By Nathan Barton
The Nine Nazgul (the US Supreme Court) have once again affirmed that slavery is the law of the land. Tax slavery, of course, but still legal. And expanding.
The issue was the Nazgul announcement on 26 June of their Trinity Lutheran Church decision. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources declined to issue a grant to rubberize the playground of the Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center, claiming that the state forbids grants to religious organizations (but does give grants to non-religious non-profits. So Trinity Lutheran sued. The Supremes decided that the state can’t discriminate against religious entities when offering a “public benefit” such as a grant.
The so-called “conservative” christian groups and legal aid associations all crowed happily about equal treatment. Many pointed out (accurately) that this overturned some unjustice created nearly 150 years ago by James Blaine, a crypto-socialist who hated organized religion and especially hated and feared Roman Catholicism.
But overturning ancient injustice does NOT justify continuing to grow slavery. Although it is just money, if I am forced by government to pay for something that I believe is wrong – or even if I believe the cause may be good, but am FORCED to pay for it by taxes or fees, that is slavery.
If I am not a Lutheran and live in Missouri and pay taxes to Missouri, a part of which the state will now give to Trinity Lutheran Church to buy and install playground equipment in their school, I am being forced by the state and the Nazgul to pay (indirectly, perhaps) for the Lutherans to proclaim their religious message – a message with which I may not agree. No, it is not the playground equipment that proclaims that message – but the state paying for the equipment means that Trinity’s funds are freed up for other things. It is just playing paying games as to which dollar (or fake dollar) goes where.
If I, as a christian, find this objectionable, then surely an atheist or a Buddhist or Jew would see it even more as a form of slavery – of forced payments for something with which they don’t agree.
It has been suggested that this problem can be solved by getting governments OUT of the business of subsidizing or funding private activities of any sort. But this requires not just that, but getting governments out of the business of funding and controlling education, as well. “Public” or private.
Indeed, it is even more than just that. Laying aside the question of whether government has ANY business stealing money from people and businesses to pay for ANYTHING, there is no moral or legal/constitutional justification for government to spend money on recreation any more than on religion or education. Or for child care, or medical care, or a dozen other things.
Ultimately, it can be argued very easily that these are all matters of religious freedom and freedom from slavery (forced labor, directly or indirectly). Although the Founding Fathers tried to get a form of government to protect freedom, to defend liberty, they failed. Government is the enemy of freedom and liberty. It enslaves me, and all of us, through our taxes, to pay for things that we do not agree with, do not necessarily want, and which we often find to be wrong and evil.
Mama’s Note: As always, I would say that NON-VOLUNTARY government is the problem. When people work together in voluntary association, collecting funds given voluntarily, they would be completely free to use it in any way they wanted. And anyone who didn’t want their funds or property used that way would be free to withdraw from it. It is the involuntary nature of even the most “democratic” government system, and the use of force, fraud and lies to achieve their goals, that constitutes the slavery we are all so deeply afflicted with now.