Bono writes a letter to President-Elect Obama at Jim Wallis’ blog:

You know that less than 1 percent of government income as a contribution from the world’s richest economy to the world’s poorest is not a fair tithe — even in times like these — which is why you have promised to double foreign assistance.

Hello?  Government income?  Government doesn’t have an income… they collect taxes from people who have incomes!  Where does it say in scripture for governments to tithe?  The tithe was for individuals.

You can argue that government should take care of the poor, and be in support of increased taxes to increase “government income” so that can happen.  You can’t say there is a scriptural mandate to do so however.

Individual Christians and churches… well that is an entirely different matter.

14 comments
  1. 1% = tithe? Why not? That’s what many Christians seem to think it is.

    On a side note, isn’t it interesting to hear all the little piggies squealing as they line up, waiting for the sow to roll over?

  2. 1% = tithe? Why not? That’s what many Christians seem to think it is.

    On a side note, isn’t it interesting to hear all the little piggies squealing as they line up, waiting for the sow to roll over?

  3. “You can argue that government should take care of the poor, and be in support of increased taxes to increase ‘government income’ so that can happen. You can’t say there is a scriptural mandate to do so however.”

    You also can’t say that a government has a moral duty to take care of anyone other than its citizens. Taxes are collected from the citizenry to be spent on public functions, with in the jurisdiction over which the government resides. A government’s first obligation, built into the very nature of the institution, is to its citizenry. To disperse that money to people and places outside of its jurisdiction, without first having a clear mandate or pursuant to the interests/welfare of its citizenry, is to do so outside the scope of its legitimate power, while also ignoring its moral obligation in the process.

  4. “You can argue that government should take care of the poor, and be in support of increased taxes to increase ‘government income’ so that can happen. You can’t say there is a scriptural mandate to do so however.”

    You also can’t say that a government has a moral duty to take care of anyone other than its citizens. Taxes are collected from the citizenry to be spent on public functions, with in the jurisdiction over which the government resides. A government’s first obligation, built into the very nature of the institution, is to its citizenry. To disperse that money to people and places outside of its jurisdiction, without first having a clear mandate or pursuant to the interests/welfare of its citizenry, is to do so outside the scope of its legitimate power, while also ignoring its moral obligation in the process.

  5. Aren’t these the arguments of the same people who want church and state separate?

    Interesting that the biblical concept of tithing is taken, but we ignore other things like sanctity of life.

  6. Aren’t these the arguments of the same people who want church and state separate?

    Interesting that the biblical concept of tithing is taken, but we ignore other things like sanctity of life.

  7. @Nephos… yeah that is the subject of an entirely different post.

    @David – That is true. When you look at donations given in the wake of the tsunami that hit Indonesia, Thailand, etc. Private donations from Americans far surpassed the aid that our government sent. We can take care of these things without funneling the money through the Federal budget.

    Now if we just had the will to tackle poverty like we do natural disasters.

    @AndyC – It is strange, isn’t it.

  8. @Nephos… yeah that is the subject of an entirely different post.

    @David – That is true. When you look at donations given in the wake of the tsunami that hit Indonesia, Thailand, etc. Private donations from Americans far surpassed the aid that our government sent. We can take care of these things without funneling the money through the Federal budget.

    Now if we just had the will to tackle poverty like we do natural disasters.

    @AndyC – It is strange, isn’t it.

  9. Well, one thing I’ll say about Bono is that unlike a lot of celebs who buy an electric car or do a PSA or two and think they’re making a difference…at least he seems to break a sweat actually trying to make a difference.

    That said, I think the idea of tying government giving to the concept of tithing is pretty weird…

  10. Well, one thing I’ll say about Bono is that unlike a lot of celebs who buy an electric car or do a PSA or two and think they’re making a difference…at least he seems to break a sweat actually trying to make a difference.

    That said, I think the idea of tying government giving to the concept of tithing is pretty weird…

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