WWJD...about taxes?
December 3rd, 2012
03:43 PM ET

WWJD...about taxes?

By Libby Lewis, CNN

(CNN) Dig under the rhetoric over taxes in Washington now, and you’ll find one question: should the wealthy pay more in taxes than other people?

It’s a question that goes back to the Bible. Geoffrey Miller is a law professor at New York University who’s written about taxation in the Bible.

He writes about the Temple Tax, the one God told Moses to impose in Exodus 30. It’s the one where each person, rich and poor, pays half a shekel – for the Temple – and God.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Capital ism means nothing else but self empowered, not hindu criminal capitulate ism, Keep it straight and put hindu, criminal capitalistic Jew self centered, secular in their place, equal to every one, hindu sanatans, filthy privileged goons and their hindu Judaism, self center ism, secular ism has no place in land of equality USA, founded on bed rock of truth absolute GOD.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • mama k

      James Madison, our 4th POTUS, and chief architect of the U.S. Constitution:

      Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. (1822)

      It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Govt could not stand without the prop of a Religious establishment, & that the Xn religion itself, would perish if not supported by a legal provision for its Clergy. The experience of Virginia conspicuously corroborates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State. (1819)

      President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;

      –from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797

      You are wrong about what the U.S. was founded on. It was founded on freedom.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  2. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Koran says it very clearly, tax all women to save humanity, goons.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    christians constantly cry that the media is anti-religious - HA! how many of these pro-religion fluff stories have been printed. christians cry when they see a story showing one of their religious leaders molesting children and say it's unfair. wrong. that's news. that happened. it should be reported. these useless pro-christianity stories are worthless and have no place on a legitimate news site. shame on you, CNN. grow up and be better journalists. this is akin to having a serious story about what the Tooth Fairy thinks about world hunger.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    jesus was a commie. read what he said about the rich. christians sure don't like that - they like to think jesus was a capitalist. not so much...

    December 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  5. GodFreeNow

    What would Hercules do about taxes?

    See how silly that sounds? Now you know what it feels like to be an atheist.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      on a side note, hercules is also the half-son of a sky god.... and like jesus, never actually existed.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Tod

      Besides being another demigod ,Hercules shares one other thing with Jesus, he's also mentioned as a historical person by the historian Josephus.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's doubtful josephus actually wrote anything about jesus. seems people added to his writings and added his signature on them. dunno about the hercules stuff... but it definitely tells you something...

      December 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Didn't know about Josephus. Very interesting.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  6. Jesus was a leech, a liar, and an ignorant jackazz

    in your heart,
    you know it's true

    December 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      jesus told slaves to obey their masters. jesus said all non-believers go to hell to be tortured forever. at the end times, jesus upens his father's seven seals and murders 2/3 of the human race on all of earth.

      not exactly the "loving" and "compassionate" messiah...

      December 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Meatwad

      Jesus love all the little children ya'll. When I go to heaven, me and him are gonna tear it up!

      December 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • therealpeace2all


      How's it goin' dude ? Holiday Season going well for you ?


      December 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • CS

      Hey realpeace! Long time no talk. Yeah, everything is going good. Busy and no worrires. How about you? Where have you been? Switching back to Apple Bush...

      December 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  7. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Koran recommended half a shekel on donkeys, and five shekels on wives, back than it was cheap to keep donkeys, goons.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      by hinduism, absurdity of a hindu, jack a$$

      December 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Koran taxed one shekels on me, denier of truth absolute, book of terror, donkeys have on half shekels! am I worst than donkeys, goon? Spit on my face, I am ashamed to be a koranic Jack A$$

      December 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  8. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Who gives a *uck what jesus would do

    December 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  9. VanHagar

    WWJD about taxes? He would pay them, and he would expect us to pay them. The Bible is pretty clear on that point. The larger issue is WWJD about tax rates or the tax structure generally. On that point, the Bible is silent. My guess is that He wouldn't be concerned about it unless the tax structure hurt those in real need (whether as a direct tax on the neediest) or by raising tax rates so high for others that there is little to no incentive (or ability) to tend to the needs of the poor through charitable donations. Just My Humble Opinion.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Jones

      Jesus was living in a state vassal to Rome. He wasn't a citizen with any say in how much taxes he had to pay. What would anything he had to say on the subject be useful to us with our system?

      December 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      My research has shown that Jesus was deaf and not proficient in math.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Jones...are you that dense? The hypothetical is WWJD in our system. And whether you accept him as God or just a man, you can't deny that millions follow his teachings, making his opinion on the issue, at least in part, a legitimate issue for discussion.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @VanHagar, are you dense? Jesus does not have an opinion on this issue. He is dead.

      December 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Adelina the Carnal Dentist

      Why do need a 2000 year old book to think for you ?

      December 4, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  10. Answer

    So many ways for a delusional person to plug that line of "what would my dead zombie do...."

    I like to know when they run out of these topics.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  11. Reality

    Forget about WWJDAT and concentrate on the following:

    One way to pay down our $16 trillion debt, is to redirect money used to support religions especially the Jesus-based and islamic cons and put it towards paying off our debt.

    To wit:

    Redirecting said funds and saving a lot of "souls" in the process:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    December 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      Reality, teppan grill or sushi bar?

