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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

In Hoc Anno Domini

The Wall Street Journal has published this wonderful editorial each Christmas since 1949, In Hoc Anno Domini:

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

Read the rest here.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/12/in-hoc.html

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Comments

Hilarious given the WSJ's un-Christian world view every other day except but Christmas. This comes from the same people who 364 days a year rant about cutting government spending for the poor and needy and the need to lower taxes on the welthy so they can keep more of what they earn. That does not sound very Christian to me.

If only all the Ebenezers of the world who subscribe to the WSJ and other such tomes could wake up this morning, and learn to give back more of their money rather than hording all their gold, as did Ebenezer and Silas Marner. I fear the subscribers/readers chains are longer than they think.

Posted by: tax guy | Dec 25, 2010 4:18:50 AM

Merry Christmas Paul.

Posted by: mike livingston | Dec 25, 2010 6:23:15 AM

Socialism kills, free markets feed. And provides dignity.

Posted by: Sandy P | Dec 25, 2010 10:03:11 AM

Thanks for this post. Royster's work deserves remembrance.

Posted by: Jake | Dec 25, 2010 10:42:59 AM

Free markets feed the poor bootstraps.

Posted by: tm | Dec 26, 2010 1:38:25 AM

Free market capitalism offers the best chance for humanity to serve and love.

Posted by: Termlimits | Dec 26, 2010 6:03:39 AM