by its outcome. You tell them that if they do not participate that they are bad people and that they will have no cause to complain if the vote does not go the way they want it to. Most of the forty-nine percent participate, they of course lose the vote, and the rest of you get your leaders in place with the privilege of taking as much money as they want. Even though you've voted to give these people the privilege of taking money, does that mean that they now have the right to do so? Of course not. You can call it what you want, but it is still theft.

You may rightfully hire someone to do anything that it is right for you to do. You are rightfully permitted to drive your car, so you may hire a chauffeur to drive it. You are rightfully permitted to defend yourself against a thief, so you may hire a security guard. You are rightfully permitted to preach the Gospel, so you may hire a preacher to do so.

You do not have the right to hire somebody to take money that is not yours though, do you? So if you hire somebody to do so, you are hiring them to commit theft. You are responsible for the actions of people acting on your behalf, just as surely as if you hired a hit man to kill for you.

Back to our series of "supposes": suppose you and eighty-percent of the population vote for leaders with the right to "tax" people. Does that mean they may now rightfully take money, on your behalf? That anyone who wants to keep his money away from your hired goons is selfish? Of course not. You are empowering people to steal on your behalf.

It doesn't matter how many people become involved, they never have the right to take what isn't theirs, because none of the people in the group have that right. You can call it taxation and pretend it's justified because of democracy, but you're still stealing.

Christians are not allowed to steal, not even for noble purposes. Therefore, Christians may not tax, and may not empower people to tax on their behalf. Doing so would be stealing.

And again, let me remind you of this marvelous fact: economists of the Austrian school have proved that a society without the interference of taxation runs the best and reaches the maximum satisfaction that can be reached in a world of scarcity. Taxation turns out to be waste (even when the tax money is spent). This shouldn't surprise us. If a band of raiders rode into a town every year and took twenty percent of the town's property, we'd recognize that as a twenty percent loss to the town, and a horrible economic inefficiency.

It also shouldn't surprise us because God told us not to. We should have enough faith in God to do what He says even when it hasn't been proved to us like this.

But didn't God command us to pay our taxes? Yes, He certainly did. He also commanded us to give up when we are sued, to let people take things from us when they want to, to allow ourselves to be defrauded, and not to resist if someone wants to steal from us. God can and does use the actions of wicked men to accomplish good, and therefore He may accomplish good through those who practice taxation. But this does not mean that we are permitted to do this. Let us leave it up to wicked men and let God use them as He will.

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