10 Other Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Taxes
(01-20-2016, 06:49 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote:
(01-20-2016, 06:27 PM)Paul Wrote:
Leo XIII Wrote:But now, a society can neither exist nor be conceived in which there is no one to govern the wills of individuals, in such a way as to make, as it were, one will out of many, and to impel them rightly and orderly to the common good; therefore, God has willed that in a civil society there should be some to rule the multitude. And this also is a powerful argument, that those by whose authority the State is administered must be able so to compel the citizens to obedience that it is clearly a sin in the latter not to obey.

I think that's pretty clear that government is necessary, and the Church has never condemned the idea of a state, and never said that the Church should be the government.

Pope Leo mentions leadership plus compulsion to obey - that's government, whether it's a king or the modern state. And even if that government does only a few, minimal things, those still cost money, and it's moral to impose taxes to pay for them.

Obviously if the state commands something immoral, we are to obey God rather than men. That doesn't mean that all taxation is theft, which was the point being discussed.

Actually, Leo XIII predicesor did condem the idea of the Nation-State.  Pope Pius IX [url=http://fisheaters.com/syllabus.htmlSyllabus[url] has an entire section dealing with this, especially items 39-56.


39. The State, as being the origin and source of all rights, is endowed with a certain right not circumscribed by any limits.—Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

40. The teaching of the Catholic Church is hostile to the well- being and interests of society.—Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846; Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849.

41. The civil government, even when in the hands of an infidel sovereign, has a right to an indirect negative power over religious affairs. It therefore possesses not only the right called that of "exsequatur," but also that of appeal, called "appellatio ab abusu."—Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851

42. In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers, the civil law prevails.—Ibid.

43. The secular Dower has authority to rescind, declare and render null, solemn conventions, commonly called concordats, entered into with the Apostolic See, regarding the use of rights appertaining to ecclesiastical immunity, without the consent of the Apostolic See, and even in spite of its protest.—Allocution "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860; Allocution "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.

44. The civil authority may interfere in matters relating to religion, morality and spiritual government: hence, it can pass judgment on the instructions issued for the guidance of consciences, conformably with their mission, by the pastors of the Church. Further, it has the right to make enactments regarding the administration of the divine sacraments, and the dispositions necessary for receiving them.—Allocutions "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850, and "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

45. The entire government of public schools in which the youth- of a Christian state is educated, except (to a certain extent) in the case of episcopal seminaries, may and ought to appertain to the civil power, and belong to it so far that no other authority whatsoever shall be recognized as having any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the conferring of degrees, in the choice or approval of the teachers.—Allocutions "Quibus luctuosissimis," Sept. 5, 1851, and "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.

46. Moreover, even in ecclesiastical seminaries, the method of studies to be adopted is subject to the civil authority.—Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

47. The best theory of civil society requires that popular schools open to children of every class of the people, and, generally, all public institutes intended for instruction in letters and philosophical sciences and for carrying on the education of youth, should be freed from all ecclesiastical authority, control and interference, and should be fully subjected to the civil and political power at the pleasure of the rulers, and according to the standard of the prevalent opinions of the age.—Epistle to the Archbishop of Freiburg, "Cum non sine," July 14, 1864.

48. Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth unconnected with Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly social life.—Ibid.

49. The civil power may prevent the prelates of the Church and the faithful from communicating freely and mutually with the Roman pontiff.—Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

50. Lay authority possesses of itself the right of presenting bishops, and may require of them to undertake the administration of the diocese before they receive canonical institution, and the Letters Apostolic from the Holy See.—Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

51. And, further, the lay government has the right of deposing bishops from their pastoral functions, and is not bound to obey the Roman pontiff in those things which relate to the institution of bishoprics and the appointment of bishops.—Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

52. Government can, by its own right, alter the age prescribed by the Church for the religious profession of women and men; and may require of all religious orders to admit no person to take solemn vows without its permission.—Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

53. The laws enacted for the protection of religious orders and regarding their rights and duties ought to be abolished; nay, more, civil Government may lend its assistance to all who desire to renounce the obligation which they have undertaken of a religious life, and to break their vows. Government may also suppress the said religious orders, as likewise collegiate churches and simple benefices, even those of advowson and subject their property and revenues to the administration and pleasure of the civil power.—Allocutions "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852; "Probe memineritis," Jan. 22, 1855; "Cum saepe," July 26, 1855.

54. Kings and princes are not only exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church, but are superior to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction.—Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church.—Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.


56. Moral laws do not stand in need of the divine sanction, and it is not at all necessary that human laws should be made conformable to the laws of nature and receive their power of binding from God.—Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.

Furthermore, the idea that traditional kingdoms and the modern Nation-State are equivalent is woefully wrong. A kingdom is composed of a people, those who share a culture and a societal view.  The Nation-State is a geographical imposition.  Example: the Kingdom of Naples vs the modern country of Italy.  No one would have said that Pope Pius XI or Leo XIII, of all people, would have equated the legitimacy of the Italian State with that of the Papal States...

This was my point exactly.  Thumb
(01-20-2016, 06:39 PM)Paul Wrote: And yet St Paul told the early Christians to be obedient to the Emperor in all things but sin, and for slaves to be obedient to their masters. I don't remember where I read it, but I remember reading something about the morality of revolutions: that while it may be immoral to rebel against one's lawful ruler, once it's done, and the new government is established, it becomes the legitimate government, since, as Pope Leo said, there needs to be some ruler. Despite the wrongness of the French Revolution (or, for that matter, the American), when the French police and courts put someone in jail for stealing or killing, it's moral for them to do so, despite the overthrow of the rightful king and the modern republic's rejection of most things Christian. If American and European governments are illegitimate because of all the immoral things they do, then there is no government, and the Church says that's not the way of society.

It's moral for the court to do so because the Natural Law still exists even in a society that rejects God.  The power to do so is completely separate from what's been usurped by the secularist State.  It's no different from your or my duty to defend the weak, even if there is no such law given by the State (or even a law forbidding it).
(01-20-2016, 01:19 AM)dcmaccabees Wrote: Quiet, Keynesian ignoramus, the grownups are talking.  Eye-roll

LOL I certainly hope you are not ignorantly assuming I am a Keynesian.
No? Which flavor of discredited anti-Catholic capitalism caught your fancy? The Chicago School, maybe?
I don't think it's right to say the ruler or rulers lose their legitimacy when they deviate from God.  These were errors of Wycliffe condemned at the Council of Constance.  A version of them specifically dealing with pagans was professed also by Joannes Falkenberg and condemned by Martin V.  Again, Christ's behavior toward Caesar is the example par excellence.

Leo XIII addresses this very issue in Diuturnum, where he notes how the Christians obeyed the pagan emperors in their good commands, but resisted their evil commands.  In fact, even when the emperors had it out for them, he notes that the Christian chose rather to "die for his religion than oppose the public authority by means of sedition and tumult."

Leo XIII, Diturnum Wrote:19. This great modesty, this fixed determination to obey, was so well known that it could not be obscured by the calumny and malice of enemies. On this account, those who were going to plead in public before the emperors for any persons bearing the Christian name proved by this argument especially that it was unjust to enact laws against the Christians because they were in the sight of all men exemplary in their bearing according to the laws. Athenagoras thus confidently addresses Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, his son: "You allow us, who commit no evil, yea, who demean ourselves the most piously and justly of all toward God and likewise toward your government, to be driven about, plundered and exiled."(24) In like manner, Tertullian openly praises the Christians because they were the best and surest friends of all to the Empire: "The Christian is the enemy of no one, much less of the emperor, whom he knows to be appointed by God, and whom he must, therefore, of necessity love, reverence and honor, and wish to be preserved together with the whole Roman Empire."(25) Nor did he hesitate to affirm that, within the limits of the Empire, the number of enemies was wont to diminish just in proportion as the number of Christians increased.(26) There is also a remarkable testimony to the same point in the Epistle to Diognetus, which confirms the statement that the Christians at that period were not only in the habit of obeying the laws, but in every office they of their own accord did more, and more perfectly, than they were required to do by the laws. "Christians observe these things which have obtained the sanction of the law, and in the character of their lives they even go beyond the law."(27)

20. The case, indeed, was different when they were ordered by the edicts of emperors and the threats of praetors to abandon the Christian faith or in any way fail in their duty. At these times, undoubtedly, they preferred to displease men rather than God. Yet, even under these circumstances, they were so far from doing anything seditious or despising the imperial majesty that they took it on themselves only to profess themselves Christians, and declare that they would not in any way alter their faith. But they had no thought of resistance, calmly and joyfully they went to the torture of the rack, in so much that the magnitude of the torments gave place to their magnitude of mind. During the same period the force of Christian principles was observed in like manner in the army. For it was a mark of a Christian soldier to combine the greatest fortitude with the greatest attention to military discipline, and to add to nobility of mind immovable fidelity towards his prince. But, if anything dishonorable was required of him, as, for instance, to break the laws of God, or to turn his sword against innocent disciples of Christ, then, indeed, he refused to execute the orders, yet in such wise that he would rather retire from the army and die for his religion than oppose the public authority by means of sedition and tumult.

St. Robert Bellarmine addressed this in De Laicis.  After referencing the Scriptures and the decrees of Council of Constance I previously mentioned, he quotes St. Augustine who sums it up perfectly:

St. Robert quoting St. Augustine Wrote:“He Who gave dominion to Marius, gave it also to Caesar, He Who gave it to Augustus, gave it also to Nero, He Who gave it to Vespasian, father or son, most benign emperors, gave it also to the most cruel Domitian; and that it may not be necessary to recount every instance, He Who gave it to Constantine the Christian gave it also to Julian the Apostate.”

