A political false equivalence

There’s this blogger I came across who I like. But I was puzzled by a comparison made between President Obama’s birth certificate and Gov. Romney’s tax returns, as being similarly not newsworthy.

In the case of the birth certificate, it was authenticated to a degree acceptable to anyone who isn’t a conspiracy theorist.

Whereas the tax returns are interesting because they were not released, save for the last two years, though a self-provided “summary” was made available. Truth is, I don’t care whether Romney releases the documents or not. It DOES, though, speak to his transparency, or lack of same, for his father George set the bar when he ran for President back in the 1960s, and put out a dozen years of returns.

The Gospel lesson a couple weeks back was Mark 10:17-27, about the rich young man who followed the law. At verse 21: “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Further, “And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”

Romney has seemingly followed the law, doing the absolute minimum of what is required. But to those have been given much, much is expected. I believe it is reasonable that he makes a good-faith, and precedented, attempt to show us whether he is a tax dodger, since it might give us some insight into the fiscal policies he would initiate, were he become President.

Not incidentally, the sermon addressed this 9th century explanation/rationalization of this Scripture, suggesting that it was referring to a place called The Eye of the Needle, where a camel could get through, but not if it were overburden by lots of stuff. But as my pastor indicated, and this article agrees: “There is no evidence for such a gate, nor record of reprimand of the architect who may have forgotten to make a gate big enough for the camel and rider to pass through unhindered.”

0 thoughts on “A political false equivalence”

  1. I don’t believe anyone from the WH needs to be making tax dodging accusations. It’s a bit embarrassing how many government employees are not paying their own taxes. One billion dollars in unpaid 2010 taxes from that group alone seems a bit ridiculous. http://bit.ly/xMJfxG


  2. The parable is as clear as clean glass. Rich people who won’t let go of their wealth have no chance of getting into Heaven. Period.

    I’ve always been puzzled why this and the Should We Pay Taxes parable weren’t edited out of the new Testament. To me these two parables are surviving fragments of the real Jesus of Nazareth. 2000 years ago the rich and powerful put him to death, and the rich and powerful have been trying to suppress his inconvenient anti-authoritarian message of inherent equality ever since.


  3. Lisa, with respect, none of the people on that listare running for President of the United States. Also, having unpaid tax is not the same thing as dodging tax. There could be many reasons why the tax is classified as unpaid, ranging from a dispute over the amount owed, interest charged but unpaid, deductions disallowed (with related interest and penalties), ranging through to personal circumstances, such as major health woes or a spouse losing a job. The point is, we cannot know why those taxes are unpaid just by looking at someone’s list with no details. However, if the guy who wants to be president refuses to come clean on his taxes, both what he paid and what he tried to avoid paying, that’s a pretty big deal.


  4. The Republican presidential nominee, who released his 2010 tax returns in January, continues to refuse demands from President Obama’s campaign and other Democrats to release multiple years of his returns. Mr. Obama has sought to portray Mr. Romney as an out-of-touch millionaire who used off-shore accounts and accounting gimmicks to reduce his tax liability.


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