Not terribly long ago, a liberal, Obama voter, acquaintance of mine told me that she views her taxes as charity. Therefore, she said, she has no need to give to charities on her own. Why would she be motivated to give to a charitable cause, when the government is doing it for her? That is her logic. She also believes that politicians know better where to distribute her money than she does. You know, those good and benevolent politicians.
Now that I've read the feature article in my local paper today on a Faith Based Community Improvement Program, I don't know that I could argue with her, that indeed her (and my) tax dollars are being used for what used to be non-governmental private charities. Begun by George Bush, who she despised, Faith Based Initiatives using Federal, State, and Local grant money is now being put on steroids by Barrack Obama. The irony is that usually it is the Democrat left in America who screams and hollers about "separation of Church and State." And further irony is that the wall of separation between Church and State is merely to disallow any political or government establishment of religion, but to allow religious freedom without the control of the State. Now that the Democrat left has the keys to the treasury, they see it as an opportunity to funnel money to their favorite causes and use tax dollars to infiltrate government power into religious life in America. This is why, when you give too much power to the right or the left, when you step outside of the boundaries of the Constitution, you are at the mercy of who holds the power at any given time. Using our tax dollars for "Faith Based Initiatives" is blurring the line between Church and State way beyond what the Founders of the Constitution ever contemplated. Mixing government money with Churches is, #1. using Churches for political gain and power, #2. Manipulating the congregations of Churches to the uses of government, and #3. Allowing the government to pick and choose which Churches will play the government game to the benefit of certain constituencies.
A question that doesn't seem to cross the minds of voters is this: Where, in the Constitution, does it say that public tax money should be used to prop up certain persons' private property? (I'm sure there are a lot of people who are wishing to get home repairs done without having to pay for it themselves.) And if one speaks out against this redistribution of wealth, how vilified will that person be for crying, "Foul?" After all, how cruel could you be to suggest that your tax dollars are not supposed to repair the roof on your neighbor's house? Even though your neighbor's house is privately owned and is not your financial responsibility? Or, that if you wanted to chip in money and labor to fix your neighbor's house, it could be a voluntary effort between neighbors and churches without the involuntary forced confiscation of taxes. Real charity, as opposed to confiscation.
According to the Gazette article, the executive director of Hope 4 Gaston says, "The city's throwing money at us." I don't know if he means the City of Gastonia, or if he means charitable citizens are throwing money at them. It looks as if he means the City of Gastonia. On that premise, I write the rest of this article:
This is the same city who went begging for road improvement funds by way of borrowing money via a bond issue in the last election, asking for and getting permission from our citizens to borrow money for public road improvements. Since I am not privy to the source of where the Hope 4 Gaston money is being pulled, I am guessing that it is a Federal, State, and Local collaboration of taxes from all of those sources.
Who uses what tax money for which purposes? There lies the Gordian Knot our government has created. Not only is the line between Church and State being blurred, but the line between the public and private sectors is being obfuscated. Does the State look to own the Churches, a la King George and the Church of England? Does the State look to own private property? Trust me, the State, out of an ever increasing appetite for power, wishes to own everything. What used to be a clearly defined line between the public and the private sectors, is now a convoluted tangled web of power and influence. Some few uses of taxes are kindly put forth in referendums, where the public actually has some say-so on the matter. Others are just divvied out by government programs and politicians for uses that they deem will gain them the most votes or popularity. Churches and Pastors looking for money for projects are all too happy to get your tax money to prop up their coffers. I wonder if they have ever heard the phrase, "ill gotten gains." Governments at all levels in our country are in dire debt, yet instead of paying down the debt to save the solvency of the country, we are funneling government tax money to some politicians' favorite "charities?"
Since when is being 13 trillion dollars in debt as a nation a premise to give tax money to "charities?" Since when does Gastonia have money to throw at "charities?" If we weren't "throwing money at" charities or at other non-public uses, would we have less debt? Could we have paid for the road improvements without paying interest on borrowed money? Good people can all agree that personal charity is a good thing when it can be afforded. Forced confiscation of tax money to prop up private interests, no matter how humble the home or great the need, is not charity.