Freedom New Mexico
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops officially came out in opposition to the health care nationalization bill that passed last week. The bishops, who often advocate that tax money be used for various humanitarian causes, likely supported many if not most provisions of the new law. However, the idea that some tax money might be used to fund abortions is enough to kill the whole deal, in their eyes.
“It is gravely wrong for a law to allow government funds to be used to end the life of innocent, unborn children,” Bishop Daniel Flores said in a statement issued Friday.
President Obama signed an executive order against federal funding of abortions, but “it is not clear if such an order can deflect what is written in the law. Many legal scholars are of the view that it cannot,” Flores said in the statement.
It’s difficult, however, to support the overall idea of taxation, then express outrage whenever the money is used in a way one doesn’t approve.
Every use of taxpayers’ money offends somebody, whether it goes to a college where a student wants to present scenes from a play about a homosexual Jesus, or to art enterprises that allow exhibits that include crucifixes in beakers of urine.
Consider other, larger uses of tax funds. Millions hate the fact that their money, taken by force, is being poured into military actions they oppose, discriminatory immigration policies or a drug war that has killed millions while showing little success.
And that’s not to mention the steady stream of billions of our tax dollars that fund pet projects, cronyism and outright illegality, or that is simply lost in the vast maelstrom of government bureaucracy.
The primary premise upon which our nation is founded — stated in both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution — is that all people are equal, and are to be treated as such. Thus, taxation can’t be set up solely to benefit Catholics, Baptists or atheists. It isn’t supposed to support one type of art at the expense of another, or one segment of the population over another.
Of course, the very nature of taxation is discriminatory, penalizing those who are taxed in favor of those who benefit. While many support taxation that benefits the most needy, it certainly is no secret that much of our tax money goes to those who don’t need it, but who have bought the privilege through campaign donations and lobbying.
It’s just the nature of the beast we call taxation. The only way to control where our hard-earned money goes is to send it directly to the programs and people we support, not to the government. That way those who wish to support family planning programs, even if they include abortions, can fund them directly. Those who don’t want to think that they helped kill unborn babies can support other causes, or keep the money so that they require less help from the government themselves.
Opposition to the misuse or perceived misuse of our taxes certainly is proper. The answer, however, is not in allowing one group or another to decide who gets it and who doesn’t. The best option is to scale back government’s intrusion in our lives, which naturally would decrease the need, and amount, of taxation.
After all, taking people’s money and giving it to others, especially those whose would use it in a way we oppose, is nothing short of theft.