      December 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      Usual BS of a hindu B shi tter.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      oh we both are good, at what we BS,

      December 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  12. Adelina the Carnal Dentist

    Jeebus would probably pay his taxes, but not give to the church.
    He tipped over the tables of the money-changers, and got himself killed for that little public boo-boo.
    There was a standing order to execute trouble makers in the Pax Romana, so he never had a trial. They made up that part of the gospels. The gospels conflict here. Some say he was silent. John says he gave a speech. One had to be lying. Actually they all were lying, as they all said all the followers fled. So we know it's all just BS.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  13. Sushi Kanji

    Best way to enjoy sashimi if you lucky.

    Go deep sea fishing in Pacific and find tuna run. You catch nice tuna and quickly gut and bleed fish. Rinse thoroughly of course and butcher. Cut off a nice belly steack and slice sashimi style while still warm.

    Squeeze some fresh lemon and let fish melt in your mouth. Never eat something so good as that. Wash down with a nice cold beer.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      Toshi feeling generous today. I tell one secret of best sushi.

      Use only most high quality sushi rice. It ok of little bit long grain too. Big thing is texture and temperature.

      Texture should be like velvet and sushi should be served with warm sushi rice, not room temperature!

      December 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Akira

      And, as always, I'm getting hungry.

      December 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  14. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    December 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  15. Bob

    There is no evidence of God. The only reason you believe there is one is because you were born into a social group that taught it to you. No one has ever seen any evidence of anything beyond the confines of the physics of our universe.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      Ah Mr. Bob, you have not tried my new sirloin dish. You will thank god and ask for more. Hite!

      December 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      What's your point Bob? This guy is just comparing what the bible would say about taxes to what is going on today.

      There are a lot of people that think a flat tax of x% is the way to go...

      December 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Jeff, I believe his point was that addressing the issue of taxes from a mythological perspective is childish and absurd. Grown-up problems need grown-up approaches that deal with reality—not fantasy.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  16. Sushi Katsu

    We open now. Please come in! Sit at sushi bar or teppan table. We now have private rooms for floor level traditional seating. Have your birthday party here! Kampai!

    December 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Sushi Katsu

      Specials today:

      Mexican jalapeño Roll
      Fresh Uni
      Live Giant Clam
      Seared salmon sashimi with jalapeño


      December 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Sushi Katsu

      Also must add:

      Green Baked Mussels

      Soft Shell Crab Roll

      New! Thinly sliced rare sirloin marinated in Ponzu and garnished with green onion. Mmmmm!

      December 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      I misspell, too much saki. When I get very drunk from customer buying me drinks, I put on funny penis hat and walk around. My wife not amused by penis hat but keep customer coming back.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Sushi Kanji,
      "Saki" is spelled "sake" and is pronounced sah-kay. Saki means "later" or "after." Just thought you should know.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      Sushi chef have too much sake! You always welcome ok? You can try on my penis head okay?

      December 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  17. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Really? The bible as tax code for the 21st century?


    I'd rather listen to what Warren Buffet thinks is good for the country.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I haven't, and probably won't listen to the audio, but with the heading including "WWJD?" couldn't we expect a "render unto Caesar" reference rather than Exodus?

      December 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I keep my shekels under the mattress.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    JIASBC (Jesus is a story book character) ... Harry Potter on the other hand (WWHPD?) would make the rich pay a little more. There. Settled.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Gandalf (GTG, GTW, TWR, etc.) would have us throw our precious into the pits of hell!

      December 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Jones

      Harry was reasonably rich, but he never let it go to his head. Jesus supposedly had all that gold and precious commodities that was given to him as a baby. I wonder if he ever declared those on his taxes?

      December 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  19. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Is Lamb ism, absurdity by Thin Allah, filthy secular ism, self center ism, denial of truth absolute in my life, way of piggy Magi's, criminal tricksters, fortune readers, story tellers, pan handlers, squeezy boys, to rob GAWD and humanity on will, tax on all, tax on everything, same for every one, Sales tax, Poll tax, Property tax, same for every one, Why not Tax goats, camels, pigs, dogs, hook'ers? Go the way of truth absolute GAWD and make every one pay 100% percentage of tax, without any exemptions, if they don't pay, take away their houses, take away their animals, take away their wives, spit on their face, goons.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Again with the spitting. Oy!

      December 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  20. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    hinduism, absurdity by hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism, self center ism, denial of truth absolute in life, way of hindu Magi's, criminal tricksters to rob GOD and humanity on will,
    Property tax, same for every one,
    Sales tax, same for every one
    Why not Income Tax? Go the way of truth absolute GOD and make every one pay same percentage of tax, without any exemptions. GOOD FOR COUNTRY AND GOOD FOR ALL NATIONALS.

    December 3, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Damn straight hindu-bot. I am pickin' up what you are puttin' down brother. Far out and solid. Hare Krishna all you groovy freaks.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Akira

      What he said. ^

      December 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      read my simplified repost above, just for you goons

      December 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Akira

      That cleared things right up, thanks.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      time for your meds.

      December 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I left out Peace, Love, Dope. Nah mean?

      December 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why not income tax? Because capitalism gives great often disproportionate rewards to some. Those with the greater rewards although they may have qualities aren't necessarily the smartest, etc. The average CEO gets something like 300 times the average worker, yet they can't be 300 times smarter or work 300 times as many hours. The schools, roads, airports, internet etc. were all built with public money but some benefit more so they should contribute more.

      December 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.