Tuesday, April 24, 2007

And on a lighter note...

I was just watching Stranger than Fiction today (good movie; watch it if you haven't), and it inspired an idea. In it, one of the characters refused to pay 22% of her taxes one year because she didn't agree with what the government was spending that portion of the money on (national defense, "corporate bail-outs," etc.). Now, of course we don't really have the right to do that; the government is certainly within its rights to spend money on those things.

But what if the government is spending money on something it specifically does not have the right to spend it on. Something like, say... faith-based initiatives? Not only does it favor religion over no religion, it favors Christianity over all other religions (no money has gone to any non-Christian initiatives). This is a clear breach of the establishment clause if I ever saw one.

What's the government's excuse? The money they gave to faith-based initiatives wasn't specifically earmarked to be given to it, but was just general funds. Actually, that's not their excuse of why it's alright; that's their excuse for why people shouldn't be able to sue them to get them to stop it. They don't actually have an excuse for why it's alright.

Now, a case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on this issue (the issue of whether they're allowed to sue at all) is currently awaiting a verdict in the Supreme Court, so we'll have to wait and see what happens there. If it turns out that they can sue, then they most likely will, and we'll have to wait even more to see how that turns out.

But, let's say worse comes to worst, and they lose either of these cases, and you feel like practicing a little Civil Disobedience. Well, the government spend $2.1 billion dollars on faith-based initiatives in 2005, and the total budget was around $2,050 billion dollars, so that's about 0.1% of their budget (please check my numbers if you can, there's a good chance I made a mistake somewhere). So, if you don't want to pay for faith-based initiatives, then only spend 99.9% of your taxes and send along a note to the government explaining that you will not spend tax dollars on programs that violate the constitution.

Is this illegal? Probably, but so is what the government's doing. Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but they've already made one wrong. One more on our part isn't going to make things any more wrong.

1 comment:

Rockstar Ryan said...

What's the government's excuse?

That we elected them to spend our money...wait, did I say we?