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Friday, April 11, 2008

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's

Rev. Don Timmerman

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When Christ said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's"  He was not telling His disciples to give their money to the Romans so they could continue occupying their land and persecuting their people.  Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement once said, "If we give to God what is God's there will be nothing left for Caesar.

This Tax Day US citizens will dole out 54% of the budget or $1 trillion, 449 billion to the military.  (See War Resisters League)   You get what you pay for.  If you voluntarily give tax money to the military industrial complex you will continue to have wars and rumors of wars since it needs your money for its wealthy existence and lobbies for your money under the guise of protecting your freedom.  Actually your freedoms were secured not by the military but, rather, by civilians. In fact, the military often was used to try and keep some of these rights from you, and did so with your money. Nonetheless, we are asked to put our trust and faith in the military rather than in God, and the basic needs and rights of so many go unmet   It's up to us to give to God what is God's by refusing to pay for war, weapons, occupations and torture.  There is no easy way to create a world where men and women can live together.  It will be accomplished by persons who have the courage to  put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflicting suffering on others, the courage to spend their money for life-giving rather than life-destroying projects.

"This world in arms is not spending money alone.  It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children...Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dwight D. Eisenhower, April, 1953

Rev. Don Timmerman
Park Falls WI 54552