The Spectacle Blog

Riley, Taxes, and the New Testament

By on 2.5.07 | 2:35PM

I can't let this discussion pass without plugging a piece I wrote for AmSpec during the Riley tax plan controversy. I spent my ammo whacking the church-state separationists for showing zero interest in the tax reform based on the Bible:

Where, one might reasonably inquire, is the ACLU? Where are those People for the American Way? Where the heck is the Most Annoyingly and Questionably Reverend Barry Lynn? The Governor of a Bible Belt state is rewriting the Code Annotated in accordance with the New Testament and we've heard nary a peep from the usual suspects!

One possible answer is that they are tired. The ACLU, PFAW, and the Reverend Barry toiled so tirelessly to force removal of Justice Roy Moore's monument to the Ten Commandments from public space, they may now be pausing for a breather. But how can they be sure the Ten Commandments controversy wasn't merely a brilliant diversion designed to keep them busy while some serious church-state mixing is underway? I advise them to finish their break and get back on the field. Dear Heaven, don't they know religion and taxation are engaged in heavy petting down in Dixie??!!!

Some, of course, have faith the longtime watchdogs of church-state separation have a very good reason for their absence from the current controversy over Jesus and the tax code. A more cynical soul might wonder whether the AWOL groups and persons in question are purposefully avoiding comment on Governor Riley's Christ-inspired plans. Could it be they just can't quite bring themselves to battle the marriage of church and state when a liberal child results from the match? Is that a whiff of hypocrisy rising from the campfire of the secularist left? Say it ain't so, Reverend Barry. Say it ain't so.

One hopes astute observers will be moved to ask questions about the sudden need of secular marchers to take a long break from their normally ceaseless battle. But I doubt the much needed cross-examination will occur. After all, this isn't the first time the urgent concerns about church and state have mysteriously vanished. Think of the lack of interest by strict separationists when Catholic bishops speak out against the death penalty or when liberal Protestant clergy used to flack for liberalized abortion laws. Remember again how His Eminence Jesse Jackson regularly entertains Democratic Presidential nominees in black churches in urban areas around the country.


I wasn't troubled by Riley's plan and was mainly just gigging the strict separationists because their stern rectitude is so very annoying. This may be one of the few places left where we can catch the left in rank hypocrisy.

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