Are you tired of having the radical right preach to us about what God allegedly wants in the political arena? Tax Analysts reports on this story from Sierra Leone:
Tax officials in Sierra Leone offended the country’s Christian population after launching an advertising campaign on April 25 that claimed that Jesus Christ wanted them to pay their taxes, Agence France-Presse reported on April 25. The half-page newspaper advertisements claimed that “all Christians should follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. This week: Pay your taxes!” The ads were aimed at the primarily Muslim nation’s Christians, who make up approximately 30 percent of the country’s population. The ad used a passage from the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew as its source in determining what Jesus’ tax advice would have been. “Pay the emperor what belongs to the emperor and pay to God what belongs to God,” Jesus said on the topic of paying taxes to the Roman Emperor (Matthew 22:17-21). Reaction from Sierra Leonean clergy has ranged from outrage to calls for the “blasphemous” ads to be stopped immediately, according to the report. The tax department defended the ads as an effort to increase compliance among the nation’s taxpayers. The ads were an attempt to encourage people to pay their taxes as soon as possible, a tax department spokesperson was quoted as saying.