In a response to a letter of mine entitled “God’s fairness versus man’s,” Mr. Paul Rinker wrote: “The story of the widow’s mite has deep spiritual meaning.. This story has nothing to do with taxes, but with voluntary giving to the church (sic…he means temple).” I could not agree more.
A re-reading of my letter would reveal that my point was not to equate religious giving with taxation. It was to state my understanding of the New Testament’s teaching about the true value of money in the story of the widow’s mite: “the small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant, but proportionately lesser, donations of the rich.” In the context of religious giving, the New Testament teaches that it is not how much you give that counts but how much you have left over after you give.
I went on to say that if you applied this calculus of money transfer from the act of donating to the mandated act of taxation, the value of what the poor pay in taxes would be more than if we calculate the amount low-income earners pay in taxes.
Of course, the Bible is silent on any preferred system of taxation. To think otherwise is anachronistic. If anyone had asked Jesus or the authors of the various books of the New Testament: “What do you think of progressive and regressive taxes, they would have said: “Say what?” The Bible does have a lot to say about the value of money and wealth, however: for example, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tm:6:10) So with this understanding, it is not a mistake to consider the valuation God puts on money when we discuss anything having to do with money, including taxes.
For this, Mr. Rinker went on to conclude that Tim Mannello : “misrepresented a popular Bible story to an offensive degree. This was done to justify a political agenda – the graduated income tax,; “ wants someone else to pay t(his) taxes ” and abuses the Bible to further a Marxist/atheistic agenda.”
Slow down, Comrade, and take a deep breath into a paper bag. Ponder before you pounce.