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. realcon

    increasing taxes is socialism. we should make government more efficient instead.

    December 4, 2012 at 4:55 am |
  2. Bootyfunk

    jesus was no more real than hercules - also the demigod son of a sky god that threw lightning bolts. the stories of the bible are plagiarized from previous religions/cultures. this would be a silly article if so many people didn't actually believe the jesus myth. if jesus did exist, he was just a man, not divine in any way. if he did live, he was just a cult leader like david koresh or any other. jesus supported slavery - you would think the all loving son of a perfect god would have gotten that right...

    December 4, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  3. Bootyfunk

    jesus would say "i'm not real. start thinking for yourself, christian zombies. do you take the tooth fairy seriously?"

    December 4, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • End Religion

      It depends on if the Tooth Fairy is packing a pistol.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  4. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    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!!!!

    P.S. Annual contributions to the various religions in the USA is ~$100 billion i.e. $1 trillion in ten years.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  5. GodsPeople

    Jesus already answered what He would do about taxes... Give unto Cesar what is Cesar's. Give unto God what is God's.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  6. hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.

    oh her name is Mary Magdalene, goon.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      hindu-bot, why do you keep calling everyone a hockey player??

      December 3, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  7. Sam Yaza

    the rich person pays half a shekel and he does not even fell it
    the poor man pays half a shekel and he does not eat for 10 days.

    Fair,.. i think not

    December 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Thank you.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      No shekel No God. Take it or leave it.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  8. Roger that

    Jesus probably would not pay his taxes so the authorities would confiscate his van and haul him off to jail.

    December 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      They would have to drag Judas out of the back of the van. That stoner has no where to go.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Akira, the Sushi Kanji story about the best sashimi every is also based on true events...

    December 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Akira

      Apple, that is a disturbing (yet oddly hilarious) story about the penis hat, and that the story about fresh tuna is based on true events explains why you are such an expert on sushi...I'm not, but I like sushi anyway.
      We have every few really authentic sushi bars in my immediate area.
      I've never tried to get the owner sakedized, so I don't know if he owns such a hat or not...

      December 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Apple Bush


      I have spent much time on the ocean, but sushi was introduced to me by my Filipino wife. The first time I ate raw fish, I couldn't tell you what if was called. It was just yummy. I was a kid.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Akira, wish we could sit down and have some fish and beer.

      December 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  10. Apple Bush

    I have to say how very impressed I am with the amount of feedback this article has produced. It seems folks can't get enough of this topic. In particular, the relevence of the insightful posts is a credit to CNN and the quality of their journalism.

    December 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  11. Rational Libertarian

    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.

    December 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  12. What would Jesus do about nagging jock itch?

    I wonder if the author recognizes how incredibly weak and helpless it sounds to ask "what would Jesus do" about ordinary nonsense like this.

    How would Jesus tie his shoes? Would Jesus choose Coke or Pepsi?

    You may as well ask "what would Gilligan do" for all the good it will do you.

    December 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Thanks for a new catch phrase "WWGD" – What would Gilligan do? Also tho you might have an entire generation asking "Gilligan who?"

      December 4, 2012 at 6:17 am |
  13. The Legend of Sushi Shinnen

    A smile belies her effort as her petite body strains against the load of her fish cart. Still, she has a smile for passers-by and a “good morning” between labored breaths.

    She is in a hurry, but she is not running late. Routine keeps her focused and pins her mind to the task at hand. A wondering mind can be dangerous for one with so much to lose…and so much to gain.

    Each cart, every day, on time, the fish arranged just so and ready for delivery. Her employer pays well, but he is not a patient man. She can hear Toshi’s silky voice in her head even now. “Just so Vivien. Not too much ice, enough to keep fish fresh.“

    She had never seen his face, but she could feel his eyes on her now. She stayed mindful of the fish, always knowing what was at stake. He had promised her a glance. She longed for nothing else.

    Soon, she would see it with her own eyes. Toshi’s penis hat, and the return of Sushi Shinnen!

    December 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Akira

      Penis hat. Lol. You said 'penis'.

      December 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Based on a true story.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Sushi Kanji

      Goddamn mongerian goddamn penis head sushi hat!

      December 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Akira

      Based on a true story?
      Do tell.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well, since you asked...

      In the medium size township where I dwell, there is one sushi place for every 6000 residents. The oldest one in town is still the best; we will call it, Maki Sushi to protect the innocent. While I frequent many of the local sushi spots, this one is near and dear to my heart. My first daughter practically grew up there so I have been going there for 20 years. Anyhoo, "Maki" is the owner, chef and a big drunk. Every night, the locals know if they buy him enough sake, he will bust out with the penis hat (a big rubber penis hat akin to a Halloween mask). You don't want your kids there when this happens. For many years it was hilarious. In time though, it got a little sad and Maki's wife quit finding the humor in it. Those were the days, and truth is always stranger than fiction.

      December 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Akira

      And I also agree that truth is stranger than fiction...

      December 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  14. Answer

    How many fingers would Jesus use in the following cases:

    Scenario 1: to test how hot a pot of water is.

    Scenario 2: to insert into an hot American blueberry pie.

    Scenario3: to insert into the 'other' hot American pie.

    December 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  15. Mike from Toronto Kanada

    Thomas' Jefferson and Paine, Napolean, Sir Edward Gibbon, Francois Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, Friedrich Nietzche et al, all said that "JESUS CHRIST" never existed, therefore, HE DID NOT EXIST! Believe in yourself, your community and in nature...this what you see and feel every waking minute of the day! Not some phoney mythical, political construct who never existed!

    December 3, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Answer

      The proper thing to do is use proper reasoning first. Employ critical thinking and evaluate the evidence. Understand and eliminate the falsehoods from your belief system and then live a good life.

      December 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Denying Jesus' divinity and saying he didn't exist are two completely different things.

      Voltaire's alleged deathbed quote, while probably not true, is absolutely hilarious (look it up people).

      December 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  16. Bootyfunk

    Matthew 19:21
    "Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

    Mark 10:25
    "In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!""

    Matthew 19:24
    "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    sounds like a communist...

    December 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  17. Sushi Kanji

    Come now, see my penis hat. I am look sushi pope!

    December 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  18. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Koran says tax all stupid s, , I have been paying tax for too long, goons

    December 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  19. Jesus

    Here's what I'd say: put down those stale communion wafers and eat the rich.

    December 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  20. hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

    Saudi ism means nothing else but self empowered by oil ism, Arab criminal capitulate ism, Keep it straight and put Sunni, criminal capitalistic self centered, secular in their place, tax equal to every one, donkeys, and monkeys, intelligent s and dumb s, equal tax for all, filthy oil privileged goons and their Wahhabi ism, self center ism, secular ism has no place in land of absurdity Mecca, founded on black rock of corruption absolute.

    December 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jesus

      My dad sees your posts...you are in a lot of trouble once you get to the afterlife.

      December 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • hindu Gay ism = filthy hind loving ism, WAY OF hINDU FILTHY ANIMALS.

      My mother, secular s sees your posts too, goon, you will be responsible for child support, start saving money, skunk

      December 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jesus

      I never touched your mother. She is Unclean.

      December 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Gaian

      mother punish them for they know just what they do.

      December 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
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About this blog

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.