Ronald Reagan once wisely counseled Americans to put their faith in God not government and never confuse the two. Team Obama might want to consider the advice of a truly transformational president and acknowledge the Founders’ wisdom in keeping the state and religion in two separate spheres.

There is, of course, times and places where religion and public service meet and indeed intermingle. One of these occasions is the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington DC. This venue is an opportunity for the nation’s political leaders to get together and take time to publicly acknowledge the power of prayer and the hand of the Divine in their lives. Very seldom, if ever, is the venue used as a platform from which to flog domestic political agendas and paint them as divinely inspired.

Unless, of course, your name happens to be Barack H. Obama. Then, of course, you have license to declare your political ideology as the answer to the bumper sticker question “What Would Jesus Do?” Obviously He would raise taxes on the rich to confiscatory levels. So saith The One:

And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone. And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”

I, for one, was unaware Jesus had endorsed Obama’s tax plan. Maybe I missed the memo. The only scriptural reference I’ve ever heard regarding money and government is found in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus is asked about rendering tribute unto Caesar. Said Jesus:

Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? The answered and said, Caesar’s.

And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. – Luke 20:24-25

In my not-so-humble opinion, God is very uninterested in mine or anyone else’s money. That is made by and belongs to the Caesars of the world. What is required of God’s children is to render unto Him that which is His. Every human spirit, no matter how tarnished and battered by the world’s tribulation, bears the image and superscription of the Divine. The Almighty wants what is His, and it can only be given freely.

I’m no theologian but I humbly submit there is no divine inspiration or guidance in the US tax code. The Almighty cares little about how high the top marginal rate is or how much the top one percent pay to today’s incarnation of Caesar. In fact, the only “rate” contained in scripture is that of tithing. Being no respecter of persons or earthly stature, the Almighty seems content with ten percent regardless of whether or not you’re among the one percent or the ninety-nine. For the life of me I can’t figure out why God can get by with ten percent, but Government can’t seem to make do with 35 percent without wanting more.

President Obama has made many headlines lately as he runs afoul of religious liberty at every given opportunity. Whether it be with the wrongheaded claims of a divinely inspired tax increase or demanding religious institutions bend the knee and genuflect before Obamacare abortion and contraception regulations, there is an obvious effort underway to deemphasize religion in this country in favor of a more powerful state.

Thankfully, for the time being, this nation is still one where political leaders can be brought to heel by the express will of the people spoken through a national election. Between now and November much will be said and proclaimed about those men seeking to sit in the Oval Office. Whoever that candidate may be (and yes I do have my own preference) all I can tell you right now, Dear Reader, is that I have rendered all I care to render unto this Caesar.

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