Christian historian David Barton quoted the words of Jesus as part of an argument against income tax on May 4 (video below).
Barton made his comments during a message to the Skyline Church in San Diego, notes Right Wing Watch:
The accumulation of profit. You can get as much as you can keep and hold. That's a law of nature, which is why the Founding Fathers did not have an income tax because an income tax takes your property away from you. You have exchanged your blood, sweat, tears and time for something else.
See, that’s why we did money back in the old days through tariffs and through other things. Remember when Jesus was talking to Peter and he said, "Peter, who pays taxes, the sons or the foreigners?" Peter said, "The foreigners, of course."
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You see, the sons didn’t pay taxes and that’s the way Jesus laid it out; there’s an obvious answer to a rhetorical question, Peter got it right. That’s the way American taxation used to be was we taxed outsiders coming in through tariffs and other things, but we didn’t tax the people.
We had to amend the Constitution, and then add the 16th Amendment to get to where we could take your property away from you.
Jesus has a conversation with Peter in Matthew 17: 24-27 about paying a temple tax at Capernaum, a fishing village on the Sea of Galilee in Israel, as to not offend people. The "sons" whom Jesus mentions are the sons of kings:
When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to Him, "From strangers."
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Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free." Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.
Barton’s comments about Jesus and taxes aren’t the first time the preacher has wandered into controversial territory. In April, Barton equated atheists to Nazis: "[H]uman nature does not change and if you don’t have the impact of religion to change a heart you will end up like the Nazis. These are guys who had no conscience and that comes from not fearing God."