Taxation, Tyranny, and Theocracy: A Biblical Response to Susan Hamill
Journal of Accounting, Ethics & Public Policy, Volume 14, No. 2 (2013)
67 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 10, 2013
I respond to Prof. Hamill’s assertion that she is not recommending the exercise of theocratic power, as defined by Rev. Gregory Boyd. She is in fact a theocrat in terms of Rev. Boyd’s definition. In two previous peer-reviewed articles, she has called on Christians to organize politically in order to re-stricture specific tax codes. She has said that Christians have the votes to do this: around 80 percent of the electorate. She has identified what the top federal tax bracket rate should be: 50 percent. This is in addition to state and local taxes. She has made this call to political action on the basis of a specific ethical system: Christianity. Her social outlook is consistent with a Protestant tradition known as the social gospel. She says that the Bible has provided Christians with the basis of tax reform. I agree entirely with her regarding the legitimacy of such a call to political action by Christians. But I do disagree with the biblical texts she uses to argue her case. I use the Bible’s tax texts, plus the Mosaic text that affirms the rule of law (Exodus 12:49) and also the text mandating the equal application of justice, irrespective of wealth (Leviticus 19:15).
Keywords: Hamill, tax policy, tyranny, theocracy, Judeo-Christian ethics, Two Kingdom Theory, Objectivist Ethics
JEL Classification: H2, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation