Ti€s that Bind

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?” — John Wesley

19. 28. 334,570,678. 9.5. Members of the eurozone. Members of the EU. Population of the eurozone. GDP of the eurozone, in trillions. But numbers are sanitary things. They do not “lie,” but they can be manipulated. They do not get at any existentially real truth. What, in truth, is the euro about?

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Giving to Caesar: Making Sense of Taxation

“Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” — Matthew 22:15-21

Pay your taxes. There, I said it. Not only that, but you should encourage your neighbours, your business partners, and multi-national corporations (those particularly) to pay their taxes. For an American living in Europe, I’ve come to appreciate the value of paying taxes. And sure, the system isn’t perfect, but it is a lot better than the other way around.

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