I mulled these thoughts over with Mike last night . . .
I read a snarky post yesterday asking that, if Obama is “sort of god,” does that mean we can just tithe our income?
It got me to thinking about a long-ago brush with the Mormon church.
Some fifteen years ago I met one of the only Mormons that have crossed my path. She was a single mother and received financial assistance from the church to help make her way. It was explained to me that all members of the Mormon Church had to give ten percent of their income to belong, as well as the tidbit that the guy in charge of Marriott hotels was a member. Even my young ignorant tween-self knew that that one tithe would amount to a goodly chunk of funding.
My thirteen-year-old self thought, “How utterly stupid! Why would you join a church that demanded to take 10% of your income? That, AND it tells you how to live and preaches at you all moralistically? Ridiculous!”*
And yet . . . how much MORE ridiculous is it to worship at the Church of Government?
Think about it. Like the Mormon church, the government has decided that one of its functions is to cater to the poor and the needy. Like the church, the government concerns itself with your behaviors and your well-being. Like the church, the government seeks to shape your thoughts and beliefs.
But unlike the Mormon church, you don’t join of your own free will. There’s no such thing as a happy atheist when it comes to the church of the government.
While the Mormon church would rebuke you if you broke its rules – if you refused to tithe, for example – the government can throw you in jail.
Oh, and the government? Unlike the Mormon church, they take a lot more than ten percent.
I wonder if that’s an analogy that would make sense to pro-statists.
I feel that I am being forced to join a church. They dictate what I should think is good (welfare, affirmative action, the death of capitalism, restrictions on firearm ownership, political correctness, cronyism, the active role of government in marriage, pork projects) and use my quadru-tithe to accomplish these aims. They want to regulate everything from my consumption of trans-fats to the source of illumination in my house. I did not choose this church and yet I must live by its rules and pay my tithe regardless.
As always, do note – I’m not an anarchist. I argue for smaller government, not a complete lack of government. But I find it interesting that folks who would never accept this level of meddling if it wore the name religion have no problem doing so if it’s called government.
*Let me be clear that I am not knocking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I don’t know anything about it. I leave it alone and it leaves me alone and that suits us both just fine. Even if I *do* end up going to hell for it.