Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Gary North, Taxation, Tyranny, and Theocracy: A Biblical Response to Susan Hamill, 14 J. Accounting, Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 331 (2013):
I respond to Prof. Hamill’s assertion that she is not recommending the exercise of theocratic power, as defined by Rev. Gregory Boyd. [Susan Pace Hamill (Alabama), Tax Policy Inside the Two Kingdoms, 14 J. Accounting, Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 1 (2013)]. She is in fact a theocrat in terms of Rev. Boyd’s definition. In two previous peer-reviewed articles [An Evaluation of Federal Tax Policy Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics, 25 Va. Tax Rev. 671 (2006); The Vast Injustice Perpetuated by State and Local Tax Policy, 37 Hofstra L. Rev. 117 (2008)], she has called on Christians to organize politically in order to re-stricture specific tax codes. She has said that Christians have the votes to do this: around 80% of the electorate. She has identified what the top federal tax bracket rate should be: 50%. This is in addition to state and local taxes. She has made this call to political action on the basis of a specific ethical system: Christianity. Her social outlook is consistent with a Protestant tradition known as the social gospel. She says that the Bible has provided Christians with the basis of tax reform. I agree entirely with her regarding the legitimacy of such a call to political action by Christians. But I do disagree with the biblical texts she uses to argue her case. I use the Bible’s tax texts, plus the Mosaic text that affirms the rule of law (Exodus 12:49) and also the text mandating the equal application of justice, irrespective of wealth (Leviticus 19:15).