The sections of the Syllabus cited earlier in the thread references addresses and allocutions certainly addressing errors of the time--but no where did Pius IX or Leo XIII condemn the regimes mentioned as illegitimate and totally unworthy of obedience.  Italy was a different matter because the papal states were taken unjustly by force and so the Popes at the time did not recognize Italy's authority over the former Papal States, but even then, the Popes ultimately came to accept that authority. That principle is based on another one in De Laicis:

St. Robert Wrote:Add, moreover, that even if at the beginning those who founded kingdoms were usurpers for the most part, yet, by the passing of time, either they or their successors became lawful rulers of these kingdoms, since the people gradually gave their consent. In this way the kingdom of France is now lawful, in the opinion of all, though in the beginning the Franks unjustly occupied Gaul. And the same may be said of the kingdom of Spain, which began with the invasion of the Goths; of the kingdom of England, which began with the unjust occupation of the Anglo-Saxons; and of this very Roman Empire, which was founded by Julius Caesar, the oppressor of his country; which, nevertheless, afterward became lawful to such a degree that Our Lord said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, etc.” 77

This is why Pope Leo XIII, while lamenting many errors of the anti-Catholic French republic, still urged the faithful to respect the authority of the new regime and obey in all things but sin:

Specfically, from the letter above, Leo XIII notes this very objection: '"This Republic," it is said, "is animated by such anti Christian sentiments that honest men, Catholics particularly, could not conscientiously accept it."'.  He then makes a distinction between the legitimacy of a ruler and his laws concluding with St. Augustine's explanation of Christian obedience to Julian the Apostate, who clearly governed in a way that "deviate[d] from God":

Leo XIII Wrote:It was this that St. Augustine, the great Bishop of Hippo, brought out so strongly in his eloquent reasoning: "Sometimes the powerful ones of earth are good and fear God; at other times they fear Him not. Julian was an emperor unfaithful to God, an apostate, a pervert, an idolator. Christian soldiers served this faithless emperor, but as soon as there was question of the cause of Jesus Christ they recognized only Him who was in heaven. Julian commanded them to honor idols and offer them incense, but they put God above the prince. However, when he made them form into ranks and march against a hostile nation, they obeyed instantly. They distinguished the eternal from the temporal master and still in view of the eternal Master they submitted to such a temporal master."(10)

Other than that rulers govern justly, the Church has no position on what form the government takes.

SaintSebastian, I believe that we're in agreement about obeying secular authority.  If there's a difference between us, it's in how fine of a point is being stressed about disobeying an unjust command. 

The real divergent point is about legitimacy. All the European republics are the result of rebellions against legitimate rulers.  Leo was forced to accept Italian rule, almost physically at gunpoint.  Even so, we hear from Leo XIII about the legitimacy of the liberal state:

Leo XIII Immortale Dei Wrote:On this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action that leads minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue.

Pius Vi, in Quod Aliquantum (no english translation, but here's the Italian) eviscerates the idea that a regime that is opposed to God is legitimate and is owed obedience in anything beyond obeying Natural and Divine Law.  This, of course, is exactly what St. Robert Bellarmine is discussing and what Pope Leo XIII is referencing in the above quote.

This stance was exactly what led to the Cristeros Rebellion in Mexico, a rebellion that was blessed by Pope Pius Xi in three encyclicals. We've been blessed with a multitude of saints from the conflict who espoused the stance that we owe allegiance to Christ and His Church alone.  As the martyrs said: "¡Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!"
You know I learned several things about the government and taxation over the last few years.  Firstly, it doesn't change though out time, a government always want more and more.  It the fat missionary eating double and triple portion while the little African starves.  And when the fat carcass of government finally kicks the bucket, it has become so diseased and poisoned that only a few parts of it remain usable to the succeeding generations. 

I can't understand why it is difficult that we need an ever present government.  I can't figure out why a town that needs a new road, the citizens of the town can't get together, drink some beers, and figure out a way to pay or build a new road.  and once that road is built, everyone goes and do their own thing without having a tax man or bureaucrat running their everyday affair.

My main beef with taxes beside that it is legalized theft, it is genuinely dishonest in its scope.  I don't any business that pays its taxes out of its profits, typically additional costs are added to the service or product to the customer.  a company will be at least taxed for the same or similar thing probably three or more times, and then pass it on to the customer who is taxed for similar things 5 or more times.  I would be ok with either the government taking half my income if it meant that I can run a business freely without ridiculous regulations and taxes.  If I have some apples and want to sell some, I should need to comply with dozen of agencies or pay this fee for that. Sometimes I really wonder if this government ever wants people being happy or employed again.  Or I would be ok with paying a high business tax if it means I don't have to see any of my personal income diminished by ridiculous taxes and regulations that I never signed on for.  I rather have one or the other not both.  Granted, I would rather have neither. 

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