Someone made a point on Facebook that I thought was really insightful and worth turning into a brief post here.
Time and again, I have heard conservatives say that taxing the rich to care for the poor is antithetical to Biblical teaching because it is essentially forcing people “at gunpoint” to give, rather than allowing them to be charitable of their own free will.
Typically, those same people want to see other aspects of their religious values, from marriage to prayer, enforced through legislation.Does this not fit well under the heading of yesterday's post, “Fundamentalist Cognitive Dissonance“? Isn't this inherently self-contradictory?
If we ask why this contradiction exists, the only reasons I can think of are the following: 1) They don't actually know just how much emphasis the Bible places on economic and social justice, never mind the details of what it actually says about such matters; 2) They want to be free not to give to help others. Are there other possible explanations?
Either way, this stance is not only self-contradictory, but incompatible with the claim to be someone who respects the authority of the Bible. To choose to seek to have only those elements of Biblical morality legislated which are convenient and desirable to you, is arguably worse, even from a conservative Christian perspective, because of the extreme hypocrisy involved, than openly and honestly acknowledging that one does not accept some or all of what the Bible says.