Once again Barack Obama is quoting the Bible when it suits his purposes. Like so many times when people quote the Bible in support of some belief, they often quote it out of context, quote it incorrectly, or commit a category error, that is, applying a text of Scripture to one category (civil authority to tax) when it only applies to another category (personal responsibility). Jesus had to deal with these types of misapplication any number of times (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
For example, the use of “my brother’s keeper [Heb: shaw-mar]” (Gen 4:9) in a number of his speeches to empower government. This verse is often used by politicians to mean that we should take care of one another. It does not have this meaning. And if it did, there’s no indication that the government should create programs to fix economic inequities. The Hebrew word for “keeper” is what a prison guard is to prisoners. He “keeps” prisoners in cells similar to the way a shepherd keeps sheep in a pen (1 Sam. 17:20).
Another favorite Bible passage used by liberals is Matthew 7:1 where Jesus tells us “not to judge.” The funny thing is, liberals are all about judging. When have they ever stopped judging? Of course, Jesus is not saying never to judge (he did quite a bit of it), but to be consistent in judging, as the next verse tells us: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” In another place, Jesus says, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
Then there’s the always favorite “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matt 22:21). Liberals interpret this to mean, “Anything we do you must go along with no matter how unconstitutional or evil.” We don’t live under Caesar. We live under the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold.
There’s a second part to what Jesus said about rendering. We are to “render unto God the things that are God’s.” Of course, everything belongs to God, including civil government.
During a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama appealed to the Bible once again. He spoke of “shared responsibility” during a time “when we have enormous deficits.” He went on to say that the poor and people on fixed incomes, young people, and students should not have to “shoulder the burden alone.”
He said, since he had been blessed, he does not see a problem in giving up some of his tax breaks. If he feels strongly about this, why doesn’t he give his largesse away freely? Why does he have to wait for a tax break to be taken away?
Also, his call for higher taxes on the wealthy only contributes to a beleaguered economy that affects those who are struggling.
He then says the following:
“For me as a Christian, it coincides with Jesus’ teaching that to whom much is given, much shall be required [Luke 12:48]. It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who have been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others and the Jewish doctrine of moderation in consideration of others.”
The thing of it is, the government doesn’t have anything to give. Anything that it gives it must first take.
Jesus is not talking about what governments should do. This category fallacy is typical of liberals, using passages that are meant for individual generosity and responsibility and applying them to the State to force people to be generous through confiscatory taxation
And why is it that he can refer to the “Jewish doctrine of moderation” and not be moderate pending trillions of dollars in money that the government does not have?