Monday, November 01, 2010

Luke 20:27-38

Pentecost +24 - Year C

Luke 20:27-38

A Tea Bagger asks, "There was a stamp tax, and then there were excise taxes, tariffs, and customs duties, and then there were property taxes, and then there were poll taxes, and then there were income taxes. In the tax-free economic recovery of America, which tax should be removed first?"

Jesus responds, "Those who live in this age tax and are taxed, but those worthy of a commonwealth neither tax nor are taxed. Indeed they cannot tax because they are generous with one another like angels and G*D and creation itself. And the fact that the generous participate in a tax-free commonwealth of voluntary shared generosity and hospitality is shown in the ancient of days when establishing a new community was more important than being in charge of the deadly power of money."

How would you write this in terms of a socialist, a soft-headed pinko, a bleeding-heart liberal? Hint: try an extension of rights, ouch. Which right is the pre-eminent one? And what is it that requires us to keep at issues of rights?

What does it mean to "be alive" to an individual? to a community? The on-going interplay between these is as significant as the interplay between our past realities and our theories of the future. It is so difficult to be a purist when we are constantly faced with antidotes to our sureties.

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