15 December 2013

Uncommon Commentary #381: A Taxing Problem (Alternate Title: Why Has Planned Parenthood Panned Parenthood?)

Many persons have expressed anxiety over the fact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known unofficially as "ObamaCare", and to me as ObamaCareless) will compel people who oppose the inducing of abortion to pay for that procedure.  They're right to be concerned, but none of them seem to realize that anyone who supplies revenue to Uncle Sam already subsidizes abortions.  Many States (and the District of Columbia) mandate their own funding of foeticide, and even in those that do not do so, the federal government picks up the bill for many abortions.  The federal government defrays a high percentage of the operational expenses of Planned Parenthood, the USA's largest provider of abortions; the Hyde Amendment ostensibly guarantees that this money will not go to the committing of such murders, but performing and promoting abortion is practically all that PP does.  Moreover, as if it weren't bad enough that the US taxpayer pays for abortions to be carried out in his own country, he's also currently paying for them to be carried out in other countries, since Emperor Nerobama put an end to President Reagan's "Mexico City" rule (which bars foreign foeticide-related programs from receiving US funds; Clinton had already reversed the policy, but Bush the Younger re√ęstablished it).
The question of whether a Christian can conscientiously contribute part of his income to a government that allocates dollars for the killing of the unborn is complex.  Christ told us to "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" (Mk. 12:17a), and St. Paul wrote "For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due …" (Rom. 13:6-7a); the Church, though, has always held that one must disobey the secular power if it tries to force us to disobey God.  Further complication comes from the fact that Scripture does not mention abortion but that writings of the Early Church Fathers (e.g., Justin Martyr) do.  Because of sales tax, the sad truth is that on almost every occasion on which we make a purchase, part of our money goes to cover the cost of inducing abortion; since we can't very well go our whole lives without buying anything, unless we live in a place where people barter goods rather than sell them, I must conclude that we might as well go on rendering taxes to the odious regime in the District of Columbia.  (Of course, if Obama continues his economic policies, we may have to go back to the barter system anyway.)