__A significant number of Christians are now wondering about the moral implications of the Obama health care overhaul...Mohler then makes the biblical case that even when our government takes taxes for things we find reprehensible, Christians are obligated to pay them. He cites Romans 13, 1 Peter 2:13-14, and Mark 12:17 ("Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.")
__So, should Christians defy the government and refuse to pay taxes if some involvement in abortion is almost certain? The answer to that question reaches far beyond the issue of abortion — and far beyond the question of taxation. The answer to that question must be "no."
He ends the commentary with this:
__Abortion is a moral catastrophe. The murder of the unborn is one of the greatest sins any society can tolerate, much less subsidize by taxation. The impact of the new “Obamacare” health care legislation is not yet fully clear, but the legislation lacks any adequate protection for the unborn. Immorality is added to immorality when the power of the government to tax and confiscate the funds of citizens is involved in such a catastrophe.I fully agree with Mohler's reasoning for our obligation to pay taxes, as well as his concerns about how the new legislation may allow for the subsidizing of abortions through our tax dollars.
__For this reason, Christian citizens should be involved at every level in the political process, seeking to use legitimate means to establish full protection for the unborn and for all other vulnerable persons. Elections have consequences, and this new legislation is a reminder of the power of government to do both good and evil.
__But to refuse to pay taxes is to deny the legitimacy of the government itself, and to declare it beyond political remedy. Even to Christians suffering under the repressive, murderous, and dictatorial yoke of Rome, Jesus instructed the payment of taxes. Caesar, Christ knew, will one day face the judgment of Almighty God. Rome would one day be brought under his own feet and made subject to him.
__We do not “render unto Caesar” because of our confidence in Caesar. We render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, because we are committed with our lives and confidence and consciences to render unto God that which is God’s.
But what troubles me is that what prompted Mohler to write about the Christian obligation to pay taxes was the passing of the Health Care Reform Bill (what Mohler derogatorily called "Obamacare"). He started his commentary with, "A significant number of Christians are now wondering about the moral implications of the Obama health care overhaul."
During the Bush presidency, why weren't a "significant number of Christians" writing to Mohler concerned about how their tax dollars were being used by the government to torture people?
I credit Mohler for siding with John McCain on his push for an amendment banning torture to a Defense Authorization Bill back in 2005, rejecting Charles Krauthammer's argument that the hypothetical "ticking time bomb" scenario legitimizes the use of torture.
However, in 2007, Al Mohler (president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) sided with one of his ethics professors at the seminary, Daniel R. Heimbach, when he spoke out against the National Association of Evangelicals' statement against the use of torture. Mohler said, "I would argue that we cannot condone torture by codifying a list of exceptional situations in which techniques of torture might be legitimately used. At the same time, I would also argue that we cannot deny that there could exist circumstances in which such uses of torture might be made necessary.” (see the Baptist Press coverage of this story)
Could it really be true that Southern Baptists see torture as "necessary" and thus are okay with our tax dollars being used to do such atrocious acts, but are so angry about the health care bill that they don't want to pay taxes anymore?
If you are a Southern Baptist, I hope this doesn't reflect your values.