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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This is so, so good.
For every gallon of gas that is sold in the United States, on average, the local, state and federal taxes come out to 48 cents. The average profit taken away from every gallon of gas by Exxon is --brace yourselves for unsavory news about the oil buccaneers -- 2 cents. If you don't like oil profiteering, then you really have to learn how to see our public servants as the equivalent of 24 Exxons, stacked on top of your travel plans like they were so many leeches.
Exxon feels free to take that 2 cents because they explored, researched, drilled, transported, refined, transported, and sold the gas that you were interested in buying. The government is entitled to it . . . why?
God says not to steal, and not even to think about stealing by means of coveting. We have to learn that our bad attitude toward free enterprise is caused by the larceny in our hearts. We think the way we do about oil companies because we want a piece of the action, for nothing. We don't think that way about predatory taxation for the same reason that one thief doesn't see the larceny in the heart of his fellow thieves. We are looking for the kickback.
As a wise man posted somewhere, "It's not theft if you have to fill out a form." So the devotional thought for the morning is that Jesus wants you to feel sorry for Exxon. And when we hear this call to radical discipleship, our faith staggers. Who can do these things? And the reply comes, comforting our hearts, that with God all things are possible.