Are We Creatures of the State or Created for Freedom?
The issue is whether or not the government has the power to use taxes to control the behavior of its citizens, effectively making those citizens the property of the state
Stand in front of a mirror and ask the person you see this question: "When your government looks at you, do you want it to see a creature of an all powerful State, or do you want it to see a creation of an almighty and eternal Father to whom both you and the officials of that government will be accountable someday?"
HARRISBURG, PA. (Catholic Online) - Stand in front of a mirror and ask the person you see this question:
"When your government looks at you, do you want it to see a creature of an all powerful State, or do you want it to see a creation of an almighty and eternal Father to whom both you and the officials of that government will be accountable someday?"
Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, a group of Americans asked themselves that same question. Their answer became the foundation of a new country, and was recorded in the document we know as the Declaration of Independence.
They were creations, with both the rights and the responsibilities of that status. And in order to protect their rights so they could honor their responsibilities, they were required to stand against a government that refused to recognize that truth.
Afterwards, they formed a government that they hoped would continue to recognize each citizen as a creation. They knew that this required strong fences to limit the might of the government, and they wrote a Constitution that included those limits.
But in the final analysis, protecting our rights and honoring our responsibilities as creations lies in our hands. No document can magically limit the power of the government unless we insist that the government obey its provisions.
We have not done so.
The current Supreme Court ruling is an excellent example. The Constitution explicitly says that Congress has the power to tax income. It does not say that Congress has the power to use taxes to control the behavior of citizens. It does not say that Congress does NOT have the power to use taxes to control the behavior of citizens. It does not address that issue at all.
But we the citizens addressed that issue long ago, and we said it was okay with us. We have allowed our taxes to be adjusted if we bought a home, or added weatherization, or paid student loan interest, or placed money in IRA accounts, or . And not only have we passively given permission, many of us have actively worked to add things to the list of tax "breaks".
But a tax break for one person is a tax punishment for the other. If person A buys weatherization and person B buys new bedroom furniture, but only person A gets the tax break, aren't we actually punishing person B for not buying weatherization?
The issue is not really weatherization, or even health care.
The issue is whether or not the government has the power to use taxes to control the behavior of its citizens, effectively making those citizens the property of the state.
Will we allow ourselves to become nothing more than creatures of an all powerful state, who can be "molded" through economic and legal carrots and sticks into compliance, or will we retain our status as creations of that almighty and eternal Father?
As we continue to reflect on our national birthday, we would do well to remember that we can only exercise our endowed rights by honoring our endowed responsibilities. And protecting and preserving the freedom that each of us was created for is the most fundamental of those responsibilities.
Peg Luksik is the Chairman of the Center for American Heritage. Learn more about the heritage of this exceptional nation at www.centerforamericanheritage.com
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: freedom, declaration, Independence, Health Care, Affordable Care Act, independence, freedom, Peg Luksik
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- SHOCKING: Senator says IRS set to pay out $70 million in employee bonuses
- Agents think they'll find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa - after 40 years
- Did Pocahontas save explorer John Smith here? Native American site of Werowocomoco fascinating regardless
- Poorly prepared teachers steering nation's classrooms
- Cheers Star: We Didn't Need Surveillance When We Were Kids - 'We Had God'
- IN SEARCH OF SUNKEN TREASURE: Divers plunge into Lake Michigan to search for 17th Century ship
- No-one Can Change the Truth About Fatherhood. Love Your Father. Be a Good Father
- Archbishop Chaput Cuts Through the Double Talk About Religious Liberty
- Courageous Cardinal George of Chicago Defends Marriage, Calls for Public Conversion
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?